File No. 811.607G/443.


To the diplomatic officers of the United States:

Gentlemen: On September 17, 1913, the Department addressed to the diplomatic officers of the United States a circular in which, pursuant to the provision in the Naval Appropriation Act approved March 4, 1911, they were instructed to convey to the Governments to which they are accredited an invitation from the President of the United States 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 communicated for the purpose of participating in the celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal.

It is further set forth in the circular of September 17, 1913, that:

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.

The Department having received an inquiry as to whether by “representatives” is meant naval officers commanding war vessels or additional representatives of the Government to which the invitation was extended, and being desirous that no misunderstanding arise as to this Government’s invitation concerning the quality of such representatives, will be glad to have you inform the Governments to which you are accredited that the naval program to be carried out at Hampton Roads and at Washington before the fleet starts on its journey through the canal, is entirely distinct from the more extensive ceremonies to be held at San Francisco after the Exposition shall have been opened, and that therefore the “representatives” that are to assemble with the fleets at Hampton Roads are to be naval representatives only. These naval representatives are not, however, to be only officers of the Navy in a military sense, but also civil officials of the Navy, such as Lords of the Admiralty and Ministers of Marine.

In communicating this information to the Governments to which you are accredited you will express the earnest hope that as many of these officials as possible will honor the occasion with their presence.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
J. B. Moore.