The Acting Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Lindsay)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note No. 177 of June 25, 1935, with reference to various aspects of trans-Atlantic air transport.

For the information of your Government and in response to your inquiry I desire to inform you that in February last an unofficial French aviation mission headed by Senator de la Grange visited the United States. The purpose of this mission was stated to be a discussion of the possibility of unified action on the part of the Governments of France, the United States and Great Britain in the study of the technical problems involved in the establishment of a trans-oceanic air transport service. It was explained to the French mission that while this Government would be glad to consider their proposals, it was thought that as the British Government was vitally interested in the matter the latter should be consulted by the French authorities. The members of the French mission were authorized to make a statement to this effect to their Government, but it was made plain that the American Government was not asking that the French approach the British Government. On the contrary, it was emphasized that this was a question for determination by the French authorities. No commitment whatever was made during the discussions as to the future attitude of this Government. The American Embassy in London was subsequently authorized to bring orally the situation described above to the attention of the competent British authorities.

I trust that this information is responsive to the inquiry contained in paragraph two of Your Excellency’s note under acknowledgment.

Although informed in a general way by officials of Pan American Airways of the proposed cooperation between that company and Imperial [Page 515] Airways, I do not consider that I am in possession of sufficient details to make any comment in this regard.

This Government has received no specific application from any foreign interest with regard to a permanent service for the carriage of mails or for the extension of landing rights and other facilities in the United States for a trans-Atlantic air service and has therefore not had occasion to come to any conclusion on this point.

Accept [etc.]

William Phillips