File No. 763.72111/1635

The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador ( Bernstorff )

No. 1241]

Excellency: In fulfilment of the assurance given in my note of the 3d instant,1 the representations made in your note of January 27 that the Bethlehem Steel Works is sending secretly to Canada the component parts of submarines, had prompt attention.

From the inquiry which I instituted in the matter I have ascertained that no component parts of submarines are being built by the Bethlehem Steel Works and being sent to Canada, either to be assembled there or for assembling in Great Britain. Mr. Charles M. Schwab, the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, has renewed to me the assurance that that corporation will not build submarines in the United States for any belligerent country for delivery during the war and that, while ten submarines are being built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, they are being built not for delivery to any belligerent nation, but because before the steel corporation had received the President’s request to abandon their contract they had invested a very large amount of money in materials which could only be used for component parts of submarines and rather than sacrifice this investment it was arranged that ten submarines should be completed, with the understanding that they were not for delivery to a belligerent nation during the war.

Accept [etc.]

W. J. Bryan
  1. Not printed.↩