585.61B1/597a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba (Messersmith)34

212. Department’s 178, July 11,35 regarding Load Line Convention. In view of the delay that is being experienced in bringing about an [Page 490] understanding of the character referred to in the above telegram; also in view of the pressing need for tonnage in the trade between the American republics, particularly tanker facilities for petroleum products the shortage in which has a direct bearing on national and hemispheric defense, this Government is under the necessity of suspending during the present emergency provisions of the Load Line Convention of 1930. During the period of such suspension load lines will be fixed by the Secretary of Commerce under the act of Congress approved March 2, 192936 stipulating that no line shall be established which in the judgment of the Secretary “is above the actual line of safety.”

It is very much hoped that the Government to which you are accredited may see its way clear to take similar action or will at least assure you that our vessels when visiting ports of that country will not be interfered with because of non-compliance with the Load Line Convention.

Please take up matter at once with Foreign Office and telegraph report.37

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.
  2. Not printed; but see telegram No. 2524, July 10, to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, p. 487.
  3. 45 Stat. 1492.
  4. Reports from Cuba and the other American Republics not printed. All the countries agreed to the suspension of the convention.