860c.56/61: Telegram

The Consul General at Warsaw (Keena) to the Secretary of State

Reference Department’s January 12, 6 p.m.1 Re license United States Lines and my despatch number 4565 [4578] of July 17.1 Yesterday morning I accompanied Cowell, American representative of United States Lines, to Ministry of Commerce to discuss matter of license for shipment [sale?] of second-and third-class [tickets] for current year. The form of license offered by Polish authorities was similar to that described in enclosure to my despatch number 4578 of July 17 except that it called for direct transportation from Danzig of 50 percent emigrant passengers and balance to Bremen via Danzig only on United States Lines or Polish vessels. Polish authorities admitted that French lines for example under the license just issued them could transport 50 percent emigrant passengers direct by rail to Havre or Cherbourg and balance via Danzig to Havre by any vessels they elected to use and that other Continental and British transportation companies were similarly favored. They insisted, however, that they would not give any more favorable license than that proposed for the United States Lines to any line of vessels sailing from German ports. We informed them that the license was unacceptable in the proposed form and asked for equality of treatment with British and Continental lines in the matter on a basis of 50 percent emigrant passengers transported from Danzig by direct steamer and balance direct by rail to Bremen. They refused unconditionally that request and demanded immediate signature of the license as proposed failing which the office of the United States Lines, Warsaw, would be ordered to close. I thereupon advised the Polish authorities that under the circumstances I could not continue to grant visaes without first referring the matter to the Department for appropriate consideration and decision and would [Page 739] close the visa section from January 22. A notice in writing to close was received by the Warsaw office of the United States Lines about one hour after this interview. I am giving public notice that alien visa section will be closed in this event January 22 and until further notice. Mail report will be forwarded as soon as data promised me by Polish authorities in regard to terms of licenses of other lines is received.

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