710. Consultation (3)A/46: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson)9

253. For Spaeth from Chapin. Your No. 4. Embassy’s No. 315, April 27, 6 p.m.10 Since an informal canvass of the views of the intelligence services indicates that for reasons which appear substantial to the Department this Government is not prepared at this time to enter into any multilateral arrangement for an exchange of intelligence information, the Department suggests that the provision for the exchange of information “with respect to the nationality, identity and loyalties of seamen and other employees of shipping companies and port authorities” be eliminated from your draft resolution.

Our further suggestions and those of Coast Guard, Naval Intelligence, and War Shipping Administration are contained in following proposed redraft of resolution.

“The Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense resolves to recommend and respectfully urge the Governments of the American Republics: [Page 79]

To prevent persons from engaging in espionage activities with regard to port and dock facilities, the movement and anchorage of ships, their cargoes, routes, and sailing times, and to redouble their efforts to apprehend and punish persons who engage in such activities or who transmit information with respect to such matters, directly or indirectly, to any nation at war with an American Republic, or to a nation subservient thereto, by any means of communication.
To exercise a greater degree of care in the employment of all personnel of shipping companies, port authorities, and other facilities for or enterprises engaged in shipping, waterfront, or harbor activity, and to exercise strict surveillance and control over all such personnel, and over any other persons permitted to enter waterfront areas or to board ship.
To prevent public knowledge of the movement or anchorage of ships, their identities, destinations, cargoes, routes, or sailing times by:
Prohibiting the publication or disclosure of such information through newspapers, trade circulars, journals, or periodicals, through shipping and other commercial documents and correspondence of exporters, importers, and shipping companies, through radio, or through any other means; and
By adopting adequate rules and regulations to prohibit and punish the giving of such information inadvertently, through careless or unguarded talk, by individuals who receive such information in the course of their duties, or otherwise.
To transmit to the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense pertinent information as to the methods now being employed by national, state and local authorities with respect to the matters to which reference is made in this recommendation; such information to be provided on specific request, and subject to normal security considerations.”

Revisions in paragraph 4 were proposed by Naval Intelligence.

We are endeavoring to obtain from Naval and Maritime authorities the information you request concerning shipping practices and the statement of methods called for by paragraph 4 of the resolution. This will require some time, but will expedite as much as possible. [Chapin.]

  1. Notation on file copy, apparently by drafting officer: “This telegram is based on a rough draft prepared by Mr. L. M. C. Smith of the Justice Department and cleared by him with the Navy Department and the Maritime Commission.”
  2. Not printed.