The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador (Bernstorff)

Excellency: In reply to your note of the 12th instant requesting the hospitality of the port of Norfolk for H.M.S. Kronprinz Wilhelm , I have the honor to inform you that the Department has received [Page 834] the report of the board of naval officers who have made an examination of the cruiser with a view to ascertaining the repairs which the vessel may undergo in American waters. From this report it appears that the time required for repairs will consume a period of six working days, but that the proposed repairs will not cover the damage to the port side of the cruiser incident to the service in which the vessel has been engaged.

The Government has concluded, therefore, that H.M.S. Kronprinz Wilhelm will be allowed until midnight of the close of the 29th day of April next to complete the proposed repairs in the port of Norfolk, and that she will be allowed 24 hours in addition, or until midnight of 30th day of April, to leave the territorial waters of the United States, or, failing this, that she will be under the necessity of accepting internment within American jurisdiction during the continuance of the wars in which your country is now engaged.

It is expected that in accordance with the President’s proclamations of neutrality H.M.S. Kronprinz Wilhelm will not depart from the port of Norfolk within 24 hours after a vessel of an opposing belligerent shall have departed therefrom.

This information has been confidentially conveyed to the collector of customs at Norfolk for transmittal to the commander of the Kronprinz Wilhelm .

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Robert Lansing