125.655/112a: Telegram

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

380. For your information.

Following is pertinent part of Associated Press despatch from Newcastle, dated December 13, 1923:

“Fifteen months have elapsed since the Consulate shut its doors. Commercial delegations have made frequent trips to London to urge the Foreign Office and the American Embassy to hasten the re-opening. It is understood that the next move rests with Washington.

[Page 315]

The only remaining condition for the re-establishment of the Consulate is believed to be the assignment of Consul Russell M. Brooks to a point within the British Empire other than Belfast, where it is understood the United States desires him to go. Ostensibly, Foreign Secretary Curzon takes the view that Belfast is too near Mr. Brooks old post, and to the United Kingdom. The deadlock between the two Governments is causing the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars weekly to Newcastle business houses.”

The Department to-day in reply to a press inquiry said that this Government has always insisted that the charges made by the British Government against Consul Slater and Vice Consul Brooks, formerly at Newcastle-on-Tyne, were unfounded and that action should be taken to remove the stigma placed upon these two American officials. It is impossible to reopen the Consulate unless this is done and up to the present time the British Government has not taken appropriate action. If it is taken the two officials will undoubtedly be appointed to posts within the British Empire where their services are needed and it is not anticipated that the British Government would have any objection to such appointments. It is expected that the United States will then reopen the Consulate at Newcastle-on-Tyne.