Page images
PDF
EPUB

ment signed by him shall be considered canceled, the request for such signature having been made under a misapprehension. If such action can be thus taken by the Department informally, the note of the Minister of Marine will not be delivered and the incident will be considered closed without any record of offense being felt by the Argentine Government.

I regard this matter of instant and pressing necessity, since unless the Department feels itself in a position to take the above-mentioned action a formal recognition by the Argentine Government will follow....

I understand that the whole matter will be suspended until a reasonable time is given for the reception of a reply from the Department.

STIMSON

File No. 635.119/406
The Ambassador in Argentina (F. J. Stimson) to the Secretary of

State

[Telegram]
BUENOS AIRES, April 30, 1918, 11 a. m.

[Received 3.56 p. m.] My April 9, 4 p. m. Naón tells me that the Argentine Government is anxiously awaiting a reply to their formal [informal?] complaint concerning treatment of Argentine transports in the United States. In view of the fact that this complaint was made known to me for transmission to the Department with the idea of receiving a statement from the Government of the United States and thereby preventing the sending of a formal protest by the Minister of Marine, I beg to call the attention of the Department to the urgency of this matter, which Naon says is being taken very seriously by his Government.

STIMSON

File No. 635.119/406
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (F. J.

Stimson)
[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, May 3, 1918, 4 p. m. Your April 9, 4 p. m., and April 30, 11 a. m. Chaco case.

Chaco case. At the request of the Department the War Trade Board has furnished the following summary in this case:

Capt. Julian Irizar, President of the Argentine Naval Commission, called upon Board on or about February 1, at the time our new

rules and regulations were published, and asked if we would agree to certain modifications of the General Rules in applying them to the Argentine naval transports Chaco, Pampa, and Guardia Nacional, which were actually owned by his Government but used as transports now in the movement of cargo between America and Argentina.

He voluntarily stated that provided they were exempted from agreeing to guarantee conditions mentioned in paragraphs(k), (2), (0), (p) and (s), which he thought should not apply to vessels belonging to a friendly government, he was quite willing to sign Bunker Form B-4.

We stated that the alterations desired by him would be quite satisfactory, and he thereupon said he would execute the agreement and send it in with the necessary modifications stated thereon. We attach hereto an exact copy of the agreement as received from him.

This is all that has ever been received from him, and when these transports have applied they have been granted licenses upon receipt of the regular form of application which was adopted on February 1 for use on vessels of all nationalities, including neutral, Allied and American. The files show that the Chaco was granted a license early in February

The message received from the Argentine does not fit in with any facts known to us.

The copy of the agreement referred to above, signed by Irizar, is as follows:

At the request of the War Trade Board, and in view of the fact that the existing war conditions have rendered necessary some control, by the United States Government, of vessels using United States ports, and in view of the further fact that such vessels will require licenses during the period of the war for bunker fuel and port, sea, and ship's stores and supplies, it is hereby promised and agreed that each and every vessel owned, chartered, or controlled by the undersigned will comply with and be bound by each and every one of the rules and regulations of the Bureau of Transportation of the War Trade Board issued in connection with the granting of licenses for bunker fuel, port, sea, and ship's stores and supplies

. Signed, J. Irizar, Owner, Time Charterer, Agent. President of the Argentine Naval Commission.

The signer, Capt. Julian Irizar, President of the Argentine Naval Commission, which represents in this country, the Navy Department of Argentine, begs to state that the ships referred to in this “Agreement "ply only between the ports of Argentine and the United States and they are transports forming part of the Argentine Navy. As such they are commanded by naval officers. Consequently, the writer considers that this Commission ought to be exempted from giving some of the guarantees mentioned in this “Agreement” such as those of paragraphs (k), (), (), (P), and (s) of General Rules No. 1, which we could not give, for, as stated before, these ships are not privately owned, but belong to a friendly government. The ships

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

herein referred to are: Argentine naval transports Chaco, Pampa, and Guardia Nacional.

Their commanders are, respectively, Lieut. Commander Dalmiro Saenz, Commander Jorge Campos Urquiza, and Lieut. Commander José Guisasola.

According to our Navy Department regulations, however, the commanders and officers of these transports are relieved periodically, and sometimes then [they] only make one trip. Signed, J. Irizar.

Paragraphs (k), (2), (6), (p), and (s) of General Rules No. 1 above referred to are as follows:

(k) The owner or charterer shall, upon request to do so by the War Trade Board, dispense with the services of the master, officers, or any members of the crew.

(1) No vessel shall proceed on any voyage or be chartered on trip or time charter without the previous_consent of the War Trade Board or the Inter-Allied Chartering Executive.

(0) No vessel shall be bought or sold without the previous approval of the United States Shipping Board, War Trade Board, or of the Inter-Allied Chartering Executive.

(P) No vessel shall be laid up in port without the approval of the War Trade Board or the Inter-Allied Chartering Executive.

