File No. 763.72111/174

The British Ambassador (Spring Rice) to the Secretary of State

No. 315]

Sir: With reference to my note No. 315 of yesterday’s date2 respecting large cargoes of coal being taken on board German ships in United States ports, I have the honour to bring to your notice that the Vaterland which is in readiness to sail from New York Harbour has 17,000 tons of coal on board.

In calling your attention to the above fact, which clearly indicates that the ship in question is not bent on a peaceful mission, and also in view of the circumstance that there is a strong probability of the Vaterland being converted into a German armed cruiser on the high seas, I have the honour to request that pending investigation by the United States authorities the vessel may be detained with a view to such action as the United States Government may think right and proper.

I have [etc.]

Cecil Spring Rice
  1. Not printed.