The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Howard )
Excellency: I have the honor to refer to this Department’s notes of September 15, November 16, and December 12, 1925, and to your notes Nos. 971 and 1059 dated November 4, and December 10, 1925, and to Mr. Chilton’s note No. 1100 dated December 29, 1925,6 concerning the resumption of meetings of the Committee to allocate the former German cables and with respect to the proposal that the Yap–Menado cable be transferred to the Netherlands Government in order to facilitate a settlement between the German-Netherlands Telegraph Company and its creditors and to state that in reply to inquiries addressed to the French, Italian, and Japanese Governments, notes have been received from the diplomatic representatives of these Governments in Washington as follows:
On November 3, 1925, Mr. Daeschner, the French Ambassador replied to this Department’s notes suggesting that the meetings of the First Committee of the Washington Conference of 1920 be resumed on November 10, 1925. The Ambassador’s reply has been translated as follows:
[Here follows the text of the Ambassador’s note printed in Foreign Relations, 1926, volume II, page 771.]
On December 28, 1925 the French Ambassador forwarded a note concerning the proposal to transfer the Yap–Menado cable without delay to the Government of the Netherlands which has been translated as follows:
[Here follows the text of the Ambassador’s note printed in Foreign Relations, 1926, volume II, page 775.]
On November 16, 1925 the Italian Ambassador called at the Department and stated that he had been designated to attend the meeting of the First Committee and desired to know when a meeting would be called. With respect to the allocation of the Pacific cables he stated that the Italian Government desired that questions relating to the distribution of the former German cables in the Atlantic Ocean as well as the questions relating to the former German cables in the Pacific should be settled definitely at the same time.
On February 13, 1926 the Italian Ambassador replied as follows respecting the proposal to transfer the Yap–Menado cable to the Netherlands:
[Here follows the pertinent portion of the Ambassador’s note printed in Foreign Relations, 1926, volume II, page 778.][Page 278]
On September 28, 1925 the Japanese Ambassador referred to the suggestion that a meeting of the First Committee of the Preliminary Conference on Electrical Communications of 1920 be held with a view to reaching an agreement respecting the final allocation of the former German cables in the Atlantic Ocean and stated that the Japanese Government was ready to resume the meeting of the Committee and to appoint the Ambassador as its representative at the Conference. The Japanese Ambassador addressed a note to this Department on January 8, 1926, in which he referred to the Department’s note of December 12, 1925, concerning the transfer of the Yap–Menado cable to the Netherlands Government and made the following statements:
[Here follows the text of the Ambassador’s note printed in Foreign Relations, 1926, volume II, page 776.]
You were good enough to inform me of the views of Your Government in the notes of your Embassy above mentioned.
On account of the views expressed by the interested governments it appeared desirable to arrange for the holding of a meeting of the First Committee of the Preliminary Conference on Electrical Communications and that further action was not practicable pending a meeting of the First Committee. Informal discussions concerning the Brest–Azores–New York cable took place with the French Ambassador, Mr. Berenger, before his departure from Washington and an expression of the views of the French Government in this regard is still awaited.
I have now received a note dated February 5, 1927 from the Netherlands Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at this capital presenting a claim in behalf of Netherlands subjects interested in these cables, in the amount of 2,388,671 gold marks plus interest at the rate of five per cent per annum from the first of February 1922, on account of the damages sustained by Netherlands subjects with respect to the Yap–Menado cable. I enclose a translation of the note received from the Netherlands Chargé d’Affaires6a and invite your attention to the fact that it is stated that similar instructions have been sent to the Netherlands diplomatic representatives accredited to the Governments of Great Britain, France, Japan and Italy.
This Government has acknowledged the receipt of the note of the Netherlands Chargé d’Affaires and has stated that the matter would be given consideration. I should be pleased if you would be so good as to advise me whether your Government has replied to the communication which it is understood was addressed to it by the Netherlands diplomatic representative accredited to your Government and to receive also an expression of your views in the matter.
In this connection I desire to state that this Government would have no objection to the opening of the Yap-Menado cable to traffic [Page 279] and its operation by the Dutch Government pending a definite allocation of the former German cables.
I shall also be grateful if you will be so good as to advise me whether you will be prepared to attend a meeting of the First Committee if this Government can make arrangements for it.
Similar notes have been addressed to the diplomatic representatives at Washington of the Governments of France, Italy and Japan.7