(8) A report in duplicate shall be furnished to the War Trade Board each month, showing in detail the movement of all vessels subject to these regulations.

This Government understood at the time the vessel was here, and you so state in your telegram, that she is carrying on operations of a commercial nature, and although a Government vessel under the naval flag of Argentina she is carrying cargoes for freight in the ordinary course of merchant marine service. If this is so, the Government of the United States feels that it is justified in applying the same restrictions to vessels of that class, even though owned or operated by a foreign government under a naval flag, as to ordinary merchant vessels engaged in commerce. Any other view would allow merchant vessels to avoid the regulations of the United States in respect to exports and bunkers which have, as the Argentine Government knows, been given the most careful consideration by the United States and only adopted under the pressure of the necessity for conserving American products for itself and its cobelligerents, and of preventing the use of such commodities by the enemies of the United States. These restrictions have been applied generally even to vessels of the belligerents associated with the United States in the war, as well as to vessels of neutral countries. Other countries have requested the exemption of merchant vessels operated by the government from the imposition of municipal restrictions on account of the alleged immunity of national vessels from such treatment in

59665—33—53

foreign ports. This Government, however, has consistently replied to the effect that such vessels are not entitled to a treatment assimilated to that accorded to vessels of war, nor to exemption from local laws and regulations governing merchant vessels in foreign ports; for, stated generally, they should in equity be regarded as subjecting themselves to the inconveniences arising from engaging in commerce, if they are also to reap the benefits and enjoy the rights of trade.?

I feel sure that when the Argentine Government reconsiders this matter from the point of view which I have endeavored to set forth, it will agree with me as to the equity and justice of the attitude which this Government is inclined to take with respect to the Chaco, in so far as the facts regarding her have been presented to and are understood by the Department, and that no principle of international law or practice was violated by the treatment which she received at Boston, Philadelphia, or other American ports.

As to the U.S.S. Glacier, I am advised by the Navy Department that she is a regularly commissioned armed vessel of the Navy, employed solely as a supply ship for the United States naval forces in the South Atlantic, under the direct command of Admiral Caperton, and included in his forces, and that she carries no cargo for freight, sale, or traffic, and has never done so. Her status, therefore, is purely a military one, and quite distinct from that of vessels under government control or ownership which are operated in the interest of commerce.

You should informally bring the above to the attention of the Argentine Government, pointing out that this Government accorded to the Chaco and to the President of the Argentine Naval Commission exceptional privileges which have been refused even to representatives of those countries associated with us in the war and that apparently the President of the Argentine Naval Commission appreciated the efforts of this Government in the premises.

LANSING

File No. 635.119/470
The Ambassador in Argentina (F. J. Stimson) to the Secretary of

State

[Telegram]
BUENOS AIRES, May 18, 1918, 10 a. m.

[Received 11.50 a. m. Your May 3, 4 p. m. I delivered the substance of these instructions to Naon and last night the Minister of Marine informally

a

The substance of this paragraph was included in a telegram to the Ambassador in Chile, Oct. 19, 1918, in reply to representations made by the Chilean Government with reference to its vessels. (File No. 825.3311/-.)

told me that the Argentine Government would consider the explanation entirely satisfactory and the incident closed.

STIMSON

File No. 800.88/179
The Secretary of State to the Italian Ambassador (Macchi di

Cellere)

WASHINGTON, November 4, 1918. MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: I have received your note of August 29, enclosing a copy of your communication of June 26, 1918, in which you state that in order to protect the general interest by utilizing the Allied shipping to its fullest extent, your Government has agreed with the British Government that the immobilization of ships on account of legal proceedings should be prevented at all costs; that the interests of the Allied cause ought to be regarded as sufficient to override, for the time being, all interests of private citizens; and that following this principle already applied by British courts, no libel will be allowed in Italian or English ports when the ships are requisitioned by, or in the service of the respective Governments, and you express the desire of your Government that the Federal authorities should accept upon the basis of reciprocity, the principle above set forth in conferring immunity from arrest or libel upon any ships in the service of any Allied Government.

In reply, I beg to state that the question of the immunity from legal proceedings in the courts of the United States of ships requisitioned by the Italian Government in the present war, has already received the careful consideration of this Government while a neutral. This Government considers that the observations made on this subject in its notes to your Embassy in the Attualità case 2 are applicable to the vessels to which it is understood your proposal relates. The Government of the United States, although now a cobelligerent, perceives no reason for modifying the views set forth in these notes, particularly the note of October 26, 1916, and adheres to the attitude indicated therein.

I may point out that since the courts in this country would doubtless entertain a proper application of the owner to release under bond, pending final disposition of the case, any vessel of the class included in the proposal under consideration which might be involved in litigation, no serious delay nor inconvenience need be experienced by reason of legal proceedings of the sort indicated against these requisitioned ships. I am [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

Not printed.
See Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 1, pp. 675-687.

2

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »