File No. 763.72111/2164

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

My Dear Mr. Lansing: In connection with the arguments which are now being advanced in various quarters with regard to the propriety of the exportation of arms from the United States for the use of the Allies, I have obtained some details, which may be of interest, as to the exports of munitions of war from Germany to Great Britain during the Boer war.

It appears that, after the Boer republics had been cut off from communication with Europe by sea, 108 15-pounder quick-firing guns and 500 rounds of ammunition for each were bought from the firm of Erhardt for the use of the British Army. Besides this order [Page 787] large numbers of guns, rifles, and swords, and also large quantities of shell, gunpowder, and small arms ammunition were imported into England from Germany during the war.

Believe me [etc.]

Cecil Spring Rice