The Secretary of State to Senator Morris Sheppard 92
My Dear Senator Sheppard: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of November 15, 193991 in which you inquire if the State Department has published any statements as to the facts concerning the sinking of the S.S. Athenia and the responsibility therefor, or if no such statements have been made, if the Department knows of any like action to be taken by any other government.[Page 293]
To date the Department has made no statement as to the responsibility for this disaster. With a view to establishing such responsibility, the Department is now engaged in obtaining facts from American survivors here and abroad which it is anticipated will require some time. After it has assembled these facts, the Department will, if its conclusions so warrant, extend to American citizens concerned appropriate assistance looking to the preparation of a claim for their losses.