The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis)
5684. Central and South American Telegraph Company reports with corroboration of American Ambassador to Brazil that its efforts to complete system of South American cables have been hampered many years by opposition British Western Telegraph Company. Central and South American Company purely American. Lines already reach Cuba, Mexico, countries of Central America and West Coast of South America as far south as Argentina. Now attempting to reach Uruguay and Brazil. Contract is signed with Government of Brazil for cables Brazil to Cuba and Argentina. Contract with [Page 201] Colombian Government for cable to Colon and with Argentina and Uruguayan Government for cables Buenos Aires and Montevideo about to be signed. Western Telegraph Company with its associated Companies having lines from Europe to Brazil and Argentina has not only defended the exclusive rights granted many years ago by Brazil and Argentina but has, it appears, far exceeded proper methods of commercial rivalry notably in opposing registration of the Central and South American Company’s contracts for cables from Brazil to Cuba and Argentina and opposing grant by Brazilian Government of concessions for cables to Uruguay. The Western Telegraph Company also grossly discriminates in rates charged on messages handled by the Central and South American Company. The opposition of the Western Company to 1917 contract with Brazilian Government for cables Rio and Santos to Argentina has not ceased, though after long litigation the Brazilian Supreme Court decided eleven to one against the British Company.
You will confer with Foreign Office and if possible secure relief for American Company from opposition exceeding the bounds of friendly business rivalry.