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Raymond B. Stevens, Vice-Chairman, United States Shipping Board and United States Representative, Allied Maritime Transport Council, and George Rublee, United States Representative, Allied Maritime Transport Council, to Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, United States Shipping Board and Philip A. S. Franklin, Chairman of the Shipping Control Committee in New York

Chronological Copy.                           File No. <42-2-4>

Cablegram Sent 3 <4> Sept 1918   LOR

To Discom New York                            Serial No. SM 497

Prep. by S-3                   Curtin D.R.


Shipmission 497. To Hurley, Franklin. Ship Control Committee 15. We are unable to understand your cablegram about Danish ships chartered to the Italians. Please see cable sent from State Department to American Embassy dated August 10th, Number 336-A,1 concerning negotiations with the Danes. From this cable it appears that there are 114,000 tons chartered to Great Britain for war zone service and in addition 56,000 tons which have been running mainly to Italian ports from the United States. This makes a total of 170,000 deadweight tons now in war zone trade for the Allies. When the agreement is perfected England will receive full 200,000 tons. Apparently the 56,000 tons which have been running for Italian account will be counted as part of England’s share of Danish tonnage under the fifty-fifty agreement.

          If this is true we cannot understand why War Trade Board and Shipping Board are refusing to approve the renewal of charters to the Italians of these 56,000 tons Danish ships.

          If our understanding of the situation is correct we earnestly recommend that these charters be approved. If not, please explain to us fully the present situation about Danish tonnage and wherein we are incorrect and the reason why you consider it advisable to withhold your approval of these charters.

          Any military operations on the Italian Front will occur during the months of September or October and for this reason it is important that Italy should not now be deprived of the use of any tonnage heretofore in her service.2  Stevens, Rublee 022504 SM 497.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 2: In a reply of 10 September, Hurley and Franklin wrote that it was the need for shipping to supply the American Expeditionary Forces that caused them to divert the vessels away from Italy. Ibid.

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