740.00111A Combat Areas/142: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

267. My 265, January 29, 7 p.m. Personal for the President from Naval Person.

“I trust that the information I gave you last night about the orders sent to British ships will not be made known until measures have been concerted which will remove appearance of discrimination. It has been pointed out to me that my signal to fleet can only be maintained if measures are taken to ensure in advance of their departure that United States ships carry no objectional cargo. Moreover, in exceptional cases it may be necessary to divert United States ships if we have definite ground for suspicion against them. It would be most helpful if same arrangement could be reached with Lothian on these lines, and meanwhile all publicity avoided.”