File No. 763.72112/363a

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Gerard)1


581. There is considerable doubt in certain quarters in this country as to the attitude of the German Government towards the shipments of cotton in neutral bottoms to the ports of the belligerents opposed to Germany. So far as advised, cotton has not been placed on the contraband lists of any of the belligerents, and Great Britain has definitely declared that it is not proposed to place cotton on British contraband lists, and that it will not be seized. Apprehension in this country would be greatly relieved, and the free movement of cotton encouraged, if Germany and Austria could find it possible to make a public declaration that cargoes of cotton in neutral vessels will not be molested or detained.

Please bring the foregoing to the attention of the German Government and request as prompt a reply as possible.

  1. The same, numbered 258, to the Ambassador in Austria-Hungary.