The Secretary of State to President Wilson

Dear Mr. President: Since I wrote you my letter of yesterday in regard to the discharge of neutral aliens from the Army, and their [Page 195] detention in the United States pending the investigation of their cases, I have just received from the War Department a copy of an order issued by the Adjutant General of the Army under instructions of Mr. Baker, as follows:

“Hereafter, upon receipt through the Department of State of applications for the discharge from the military service of citizens or subjects of foreign countries, steps will be immediately taken to insure the retention of such persons in the United States pending the necessary investigation preliminary to a final decision upon their applications. This will apply to persons from whose applications it appears that they are either declarants or non-declarants of treaty countries, and non-declarants of non-treaty countries.”

My comments in my letter of yesterday on this subject, therefore, should be disregarded. The other points in the letter, namely, the discharge of declarants of non-treaty countries in the same manner as subjects of treaty countries, and the urgency of the passage of the amendment to the Draft Act I must, though reluctantly, press upon your attention.

Faithfully yours,

Robert Lansing