811.0141 Phoenix Group/9
The British Ambassador ( Lindsay ) to the Secretary of State
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.]