851B.24/57: Telegram

The Consul General in Martinique ( Malige ) to the Secretary of State

63. Department’s 33, February 11. Captains Benech and Roques88 have just handed me a note from Admiral Robert, still in hospital, requesting us to have the port authorities at New Orleans intervene with a view to the cargo being loaded and the vessel departing for Martinique, but with a new master.

The Admiral requests that officers and crew be informed that he has considered their wishes, that he continues as in the past 3½ years to watch over their safety and defense as over that of the Antilles, and that in compromising the feeding of these possessions they do not help the Allied cause.

In any case Admiral Robert points out that the Guadeloupe is French property and that he reserves the right to send a new crew to take possession should the present strike continue.

I informed the two officers as in the last sentence of Department’s 33, but had difficulty reassuring them. They admitted that they had no illusions about the success of the above démarche with us. I said that a satisfactory solution of present negotiations would doubtless bring the ship back here.

  1. Roger Roques, a member of Admiral Robert’s staff.