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Transcript of telephone conversation between Henry Morgenthau, Jr. [HMJr.], the Secretary of the Treasury and Cordell Hull [H], the Secretary of State, on June 6, 1939, regarding the SS St. Louis affair:

HMJr:        Hello.

Operator:  Secretary Hull.

HMJr:        Thank you.

O:              Go ahead.

Hull:           Hello.

HMJr:        Cordell. . . . .

H:              Yes, sir.

HMJr:        How are you?

H:              Good!

HMJr:        I'm calling up again about this St. Louis, the German boat.

H:              Yes.

HMJr:        And my friends called me from New York and they said they were having some trouble, the Cubans were demanding cash.

H:             Yes, they haven't been able to work out that question.

HMJr:       Uh-huh.

H:             Of course, the situation, you see, is that the -- the folks in New York don't want any money to get in the hands of the Cubans and the Cubans do.

HMJr:       Yeah.

H:             That's the problem -- that's the problem we've got.

HMJr:       Well, are the people in New York right or wrong?

H:             Well, it's a question.  I -- of course, we would like to have it worked out that way.  I'd like to see it worked out that way; if we -- if we can't get them to do it, I don't know -- then it's a question of some kind of compromise proposition, you see.

HMJr:       Put up half cash and half. . . . . . 

H:             Well, something that way -- yes.

HMJr:       I see.

H:             Yes.  That's the way it would seem.

HMJr:       Uh-huh.  They also tell me they don't know where the boat is.

H:             Well, I -- of course, I take it that it won't get -- it won't get away far.  I don't imagine so.

HMJr:       Do you think it would be proper to have Coast Guard look for it?

H:             For the boat?  I don't see any reason, if they -- if they haven't found it, I don't see any reason why it couldn't.

HMJr:       Yeah.  Well, I thought -- I read in the papers that. . . . . .

H:             You wouldn't have to put that in the newspapers.

HMJr:       Oh, no.  No, no.  They would just -- oh, they might send a plane out to do patrol work.

H:             Yes, yes, of course.

HMJr:       There would be nothing in the papers.

H:             No.

HMJr:      No.

H:             Oh, that would be all right.

HMJr:      But you -- are they doing everything, you think, from New York, that they should?

H:            So far as I have been able to see.

HMJr:      I see.

H:            My men -- I've talked with them two or three times today in here, and they are keeping in touch with the Government side and they are working down there. . . . . .

HMJr:      Yeah.

H:             . . . . . . with the -- with the man who represents the New York people.

HMJr:      That's right.

H:             I forget his name.

HMJr:      Well -- well then, you haven't -- you haven't -- there's nothing that I could do, or that they should do?

H:            Nothing I see right now.  If I can find out anything I'll let you know in a half an hour or so.

HMJr:      Thank you so much.

H:             Yeah.

HMJr:      Thank you.

H:             Yeah.

HMJr:      Good bye.

Last Modified 1/12/2016