702.6282/34: Telegram

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

5474. Department’s 3806, August 12, 8 p.m. Foreign Office states that to the best of its knowledge telegrams normally are sent from Monrovia to Konakri over a French cable which passes along the west African coast from Cotonou. From Konakri messages can be sent by cable over the three following routes:

by way of Dakar, Casablanca and Marseilles (or Brest);
by way of Dakar and Brest;
by way of Freetown, Ascension, Cape Verde and Carcavelos.

The cable between Konakri and Freetown, Foreign Office adds, has been interrupted since July 13 and consequently no telegrams of the German Consul could recently have been sent via this route. As a matter of fact the Foreign Office adds none went that way for some weeks before its interruption.

Foreign Office also informs us that the cable passing from Dakar to Brest has for some time been cut.

With reference to the foregoing Foreign Office says that it should explain that if the cable communication between Konakri and Freetown were open it would not be the policy of the British authorities to stop messages from going that way because if they did so they would only be forcing messages into channels over which they had no control at all.

In pointing out that transmission by wireless remains open to the German Consul, Foreign Office adds that only by denying German [Page 428] Consul cipher privileges can his wireless messages be at all controlled.