851.731/132: Telegram

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

1157. Substance of your telegram 2203, September 27, 5 p.m., was issued as a press release by Department. Yesterday afternoon W. A. Winterbottom, Vice President of RCA, informed Department that French authorities have categorically refused to accept incoming or outgoing messages in the codes enumerated in your telegram 2203. Winterbottom added that as a result of Department’s press release his company found it necessary to return several hundred messages. Please bring foregoing immediately to attention of appropriate French authorities and ascertain definitely in what cases if any French telegraph administration accepts messages in the codes specified in your telegram 2203. It is possible that French authorities make a distinction between telegrams destined to or from France and telegrams merely passing in transit through France.

Should it appear that contrary to the information you have forwarded to the Department in your telegrams 1786, 1988 and 2203, French authorities do not accept messages in code, please urge that they now do so since the inability of American business interests to use the usual commercial codes is causing them severe losses.