The Under Secretary of State (Olds) to the British Ambassador (Howard)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of January 14, 1928, with further reference to your desire [Page 992]that this Government express its willingness to permit His Majesty’s Consuls in the United States to summon a Naval Court in accordance with the relevant provisions of the British Merchant Shipping Acts.

It is my opinion that the Government of the United States would not take exception to the holding by British Consuls of such proceedings as are suggested in your note upon British vessels in American waters. It is to be understood, however, that such proceedings shall not be exclusive of the jurisdiction of the local authorities, State or Federal, of the United States in proper cases, and that neither the Consul nor the court convoked by the Consul, nor any member thereof shall exercise any coercive jurisdiction off such British vessels either on land or in the territorial waters of the United States.

I am [etc.]

Robert E. Olds