The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:55 p. m.]
3783. To the President: Because of the ever-increasing public feeling against the administration the British Government has ordered the censor to suppress as far as he prudently can unfavorable comment on our Government. The Lusitania controversy, since it has been continued so long and especially since it is now used by the Germans in their revived submarine program, has brought British opinion of the Administration to [a] point where a turn in its tide can be made only by prompt action. My loyalty to you therefore would not be absolute if I shrank from respectfully sending my solemn conviction of our duty and opportunity.
If you immediately refuse without further parley to yield a jot or tittle of your original Lusitania notes and at once sever diplomatic relations with Germany and follow this action by a rigid embargo against the Central Powers you will quickly end the war. Economic measures are all that are necessary. German credit will collapse. The [wavering] Allies, if there be such, will be kept in line. Sweden, Roumania, Greece and other European neutrals will resist further German influences and some of them will join the Allies. The German propaganda throughout the world will be stopped. The moral weight of the United States will be the deciding force in bringing an early peace for which you will receive immortal credit even from the people of Germany. I do not [believe] we should have to fire a gun or risk a man.
This action moreover will settle the whole question of securing permanent peace. It will bring to our side the full and grateful loyalty of the whole British Empire, the British Fleet and all the Allies. The great English-speaking nations without [any] formal alliance will control the conditions of permanent peace. The Japanese threat [will be silenced]. The saving of human life and treasure will be [incalculable]. Germany can honorably give in with good grace since all the world will be [against her] and the internal pressure of her bankrupt and blockaded people will hasten her decision.
Such action would also bring the Administration in line with the sympathies of our people.
On the other hand if we settle the Lusitania controversy by any compromise of your original demands or permit it to drag on longer we can have no part in ending the war. [Allied] opinion will run [Page 706]so strongly against the administration that no [censorship] nor other friendly act of any Allied government can stem the onrushing European distrust of our Government.
Longer delay or any other plan will bring us only a thankless, [opulent] and dangerous isolation. The Lusitania is the turning point and the time for action is come.