The Ambassador in Italy ( Phillips ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 29.]
Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that in accordance with its instruction No. 96 of May 5, 1937,8 regarding international cooperation for the purpose of correcting the problem of the pollution of the sea by oil, I took occasion on June 16th to discuss the matter with the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and to describe to him the vivid interest of the Government of the United States in this problem, as well as the various efforts which the Government has made to bring about an agreement on the subject among all the interested Powers.
I furthermore informed Count Ciano that the Department of State had recently received a note from the British Government to the effect that it was contemplating an approach to the Government of Italy with a view to urging the Italian authorities to be represented at a conference on this matter if one should be summoned, and that under instructions from the Secretary of State I desired to express to him the hope of the Government of the United States that the Italian Government might find it possible to join in an international undertaking along these lines.[Page 973]
In reply Count Ciano informed me that he was not familiar with the subject and that he had not seen as yet any communication from the British Government along the lines indicated above, but that when it was received he would cause it to be given the most careful consideration. He added that he was glad to know of the interest of the Government of the United States in this problem.9
For the Department’s information, I may add that the British note in question was in fact received at the Foreign Office on the same day, June 16th.