851.857 Su 8/81b

The Secretary of State to President Wilson

My Dear Mr. President: Yesterday afternoon the French Ambassador called upon me and left me the enclosed clipping from the [Page 549] New York Times36 in which it is stated that it was announced at Berlin on April 12th that Lieutenant Steinbrinck had received the Prussian Order of Merit in recognition of his exceptional merit in military and naval matters, and that he was the commander of a submarine. Undoubtedly this officer was the commander of the submarine which torpedoed the Sussex, and the decoration was conferred apparently after it was known that he was charged with this offense.

I do not think that this can be used in any way at the present time, but I think you should know the attitude of the German Government in regard to the incident.

Kindly return the papers after reading them.

Faithfully yours,

Robert Lansing
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