File No. 811.607 G/289.
Washington, September 17, 1913.
To the diplomatic officers of the United States.
Gentlemen: The Department by its circular of February 5, 1912,1 invited, in pursuance of the Joint Resolution of Congress approved February 15, 1911, and on behalf of the Government and people of the United States, the nations of the earth to participate in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition to be held at San Francisco, California, in 1915, for the purpose of celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal; and it directed you to communicate the President’s invitation to the Governments to which you are accredited.
Congress, in the Naval Appropriation Act approved March 4, 1911, provided further, as follows:
The President is further authorized and respectfully requested, in extending his invitation to the foreign nations in pursuance of the aforesaid joint resolution of Congress, to invite their representatives and their fleets to assemble at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and from thence come to the city of Washington, there to be formally welcomed by the President; and, at the conclusion of the ceremonies at Washington, the President is requested to proceed to Hampton Roads and there review the assembled fleets as they start on their voyage to the city of San Francisco.
In pursuance of the above provision, you are now instructed to convey to the Governments to which you are accredited an invitation from the President to send representatives and as many of their national war vessels as they may deem proper to Hampton Roads, Virginia, to arrive there early in 1915, at a date to be subsequently communicate).
The President will, as contemplated by the Act, welcome the representatives of the foreign nations accepting the invitation on their arrival at Washington, and on the conclusion of the ceremonies at the capital the President will proceed to Hampton Roads where he will review the assembled fleets as they start on their voyage to San Francisco, where they will take part in the opening of the Panama-Pacific Exposition.[Page 14]
In communicating this invitation to the Governments to which you are accredited, you will express the pleasure which the President would feel should they decide to accept it by appointing representatives and by sending as many of their national war vessels as they may deem proper to assemble at Hampton Roads as above indicated.
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