File No. 763.72/1259

The Ambassador in Turkey (Morgenthau) to the Secretary of State


58. Following letter has just been received from Minister of War:

November 24.

Excellency: Pursuant to our conversation a few days ago regarding the matter of the steam launch of the American cruiser, I asked details of the commander of Smyrna, and ascertained that after two blank shots of warning the sentinel was obliged after two minutes of waiting to fire a shot in a direction altogether different from that of the launch, and this only to prevent the helmsman from continuing his course which would lead exactly on the mines placed at the entrance of the port, and to save his life from a very [Page 773] certain danger. I regret very much that such an obligation presented itself to our sentinel at the port of Smyrna as a result of the indifference of the helmsman of the launch. I hasten to bring the case, such as it is, to the knowledge of [your excellency].

American Ambassador