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The Secretary of State to J.P. Morgan & Co.
WASHINGTON, November 23, 1925. SIRS: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 18, 1925, regarding your interest in a loan of $100,000,000 to the Government of Italy for stabilization purposes, and to confirm the statement made over the telephone to the effect that in the light of the information before it, the Department of State offers no objection to the flotation of this issue in the American market.
You of course appreciate that, as pointed out in the Department's announcement of March 3, 1922, the Department of State does not pass upon the merits of foreign loans as business propositions nor assume any responsibility in connection with such transactions, also that no reference to the attitude of this Government should be made in any prospectus or otherwise. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
EXPULSION FROM ITALY OF GEORGE SELDES, CORRESPONDENT OF
THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE”
The Ambassador in Italy (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State
ROME, July 22, 1925–5 p. m.
[Received July 22—2:42 p. m.] 119. A note has been received from the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, which states that on account of reports contained in recent telegraphic news despatches sent to the Chicago Tribune by George Seldes, Tribune correspondent at Rome, he is to be considered persona non grata in Italy, and I am requested to inform him that it is considered inadvisable for him to remain here. I have given him this message. Five other correspondents of American newspapers have asked me to request for them an audience with the Under Secretary for a discussion of the situation.
? Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. I, p. 557.
811.91265/9 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy (Fletcher)
WASHINGTON, July 25, 1925—1 p. m. 91. Your 119, July 22, 5 p. m. Chicago Tribune has informed Department that it has reason to fear that Mr. George Seldes' life or physical safety is imperilled in connection with his threatened expulsion or deportation from Rome.
You should urge the Foreign Office to delay action in the case until a thorough investigation has been made, and express the hope that no violent measures may be resorted to for which the Italian Government might be held responsible.
811.91265/12 : Telegram
The Ambassador in Italy (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State
ROME, July 27, 1925—4 p. m.
[Received July 27–1:05 p. m.] 121. Embassy's telegram No. 119 of July 22, 5 p. m. I have taken up Seldes case with the Foreign Office and as Italian Government has decided definitely that he must leave, I have arranged that 10 days from July 25 be given him to prepare for his departure. Should he fail to leave within specified time, he will be expelled. I have communicated this to Seldes, who states that he wishes to have from the police or some governmental agency a written notice to depart, upon receipt of which he will go. The chief of the press section of the Foreign Office stated today that he would be given this notice.
Seldes wishes a document in writing which he may be able to use in writing up his expulsion from Italy. I anticipate no violent measures as matters now stand.
The Ambassador in Italy (Fletcher) to the Secretary of State No. 542
ROME, July 28, 1925.
[Received August 10.] SIR: With reference to my telegram No. 119 of July 22, 5 p. m. and No. 121 of July 27, 4 p. m., and to the Department's No. 91 of July 25, 1 p. m., concerning the expulsion by the Italian Government of Mr. George Seldes, correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, I have the honor to report as follows:
On June 4th last the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Grandi, addressed a personal letter to me, the translation of which is herewith enclosed, stating that Mr. Seldes had sent to his paper on the previous evening a telegram, a copy of which was enclosed' which the Italian Government considered as being of an alarmist nature. The letter added that while the Italian Government wished the foreign correspondents to enjoy all freedom of action, it considered it a duty to urge against sending unnecessarily alarmist reports. The report of Mr. Seldes above referred to was a summing up of events attendant upon the killing of Matteotti 10 and stating that matters would reach a crisis on June 10th, the first anniversary of the assassination. His report further stated that all Italy was excited, that a clash was expected and that many wondered whether Parliament would be a scene of bloodshed.
The substance of this letter was made known to Mr. Seldes who promptly addressed a letter of explanation to Mr. Grandi, thereby temporarily relieving the Embassy of further action in the matter.
