411.60d Finnish Vessels/130

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips) of a Conversation With the Finnish Minister (Åström)

The Finnish Minister brought up the question of claims arising as a result of the detention in 1918 of certain Finnish sailing vessels; the matter has apparently been before the Department for years; it is in the form of a request by the Finnish Government for permission to sue the Government of the United States in the Court of Customs Appeals [Court of Claims]. The Minister referred to the fact that, in the opinion of former Assistant Secretary Rogers, the Department should grant the request and submit to Congress the necessary legislation authorizing the Finnish Government to sue this Government; other points of view, however, have been raised, which, according to the Minister, do not rest on very substantial ground.

Finally the Minister requested that he be given an opportunity to discuss this matter with a newly appointed official who would be in a position to review the matter for the present Administration without prejudice.

William Phillips