File No. 763.72111/1469

The German Ambassador ( Bernstorff ) to the Secretary of State

J. Nr. A 395]

Mr. Secretary of State: It has come to my knowledge that a number of hydro-aeroplanes have been ordered in the United States for belligerent states from the Curtiss plant at Hammondsport, N. Y., and that a part of them has already been delivered.

An airship named America was delivered in October of last year to England and five more hydro-aeroplanes of the same type have been delivered since.

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England has also ordered 24 hydro-aeroplanes of the I. N. model (70 horsepower) from Curtiss.

Curtiss is also building for England 12 hydro-aeroplanes of the K model of 160 horsepower.

Russia has also recently ordered a number of hydro-aeroplanes of the K model from Curtiss. How many is not yet known.

The motors for the aeroplanes are built partly by Curtiss himself at Hammondsport, partly by the Herschell-Spillman Motor Factory at North Tonawanda, N. Y.

The wings are made at the Curtiss plant, the minor parts by the Autocrat Manufacturing Company.

The Tonawanda Boat Company furnishes the boat part.

There is no doubt that hydro-aeroplanes must be regarded as war vessels whose delivery to belligerent states by neutrals should be stopped under Article 8 of the thirteenth convention of the Second Hague Conference of October 18, 1907. Hydro-aeroplanes are not mentioned by name in the convention simply because there was none in 1907 at the time of the conference.

On the supposition that hydro-aeroplanes are delivered to belligerents against the wishes of the Government of the United States, I have the honor to bring the foregoing to your excellency’s kind knowledge.

Accept [etc.]

J. Bernstorff