Coast Guard History

Frequently Asked Questions

Transcript of telephone conversation between Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the Secretary mf the Treasury and Commander E. G. Rose, USCG, the Coast Guard representative at Coast Guapd Headquarters, June 6, 1939:

3:59 PM

HMJr: Hello.

Operator: Commander Rose, acting in Admiral Waesche's place.

HMJr: All right. Hello.

E.G. Rose: Hello. Commander Rose, sir.

HMJr: Oh yes, Commander Rose, this is the Secretary speaking.

R: Yes, sir.

HMJr. I've seen in the papers that out of Fort Lauderdale you've been

trailing the German ship, the St. Louis.

R: Yes, sir.

HMJr: Do you know where she is located now?

R: I haven't seen anything on it today, but I believe the first was off

Miami and the vessel turned back from trailing her somewhere

down toward Key West.

HMJr: Well, I'd like to know, if you can find out where she is, hello?

R: Yes, sir.

HMJr: I don't-I want you to treat it confidentially. See, so that nothing

gets out that I'm interested.

R: I see.

HMJr: But I-spoke to Mr. Hull about it and I understand they can't locate

the boat, you see.

R: All right, sir.

HMJr: Now, I'd like-if you can handle this mission confidentially send a-

a radio both to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, would you? I suppose

you work out of St. Petersburg?

R: No, St. Petersburg, Key West, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.

HMJr: Yeah, but-but handle the thing so there will be no kick-back and

no publicity on it.

R: I see. Well, we can send it in a tight code and safeguard it, I'm quite


HMJr: Yes, and see if they can locate the St. Louis.

R: All right, sir. And would you like to be notified.....

HMJr: Yes.

R: ......when the mission comes in or will.......

HMJr: Yes, I want to be notified right away.

R: All right, sir. I'll take care of it.

HMJr: And if I'm out-at the dinner tonight, let McKay get word to me when I get back.

R: All right, sir.

HMJr: But handle it so that there's no comeback on it, please.

R: All right, sir. I'll take care of that.

HMJr: You can understand.

R: Yes, sir.

HMJr: Thank you. But I want-I want to locate it.

R: All right, sir; we'll do all that we can.

HMJr: Thank you.

R: All right, sir.

Original transcript is at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde Park, NY in the Henry Morgenthau Jr. Papers, Volume 194.

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Last Modified 10/10/2012