File No. 763.72111/1849
The Chamber of German-American Commerce to the Department of State
Gentlemen: The following paragraph appeared in the autobiography of the Hon. Andrew D. White, Ambassador to Germany, entitled Chapters from My Diplomatic Life:
The American Consul at Hamburg having notified me by telephone that a Spanish vessel, supposed to be loaded with arms for use against us in Cuba, was about to leave that port, I hastened to the Foreign Office and urged that vigorous steps be taken; with the result that the vessel, which, in the meantime, had left Hamburg, was overhauled and searched at the mouth of the Elbe. The German Government might easily have pleaded, in answer to my request, that the American Government had generally shown itself opposed to any such interference with the shipments of small arms to belligerents and had contended that it was not obliged to search vessels to find such contraband of war, but that this duty was incumbent upon the belligerent nations concerned. This evidence of the fairness of Germany I took pains to make known.
Will you kindly let us know why the United States did not assume a reciprocal attitude which would show the same attitude of fairness?
We remain [etc.]