U.S. Coast Guard Oral History Program

Telephone conversation between Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Sec. of Treasury, and Commander E.G. Rose, USCG

Date: June 6, 1939

Time: 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.