File No. 763.72111/283a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassadors and Ministers in Belligerent Countries

[Circular telegram]

Refer to the Department’s general instructions of August 17. To maintain the neutrality of this Government and of its diplomatic representatives during the present war and the proper observance and appreciation of the principle that the good offices which are being extended by American diplomatic representatives in behalf of any belligerent in a country hostile to it are entirely personal and unofficial, it is necessary that all messages that could be construed to relate to military or naval operations received by an American diplomatic official for transmission from a belligerent to another belligerent or from a belligerent country to any of its diplomatic or other officials should be transmitted through the Department of State.

W. J. Bryan