300.115(39)/1: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

2207. We have discussed with officials of the newly established blockade control in the Foreign Office the problems which have arisen in applying blockade measures to American ships. The officials have been sympathetic and are endeavoring to establish a system which will eliminate friction as regards legitimate neutral trade without impairing the effectiveness of the blockade control.

The steamer City of Joliet of the Southern States Lines has been held in Havre for about 10 days removing cargo destined for Antwerp and Rotterdam. A shipment of lead from the American Smelting and Refining Company was unloaded several days ago by order of the French authorities. Subsequently a decree provided a method for the shipper to give a guarantee that the goods would not reach an enemy country under a penalty fixed at five times the value of the goods. Such a guarantee may be arranged in a day or two but it has not been decided whether to wait for its application in this case.

The American Export Lines have been subject to blockade control in the Mediterranean as reported by the Consul at Marseille. At the instance of the Genoa office of this line assurance has been obtained that ships bound for the United States would be treated liberally, but blockade authorities desire that all bills of lading in future be nominative instead of to order.