740.00111A Combat Areas/231

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Hickerson)

Mr. Ashton-Gwatkin came in to see me this morning at twelve o’clock following a meeting in Mr. Grady’s office. He said that he wished to tell me about his conversation in Ottawa in respect to a contraband control station. He said that the Canadian Ministers are not particularly happy about having a contraband control station located in Canada. He said that they will not make any decision on the subject until after the elections next Tuesday, March 26, but that after considering Halifax, Saint John, New Brunswick, Shelburne, Nova Scotia and eliminating these three ports, it now appears likely that the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia will receive serious consideration. He commented that Sydney is north of the neutrality belt and not subject to objection on that score. He said there was a good harbor there, and facilities were, he understood, satisfactory.

He then referred to the information which I had given Mr. Butler yesterday45 to the effect that Saint John’s, Newfoundland was, subject to the general reservations which I had made, the least objectionable port for a contraband control station from the American point of view. He inquired whether Sydney, Nova Scotia might not be no more objectionable to us than Saint John’s, Newfoundland. I told him that I would confer with Messrs. Dunn and Berle, and let him know our joint conclusion.

  1. Memorandum of conversation not printed.