562.8F4/11: Telegram

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

4218. From Cumming. Department’s 3561, June 8.9 Whaling.

Foreign Office informs me that no agreement has as yet been reached between Norwegian Government and British Government departments concerned as to whether whaling conference will be held in the near future or postponed until October. In latter event, however, no final decision will be made until U.S. Government has been consulted.
Reasons for postponement and general picture are somewhat confused but one factor appears to be Norwegian concern over reported plan of two Swedish companies to construct factory ships with a view to engaging in whaling. According to Collier, British Ambassador to Norwegian Government, the Norwegians feel that, if the convention were revised at present, the Swedes would desire to adhere to it and thereby be in a position to take part in the whaling industry as soon as conditions were favorable. If revision of the convention is postponed until October, it is believed it will be impossible at that time for Swedes to obtain ships’ plates from Germany for construction of factory ships.
Collier implied that British Government was sympathetic to the Norwegian attitude and was opposed to countries not previously engaged in whaling industry taking advantage of the war to gain a foothold therein.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Lie has expressed through Ambassador Biddle10 a desire to see me June 28 to give me Norwegian point of view.
Commander Richmond, U. S. Coast Guard, who attended previous whaling conference as technical adviser, is now in London and informs me that he was told informally before leaving Washington that he might he designated technical adviser to the U.S. delegation to whaling conference. I recommend that his status as technical adviser be regularized in order that Allison may have the benefit of his help after I leave London next week. [Cumming.]
  1. Not printed; it contained information of the designation of the delegation to the Conference (562.8 F4/9a).
  2. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., accredited to the Governments of Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Greece, established in England.