841.731/2201: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

2691. Department’s 1649, December 20, 6 [10] p.m., and Embassy’s 2433, November 23, 8 p.m. Your first paragraph, information is correct.

British Administration sent notice this morning to the Bureau of International Telecommunication Union at Bern. As the new British regulation is effective January 1, 1940, they realize this notice falls short of 15 days but the head of the Telecommunication Censorship Department told me that they did not consider that this shortage of time seriously matters.

In regard to radio telegraph the official stated that the radio could be used and pointed out that it was the only possible means of communication in some cases. This will not, however, include permission to communicate by radio either to or from a ship at sea.

Having launched these four commercial codes the next question that the censorship control will take up will be code addresses and [Page 281] signatures. They are trying to do one thing at a time it was explained and get the new code system working perfectly and coordinated before they add anything else.

They are also now taking up the question of additional codes to the original list and from my conversation with the censorship department I am reasonably certain that the Acme Code will eventually be included. I think there is a sincere disposition on the part of this particular censorship authority to meet as far as is practicable all of the needs of American business and it was suggested to me this morning that they would welcome from us any indication as to a relative priority for codes with which American business is most concerned.

If the Department has any suggestions to make in this connection I hope they may be telegraphed.