File No. 763.72111/185
The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Grey) to the British Ambassador at Washington (Spring Rice)
September 2, 1914.[Left at the Department of State, 5:30 p.m.]
Nothing is known either by Admiralty or White Star Line of Adriatic’s carrying troops. That would be contrary to our proposal that vessels armed only for defensive purposes and engaged solely in carrying cargoes of peaceful merchandise and as regards which there is an undertaking that they will never use force unless attacked should be treated as ordinary merchant vessels.
Please explain about Adriatic and endeavour to get State Department to make some fair distinction as above that would apply equally to British and German ships.