File No. 763.72111/1622

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

Dear Mr. Secretary: As the question of war supplies appears to be occupying public opinion and Congress, I venture to think it may be of interest to communicate certain precedents on the subject.

As you are no doubt aware Great Britain when engaged in war with the South African Republics drew war supplies from Germany as also did both Ulstermen and Nationalists in Ireland in the troubled time last summer when both parties were arming themselves with a view to civil strife. The Counsellor of the German Embassy was (as there was good reason to believe) not altogether a stranger to some of these preparations.

In the struggle between Japan and Russia, the latter country received very large war supplies from Germany. Particulars as to these supplies are enclosed herewith.1 As you will see the value exceeds $25,000,000 and the list includes 500 Maxim machine guns and 1,000,000,000 cartridges, military balloons, and a complete cruiser.

I am [etc.]

Cecil Spring Rice
  1. Not printed.