The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:53 p.m.]
2030. My 2020, November 10, 6 p.m. In the course of a conversation at the Foreign Office today on another matter an official in the Legal Division in charge of Prize Court cases discussed the question of the detention by the German authorities of the wood pulp shipments.
He expressed his regret at the delay in reaching a decision as to the disposition of cargoes at present detained and of future wood pulp shipments but argued that it was unavoidable since it was necessary for the Foreign Office to obtain the views of other interested departments of the Reich. He said that every effort would be made to despatch the matter but he would make no prediction as to when the decision might be forthcoming. He added that before receiving the views of [Page 839] other sections of the Reich Government he could give no indication as to whether the suggested procedure, which was briefly and informally outlined, of investigation by German consular officers in the United States of the American destination of the detained cargoes would be adopted.
From another source I am informed that a reason given for the concern of the German authorities in regard to this general question is the belief that certain wood pulp shipments routed to neutral countries have upon being released by the Germans found their way immediately to England. It is on that account that the German authorities are unwilling to accept ship documents as proof of destination and are insisting on definite guarantees.
I shall continue to keep the matter before the Foreign Office and in this connection I shall appreciate a reply to my telegram under reference.