The German Embassy to the Department of State

According to information received by this Embassy from representatives of the Hamburg-American Line and the North German Lloyd, and [Page 471] according to instructions received by wire from the Foreign Office in Berlin, a meeting, to be held at 10:30 AM, May 22, 1933, in Washington, has been called by the United States Shipping Board concerning a controversy which has arisen between that board and the German lines above mentioned.

It is understood that the same controversy will come up for discussion at a meeting of representatives of the Transatlantic Passenger Conference scheduled to convene in Brussels, Wednesday, May 24th.

The controversy has arisen from a plan effected by the Standstill Committee on Germany’s private debts to foreign bankers. The plan has the consent of German debtors as well as of American creditors of these debtors. The German Steamship Lines have merely been called upon to give effect to this plan which was meant to provide means to serve both the German debtors and their American creditors.

It is believed that this subject is one which should be discussed at the proposed Brussels meeting of the conference. It is, therefore, suggested that the meeting called by the Shipping Board to-day should be postponed or, if that should prove to be impossible, that no action should be taken at this meeting, as the same subject will be thoroughly discussed at the forthcoming Brussels meeting of the conference.