File No. 763.72/896
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Gerard)
Washington, September 18, 1914, 5 p.m.
192. Your September 16, 12 noon. Inquire of the German Foreign Office whether they desire to have American Government request in the name of Germany the other belligerent countries to agree to the neutralization of the African colonies lying within the conventional free-trade zone. Your telegrams of August 22 and September 16, taken together, render it a little doubtful exactly what position Germany desires the United States to assume in this matter. There is a great difference between the United States proposing this neutralization on behalf of Germany and in her suggesting it herself as a neutral country, which seemed to be substantially what Germany requested according to your telegram of August 22.