862.8591/704: Telegram

The Ambassador in Mexico (Daniels) to the Secretary of State

16. This morning’s Mexico City newspaper carried a report that the Tine Asmussen at Puerto Mexico has been sold to Petroleos Mexicanos. A preliminary check of this information is as follows:

The Foreign Office in answer to an inquiry by the French Legation states that it has no information of any transfer although in a previous conversation with Beteta2 the French Chargé d’Affaires was told that the Mexican Government was interested in acquiring German tankers in Mexican ports.

Beteta is said to have informed the French Chargé that in the event negotiations went [through?] the French Government would be notified before the purchase was made. Official of Petroleos Mexicanos advises me that the purchase is being negotiated but is not yet closed.

Wohl of W. R. Davis and Company says that the Tine Asmussen originally belonged to Norwegian interests; was chartered but not bought by a German interest and the flag changed to German 4 months before the outbreak of the present war in Europe; that Davis then subchartered the vessel. He says that he talked with Davis by telephone this morning and the latter expressed his willingness to concur in the sale and is communicating by telephone or cable with the German interests today.

Please compare the foregoing with the Embassy’s telegram 328 of October 18, 7 p.m., and 342 of October 25, 6 p.m.3

Lloyd’s Register carries in additions and alterations of September 4, 1939 the Tine Asmussen as owned by Haltermann and Company, Hamburg.

Wohl says that Davis is to telephone him tomorrow regarding his concurrence in the sale.

[Page 409]

The French Legation expect to talk with Beteta about the matter today and will endeavor to obtain further information for the French Government. The Secretary of the French Legation states that the French and British Governments have already indicated that they would not agree to recognize a change in nationality of German vessels in Mexican ports.

  1. Ramon Beteta, Mexican Under Secretary of State.
  2. Neither printed.