411.60d Finnish Vessels/143

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

The Minister of Finland came in this morning to discuss a claim of his Government against the Government of the United States growing out of the detention of certain Finnish sailing vessels here during the World War—a claim that has heretofore had a good deal of consideration. He mentioned the note he had received from this Department40 tentatively rejecting the request that Congressional permission be given to present the claim to the Court of Claims, that rejection being based upon the ground that the detention of the vessels was in pursuance of a general order in effect at the time and that accordingly there was no discrimination against the Finnish vessels. He said that his lawyers took issue with the Department’s statement in the note as to the character and effect of the order and in a few days would place him in a position to reply to the note.

The Minister was told that in the event it might turn out that he was correct on the question of fact respecting the order, then this Department would consider whether there had been a failure to take advantage of alleged remedies that were available at the time, and whether it would be proper for it to approve the proposal of the Finnish Government that the case should be submitted to the Court of Claims.

He left, knowing that the case would be fairly considered from both points of view.

C[ordekl] H[ull]
  1. Supra.