Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Bundy) of a Conversation With the British Ambassador (Lindsay)
The British Ambassador called to state that the negotiations between the various shipping interests had broken down two days ago because the Cunard Line, while willing to give up the Cunard passenger service to Cuba, was not willing to restrict their cruises to voyages not less than seven days. I told the Ambassador that I had received this information through the Department of Commerce and that I greatly regretted the breakdown of the negotiations and understood that the American interests were proposing to push the hostile legislation now pending before Congress. I stated to the Ambassador that this might result in a very difficult situation; that legislation also attacking the right of foreign ships to carry liquor might be the result. I stated that I did not feel that the State Department could urge the Ambassador to make any further concessions because I did not feel inclined to support the pending legislation as the proper weapon under the conditions. I made it entirely clear that I was not prepared to commit the Administration as a whole to any future action for or against the legislation which might develop and that it would be for the British to determine whether under the circumstances it was wise to attempt a further settlement of the matter. The Ambassador stated that he did not see how the British Lines could not conduct round trip voyages to Bermuda, a British possession.