Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Mr. Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs

Supplementing his conversation with me of this morning, Mr. Reid6 telephoned this afternoon and said that he had received an inquiry by telephone from Ottawa as to the procedure we had followed in getting the consent of the Greenland authorities for the opening of an American Consulate at Godthaab, and the form of credentials we would give our Consul, Mr. Penfield.

I told Mr. Reid that we had inquired of the Danish Minister in Washington whether the provisional establishment of an American Consulate in Greenland would be satisfactory, and had received from him a note saying that he had taken the matter up with the Governors of Greenland who said that they would welcome the establishment of such an office and the consular officers assigned to that office.

I told Mr. Reid that in our opinion this constituted provisional recognition of Consul Penfield and Vice Consul West, and that we had no present intention of going any further and having them request of the Greenland authorities formal recognition and the issuance of an exequatur. I also said that we were not at all sure that it would be necessary to issue formal assignment commissions to the two officers concerned, and in fact would have some difficulty in finding the appropriate wording to insert in such commissions if issued.

In reply to my question, Mr. Reid said that he was uncertain whether Ottawa wanted the foregoing information in connection with the assignment of a Canadian Consul or a Canadian Trade Commissioner, [Page 349] but had been told that he would be given definite information to transmit to us by the end of the week.

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  1. Escott Reid, Second Secretary of the Canadian Legation.