811.20 Defense (M)/105: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Murphy)

108. The following telegram dated July 18, 7 p.m. received from Hanoi: [Page 652]

“I have just been informed by the Governor General that a telegram has been received from the French naval headquarters at Saigon to the effect that the French Admiralty in France has telegraphed forbidding the exportation of the wolfram (1200 tons) and antimony (400 tons) seized on the Soviet vessel Selenga. The Birmingham City sailed from Haiphong today for Saigon to load the above described ores.”

In as much as this Government has purchased all of the wolfram and antimony owned by the Chinese Government in storage in French Indochina it is presumed that these purchases include the lots mentioned above. In view of the assurances given you by the French Government (reported in your 18, July 5, 8 a.m.) it is assumed that the reported action of the French Admiralty is due to a lack of knowledge of the situation or some misunderstanding which can be readily clarified by the French Government. Please request that the French Government take the necessary action to free these shipments from any restriction, and that appropriate instructions be sent to the Governor General and the naval authorities in Indochina. Please report by telegraph.