The Chargé in Great Britain (Wheeler) to the Secretary of State

No. 3086

Sir: My despatch No. 3038 of November 5, 1923, transmitted a copy of the Ambassador’s private and confidential letter of November [Page 314] 2nd to Lord Curzon16 respecting the suggested settlement of the Newcastle case.

On November 5th Mr. Sperling in a conversation at the Foreign Office told me that, much to his disappointment Lord Curzon appeared to have receded from the position he took in his last talk with Mr. Harvey and seemed now unwilling to agree to the appointment of Mr. Vice-Consul Brooks to Belfast at any time whatsoever, his idea being, as Mr. Sperling expressed it, that “he should be sent, if anywhere in the British Empire, to some inland post, rather than to a large port with a shipping activity similar to that of Newcastle”.

I pointed out to Mr. Sperling that such a limitation in Mr. Brooks’ case, so far from tending to remove the unfortunate impression made on the public mind by the allegation given currency a year ago reflecting on our whole Consular service, would appear to qualify the recall of the specific charge against him as set forth in the Foreign Office note that is a part of the suggested exchange. He said he quite realized this and for his own part heartily hoped that Lord Curzon’s reply to the Ambassador’s confidential letter above referred to might make possible the settlement on the lines laid down, although his mood had changed and he feared he would not waive the point.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In view of the strong British commercial and shipping pressure that has been continually exerted here upon the Foreign Office for the adjustment of this case, and which is not likely to lessen, I am of the opinion that lacking further recession on our part Lord Curzon must eventually yield.

I have [etc.]

Post Wheeler
  1. Neither printed.