The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Spring Rice)
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: In reply to your note of the 20th instant in regard to the passage over American territory, by way of the Canadian Pacific Railway, of certain classes of Canadian soldiers returning from Europe, I regret to say that in the view of my Government the transportation of either the class of discharged soldiers wearing their service uniforms, though no longer forming a part of any military unit, or the class of invalided soldiers returning on furlough, though traveling as individuals, should not be allowed over American territory on account of the embarrassment which almost surely would follow if such passage were permitted.
In conveying these views to you I am not insensible of the convenience to the Canadian Government which would result from a free passage of such soldiers over the Canadian Pacific Railway through the State of Maine, but, on the other hand, it is evident that all Canadian troops, sick, wounded, and discharged, can easily be repatriated without entering any other than Canadian jurisdiction.
I am [etc.]