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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa
(1937)

New Zealand,   pp. 203-217 ff. PDF (5.5 MB)


Page 212


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1937, VOLUME II
Samoa, cannot, in view of the public nature of those efforts, be inter-
preted as silence.
  "On the other hand His Britannic Majesty's Ministers, on con-
stant notice of the efforts of the United States Government, continued
to condone the discrimination against American commerce by the
Administrator of Western Samoa, apparently using the American
statute as justification. This state of affairs continued despite the
fact that there existed in the British system no constitutional obstacle
to immediate reinstatement of American commerce on an equal foot-
ing with British commerce in Western Samoa. That state of affairs
continues today, more than two years after the necessary amendment
of the Merchant Marine Act has been effected, and the Government
of the United States would be both surprised and disappointed if
the British Government would condone its further continuance. It
looks to the British Government for a solution of the problem and
would be grateful for a very early response to this note."
  Very truly yours,                   For the Secretary of State:
                                                FRANCIS B. SAYRE
611.62M31/102: Telegram
    The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham) to the
                        Secretary of State
                                  LONDON, March 18, 1937-3 p. m.
                                [Received March 18-11: 15 a. m.]
  153. The note quoted in the Department's instruction 1591 Febru-
ary 8, 1937, was textually transmitted to Foreign Office on February
18.
  In a conversation yesterday at his request with an official of the
Foreign Office it was stated that in the British opinion the subject
matter of the Department's note could be more conveniently treated
if it were presented orally or in an informal communication. If the
British must reply to the signed note as it stands, it was stated that
the reply must be adverse to the contentions of the United States and
that it would be difficult to avoid "asperities."
  In the British view, the whole question resolves itself to whether
or not His Majesty is fulfilling international British obligations in
Western Samoa. If these obligations are not being fulfilled by His
Majesty's Government in New Zealand, it is immaterial whether the
New Zealand action is based or not upon advice from law officers of
the Crown in London. The point was made and somewhat insisted
upon that action in this matter has been entirely that of New Zealand
without pressure from London which has merely offered legal advice
upon request of the New Zealand Government.
  The Foreign Office gave no indication of what the reply would be
if the communication were made in an informal manner. It is quite
212


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