851.711/381: Telegram

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

1429. Refer to despatch nos. 828 and 829 of October 23 and 24 from Consul General Hurley reporting interference by French authorities with official consular mail.70 Despatch 828 transmits an envelope addressed to the Consulate bearing return address of Ernst Steiner, Camp des Etrangers, aux Essarts-Varimpré, par Bosc-Geffroy.

Despatch 829 transmits an envelope addressed by “The Foreign Service of the United States of America, Marseille, France” to “The American Consulate General, Vienna, Allemagne.” The former bears the seals of the Controle Postal Militaire showing that it had been opened and resealed by censorship. The second envelope bears the stamp of the “Controle Postal Commission WN” and the notation “Retour a l’envoyeur”.

These envelopes evidence interference by French authorities not only with communications addressed to the Consulate but with a communication addressed by one American Consulate to another.

The Department is convinced that these instances represent overzealousness on the part of individual censorship officials and not a policy of the French Government. Please bring the matter to the attention of the French authorities in that sense and ask for assurances that appropriate instructions will be given to insure that further instances of this kind will not arise.

Advise Marseille.

Welles
  1. Neither printed.