585.61B1/583: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

2699. Your 3084, July 18, 4 p.m., regarding load lines. The Department’s proposal apparently misunderstood. It did not contemplate a modification of the convention in line with paragraph 1 of article XX, rather it contemplated suspension only as between the powers assenting thereto. The Department did not expect that the [Page 489] British Government would undertake to obtain consent of its enemies but did expect that it would promptly obtain consent of its Dominions, colonies and allies as well as the American republics that are parties and that such consent would be obtained by telegraph where necessary. With this in mind the Department communicated the suggestion to the American republics that are parties, all of which appear to be awaiting request from the British.

In view of urgent need of additional tonnage it is surprising that action in line with the Department’s suggestion, which is believed to be simplest method of procedure, has not been taken.

Please explain matter to Foreign Office in this sense and report results.