On July 18th, however, I received a second and far more drastic communication from the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, stating that in view of certain recent telegrams sent by Mr. Seldes to his paper he could no longer be considered as persona grata in Italy. He therefore requested that I so inform Mr. Seldes, in order that he might understand the situation and leave without a definite writ of expulsion being served on him by the police. A translation of Mr. Grandi's letter together with Mr. Seldes reports which were objected to are herewith enclosed.11
Acting upon this letter from Mr. Grandi, I immediately sent for Mr. Seldes and communicated the contents of the letter, furnishing him with a copy of it. Mr. Seldes accepted the decision with little comment but on leaving my office he conferred with his colleagues of the American Press who, shortly after in a jointly signed note to me, requested that I make an appointment for them to meet Mr. Grandi.
At my next visit to the Foreign Office I made this request of Mr. Grandi, and was informed by him that he was willing to receive the American correspondents provided they made no protest concerning the expulsion of Mr. Seldes. He explained further that his purpose in writing to me concerning Mr. Seldes was to have me convey to him a hint that he was no longer persona grata and that he should leave Italy, thus relieving the Italian Government of the necessity of taking more drastic measures. I replied that if the Italian Gov
*Not printed. Not enclosed with the despatch. 10 Opposition deputy alleged to have been murdered by Fascists in June 1924. Not printed.
ernment had definitely decided upon the expulsion of Mr. Seldes, I would again inform him. I urged, however, that he should be given time to make proper arrangements for his departure, to which Mr. Grandi agreed, stipulating that he would be given ten days from the 25th of July, but that if he had not left Italy by that time the Italian Government would be compelled to adopt other measures.
On the day following my interview with Mr. Grandi, he received the American Press correspondents. I have been given no report of this meeting but no change of purpose as regards Mr. Seldes' expulsion was made known. I therefore again informed Mr. Seldes that he must prepare to go, which he agreed to do. He said, however, that he would like to have a definite order or request to leave which he could show to his Chief. Accordingly, this request was made today by a member of the Embassy staff to the Chief of the Press Section of the Foreign Office, who stated that a written document would be given to Mr. Seldes.
Mr. Seldes has today informed me that he proposes to leave Italy on July 29th for Paris, en route to Vienna where he has been transferred by his paper.
I have [etc.]
HENRY P. FLETCHER
NEGOTIATIONS CONCERNING THE FIRESTONE RUBBER CONCESSION
AND FINANCE CORPORATION OF AMERICA LOAN
882.6176 F 51/75
The Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Castle) to
the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, April 8, 1924. THE SECRETARY: I had a talk late yesterday afternoon with Mr. Hines, Secretary of the Firestone Company.
He tells me that the reports brought by their agents from Liberia are very optimistic and that Mr. Firestone, unless something unforeseen occurs, is planning within the next two months to draw up a suggestion for a substantial loan [and] to make a proposition to the Liberian Government. His aim is to use this money so far as possible to build up the country in the way it was planned to do under the old government loan."
W. R. C[ASTLE,] Jr.
882.6176 F 51/207
Mr. W. D. Hines to the Liberian Secretary of State (Barclay)?
MONROVIA, June 5, 1924. EXCELLENCY: I have the honour to submit to you for the consideration of the Government of the Republic of Liberia the enclosed Proposals : on behalf of Mr. Harvey S. Firestone of Akron, Ohio, U. S. A. for the leasing of land and establishment of certain public improvements.
In respectfully requesting your consideration of these proposals I beg permission to state that they represent a most sound and equitable basis for the establishment of a large and successful rubber growing industry in the Republic of Liberia. With expressions [etc.]
* For correspondence concerning the proposed Government loan, see Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. m, pp. 49 ff. ; 1921, vol. II, pp. 363 ff.; and 1922, vol. II, pp. 606 ff.
The text of this letter and the texts of the four letters which immediately follow are printed from Firestone Proposals: Correspondence and Draft Agreements [Monrovia, n. d.), a copy of which was enclosed with despatch No. 348, Mar. 13, 1926, from the Chargé in Liberia. *Not printed.