441.11 W 892/48: Telegram

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


86. You are instructed to see Chamberlain at once and endeavor to obtain his consent to the proposed examination this summer of British prize court and similar records. If he should suggest postponement please inform him that I earnestly hope he will not press that suggestion. I feel it is most desirable that there should be a prompt adjustment of the entire question, but no agreement will be possible without further data upon which to base my judgment. I particularly need to know the British Government’s disposition of the subject matter of the various claims or complaints which have been brought to the attention of the Department. Such information could of course be obtained by circularizing the interested individuals, but obviously, in all the circumstances, it would be preferable at this time to consult the British Government’s records. It is my understanding that much if not all of the necessary data is contained in the special ledgers maintained by the Marshal’s and Accountant’s offices of the Admiralty Registrar. You will also inform Chamberlain that if the work cannot be done this summer the whole plan for seeking a solution of the problem through informal examination and discussion may have to be postponed indefinitely as it would probably be impracticable except during the summer [Page 230] months to spare Phenix from the Department. In view of the progress which has already been made toward a mutual understanding, I feel such an interruption would be most regrettable. Cable Chamberlain’s response immediately. It is very difficult to obtain steamer passage and there may be great delay if Phenix is unable to leave as planned on June 10. I will of course urge the point no further for the present if Chamberlain persists in objection or request for postponement.