411.57 N 83/118

The Acting Secretary of State to the Norwegian Minister (Bryn)

Sir: I have the honor to refer to your notes of December 2, 1919 and May 27, 1920, in regard to the claim of certain Norwegian subjects growing out of the alleged requisition by this Government of certain materials and ships under construction.

I am now in receipt of a further communication from the United States Shipping Board in regard to this matter,11 in which the Board states that it cannot consistently make any offer of settlement which is not in harmony with the recommendation made by the Requisition Claims Committee of the United States Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, with the terms of which you are doubtless familiar.

In a recent letter to the Shipping Board I suggested that the Board and the claimants might be able to arrange for an informal arbitration of their differences. In reply the Board has informed me that the method of arriving at just compensation so far as the Board and the Emergency Fleet Corporation are concerned is determined by Congressional enactment and that therefore the Board is not at liberty to agree to any form of arbitration which would determine the liability of the United States in any manner other than as already fixed by law.

If I am incorrect in supposing that the claimants and yourself are familiar with the recommendation made by the Requisition Claims Committee, I shall be pleased to request the United States Shipping Board to furnish for your consideration such details in regard to this recommendation as may be desirable.

Accept [etc.]

Norman H. Davis
  1. Letter of Dec. 16, not printed.