441.11 W 892/52: Telegram

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


103. Your 128 of June 15. The Senate yesterday passed following resolution introduced March 15 by Borah:21

“Whereas the claims of American citizens against Great Britain and France arising out of violations of the rights of neutrals between August 1, 1914, and April 6, 1917, have not yet been brought to settlement: Therefore be it Resolved, That the Secretary of State be requested, if not incompatible with the public interests, to inform the Senate what steps he is taking to negotiate claims conventions with Great Britain and France for the arbitration and settlement of the claims above mentioned.”

Last March I discussed this resolution with Borah and explained the whole situation including my conversations with Howard. When I left him I was under the impression that he was not expecting to press the resolution for passage and its adoption yesterday completely surprised me. I shall again discuss the matter with Borah and explain the present situation. I do not desire you at this time to raise the claims question with Chamberlain; but should a favorable opportunity occur, you may state informally that you understand I was surprised at the adoption of the resolution but the nature of my response to its request for information necessarily depends upon the position Chamberlain takes respecting the informal exploration of the claims question about which you have already spoken with him. Have heard nothing further from Howard since I talked with him on June 5.

  1. Resolution not paraphrased.