The Ambassador in France (Herrick) to the Secretary of State

No. 51

Sir: In reply to the Department’s Instruction No. 896, (File No. 851.73/171), of July 11, 1921,42 relative to the request of American cable companies to open offices in France, I have the honor to report that no reply has as yet been received from the Foreign Office in response to the representations made by the Embassy pursuant to the Department’s Instruction No. 818 of April 25th last.

About a month ago, enquiries at the Foreign Office revealed the fact that the French Telegraph Administration still maintained its opposition to the demands of the American companies and that, any reply received, would therefore be unfavorable.

The Embassy got in touch with the representatives of the Commercial Cable and Western Union companies and obtained further information as to the privileges accorded the Radio-France Company in Paris and also as to the facilities granted the American companies by the British Telegraph Administration. This information was conveyed to the Foreign Office in various informal conversations and every effort made to impress upon them the importance which our Government attached to this question, and the advantages which would accrue to France by reason of the improvement in cable communications.

From recent conversations at the Foreign Office, I believe that the French reply, which I expect to receive shortly, will not be unfavorable, but will be something in the nature of a compromise whereby the companies will be given permission to open offices under the auspices of the Telegraph Administration, provided they employ officials of the P. T. T. for the handling, but not for the sending, of messages. This, I understand, would be satisfactory to the American companies.

I have [etc.]

Myron T. Herrick
  1. Not printed.