The Counselor for the Department of State to the German Ambassador ( Bernstorff )

My dear Mr. Ambassador: I have received your informal note of the 15th instant calling my attention to the purchase of certain military supplies in this country by the belligerents now engaged in the European wars. I am glad to have this information, but, as I recently told you, there appears to be nothing that can be done to prevent traffic in contraband of war under the neutrality laws or the treaties of the United States so long as such traffic is limited to ordinary commercial transactions by citizens of the United States.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing