811.7353b/93: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Harvey)

210. Your 270, July 3, 6 p.m.

Refusal of the landing of the Barbados–Miami Beach cable until certain conditions have been complied with is in accordance with a long established policy of this Government not to allow the landing and operation in the United States of a cable running from a country which denies similar privileges to American cable concerns. The monopolies enjoyed by the Western Telegraph Company on the east coast of South America, and the monopolies enjoyed by the All-America’s Company on the west coast have their foundation in bilateral agreements which can only be canceled by the action of the two parties to each agreement. Resolution of Western Telegraph [Page 363]Company was in terms effective only when all South American Governments concerned acquiesced in waivers by Western Company and All Americas Company.

The granting of a license to the Western Union to land at Miami a cable to connect at Barbados with a cable of the Western Telegraph Company awaits an expression from the Argentine Government which can be regarded as acquiescence rendering effective the waiver of the Western Company. Last sentence your telegram confirms views expressed in Department’s No. 192, July 1, that no relation exists between efforts American companies to obtain privileges in Azores and application of Western Union to land at Miami.

Department does not consider that possibility of American competition with British companies is acceptable reason for action of British Government in opposing application of American companies for privileges in Azores and can only regard attitude of British Government in matter as determination on its part to assist British companies to maintain control of cable facilities in Azores to exclusion of legitimate competition of American companies.

It is desired that you supplement the communications which you have heretofore been directed to address to the Foreign Office on the subject by communicating foregoing to Lord Balfour80 personally, observing plainly that this Government cannot fail to be influenced by the feeling that the British Government is unwarranted in opposing legitimate efforts of American cable companies to obtain in Azores cable facilities which are not exclusive and which would in no way interfere with the exercise by British cable companies of privileges similar to those sought by American companies.

Please report whether you have communicated to Foreign Office the full contents of Department’s 184 of June 23 and 192 of July 1.

Hughes
  1. British Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.