763.72111 Em 1/1

The Counselor for the Department of State (Lansing) to President Wilson

Dear Mr. President: Referring to my letter to you of the 9th instant, enclosing a memorandum on a letter of Professor Münsterberg dated November 19th, I have the honor to enclose as of possible interest to you, a copy of a note of the German Ambassador dated the 15th instant23 in relation to supplies of coal for belligerent warships, and the use of neutral ports as bases of naval operations. You will recall that in my memorandum, Notes 2 and 3, the complaints in regard to the unlimited sale of ammunition to belligerents were replied to on the grounds of the rights of citizens of neutral countries to trade with the belligerents in time of war. The German note is of particular interest in this connection as it supports the views expressed in my memorandum, in that the Imperial Government admit that the adversaries of Germany in the present war are authorized to draw from the United States “Contraband of war, especially arms worth several billions of marks,” and that under the general principles of international law no exception can be taken “to neutral States letting war material go to Germany’s enemies from or to neutral territory.”

Very sincerely yours,

Robert Lansing