740.00111 A.R./380a: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the American Delegate ( Welles )
24. According to our latest data, at the present time there are at least 80 German vessels in the ports of the American republics and Dutch possessions. Under the terms as they now stand of the proposed declaration establishing the so-called safety zone, these vessels and any other German vessels that might slip into ports of the American countries could engage in coast wise trade within the zone. This possibility raises a number of important questions. For instance, the entry into the carrying trade between the Americas of all of these ships might create serious complications and hardship for American shipping regularly engaged in this service. Moreover, considering the large number of vessels involved, what attitude might be expected from the British and French who seem intent upon bottling up in port all German shipping.
Would you be good enough to give me the thoughts you may have on these and any other related questions?