The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Uruguay ( Chapin )
56. Your 148, April 7, 6 p.m.2 Please inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs3 that the Government of the United States coincides [Page 186] in the opinion expressed by the Government of Uruguay as to the desirability of an inter-American exchange of views with regard to the problem created by the presence of immobilized merchant ships in the ports of the American Republics.
This Government inclines to the view that the most expeditious and the most satisfactory means afforded in order that the desired exchange of views may take place promptly would be the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee of Washington. It would seem highly desirable that this Committee be utilized in order to exchange views between all of the American Governments in this regard, and, since the Committee is in continuous session, the matter could be taken up immediately. Such discussion, it is hoped, might lead to an identity of views as to the course to be followed by each individual American Republic. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay knows, it is the desire of the Chief Executive of the United States that he be accorded powers by the Congress to requisition foreign flag merchant ships now in American ports. It is anticipated that this question will be taken up by the Congress as soon as it reconvenes after its present brief holiday.
The present consideration by the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee of the problem will, of course, in no way prevent any future consultative meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics from giving further consideration to the question.
Consequently, the United States Government will be glad to support any initiative which the Government of Uruguay might take in recommending to the other American Republics that the problem of immobilized merchant shipping in American ports be brought up for immediate discussion before the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee with the understanding, of course, that the Committee itself in accordance with its functions will not be empowered to reach any decisions but will merely formulate recommendations to the respective American Governments.