Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of International Communications (Saugstad)

Mr. McCormick-Goodhart6 called on Mr. Saugstad to discuss the question of the sale of American vessels to British interests as described in a memorandum of July 25, 1939 prepared by Mr. Hickerson. Mr. McCormick-Goodhart inquired as to whether the United States Government was now in a position to proceed with the negotiations indicated in the proposal by the Maritime Commission described in the aforesaid memorandum, and as to whether the United States Government would desire to continue negotiations on the subject on the basis of direct approach by His Majesty’s Government to the United States Government through the British Embassy and the Department of State, or whether the British Embassy might refer the matter to Sir Ashley Sparks of New York, who has been commissioned by the British Government to conduct its commercial vessel tonnage negotiations in the United States. Mr. McCormick-Goodhart inquired as to whether the United States Government would be agreeable to Sir Ashley dealing directly with the Chairman of the Maritime Commission since the proposal of sale was originally made by that official.

Mr. Saugstad stated that the question of further procedure in this matter was one for determination by policy officials of the Department and that he would immediately discuss the matter with appropriate officials of the Department with a view to obtaining information for Mr. McCormick-Goodhart upon which he might base future procedure by the British Government. Mr. Saugstad stated that the Department would telephone Mr. McCormick-Goodhart when such information was available, and that he would attempt to obtain some authoritative reply during the week of December 3.

  1. Leander McCormick-Goodhart, Commercial Secretary of the British Embassy.