811.0141 Phoenix Group/9

The British Ambassador ( Lindsay ) to the Secretary of State

No. 234

Sir: With reference to my note No. 223 of the 16th July I have the honour to inform you that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom have now learnt that the United States Ship Avocet erected on Canton Island a cement plinth with a painted stainless steel United States flag and a medal of the American National Geographical Society, although the British flag was then flying on the Island and the notices of British sovereignty were intact.

In this connexion I have been instructed to explain that in August, 1936 Captain Bevir of His Majesty’s Ship Leith left a Union Jack on the Island as well as a notice board stating that the Island belonged to His Majesty. Both the flag and the proclamation were replaced by new ones early in 1937 by the same vessel.
As you will have observed from my note under reference both Canton and other neighbouring islands were incorporated in a British Colony by an Order-in-Council dated the 18th March, 1937. His Majesty’s Government accordingly trust that the United States Government will arrange for the United States flag to be removed from the Island.
I am further to state that if the United States Government should find it inconvenient to send a ship for that special purpose His Majesty’s Government would gladly arrange for its removal themselves.

I have [etc.]

R. C. Lindsay