The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Mellon) 17

No. 14

Sir: Having reference to your telegram No. 60, dated February 11, 1932, concerning Congressional Bills H. R. 8874 and H. R. 8875, I wish to inform you that these bills have caused a number of protests from European Governments, among these the British Government. The British Ambassador at Washington called on February 15, 1932, and presented a note containing the views of his Government. I enclose a copy of the note left at the Department by Sir Ronald Lindsay.18

The substance of this note, together with the substance of notes received from other foreign representatives in Washington, was duly transmitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, the Chairman of which committee, the Honorable Hiram Johnson, had requested comment [Page 941]from the Department. A copy of the Secretary’s letter of March 3, 1932, to Senator Johnson is enclosed.19

I enclose also copies of H. R. 8874 and H. R. 8875.20 Identic bills were introduced in the Senate containing the numbers 3501 and 3502.

The bills in question have been dropped, but a substitute bill for H. R. 8874 has been introduced, on March 19, 1932, in the House of Representatives under the number H. R. 10674. A copy of this bill is enclosed.21 I understand that this bill is still pending in the House of Representatives.

I am informed that pressure by United States shipping interests for the passage of this or similar legislation will again be increased since the negotiations designed to reach a compromise with foreign shipping interests seem to have become deadlocked. It is, however, possible that an agreement may still ultimately be reached. In this connection I enclose a copy of the memorandum of conversation between Mr. Bundy and the British Ambassador held on March 30, 1932.22

I propose to keep you informed of developments in this matter and should be glad if you will let me have any information which may reach you on the attitude of the Cunard and other interests in Great Britain.

Very truly yours,

W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. The substance of this instruction was sent, on April 25, to the American representative at the capital of each of the countries that lodged representations against H. R. 8874 and H. R. 8875 and identic S. 3501 and S. 3502.
  2. Ante, p. 916.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Congressional Record, vol. 75, pts. 3, 4, 5, pp. 3389, 3629, and 5395.
  5. Ibid., pt. 6, p. 6514.
  6. Ante, p. 933.