Mr. Adee to Count Cassini.


Referring to my telegram of yesterday, I have the honor to advise you that the President feels constrained to reach an immediate solution [Page 786] of the question whether the Lena shall be repaired immediately so as to put to sea or be disarmed and laid up until the close of the war. If repaired, only such bare repairs can be allowed as may be necessary for seaworthiness and for taking her back to nearest home port, and even such repairs can be permitted only on condition that they do not prove to be too extensive. If disarmed she will be laid up at the Mare Island Navy-Yard. Inspection made by United States officers at San Francisco discloses that the repairs asked for include complete outfit of new boilers and reconstruction of engines, consuming at least four or five months, or according to the captain’s estimate, eight months, and amounting to renovation of the vessel. This can not be allowed with due regard to neutrality. An immediate answer is desired, as the matter is urgent. A decision between the two alternatives should be made so that this Government may close the incident not later than to-morrow.

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary of State.