File No. 763.72111K92/34
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Spring Rice)
Excellency: Referring to your note of the 21st ultimo bringing to this Department’s attention the case of Wilhelm Halbrock, who is stated to have served as third engineer on the Prinz Eitel Friedrich and to have been taken by the British authorities from the Dutch steamship Rotterdam with a false declaration of intention, which you enclosed, to become an American citizen, and to your further note of the 21st ultimo, in which in the same relation you communicated information concerning Herr Max Kjier, late second officer of the Kronprinz Wilhelm , who was arrested and removed from the steamship Tomaso di Savoia at Gibraltar, I have the honor to inform you that the cases of these two men have been investigated by the commandant of the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, where the two German vessels mentioned are interned. The commandant reports that he has been at all times cognizant of the whereabouts of the officers and members of the crews of these vessels and that there has been no man by the name of Wilhelm Halbrook, or Wilhelm Halbrock, or answering [Page 837] to the description of such man on board the Prinz Eitel Friedrich at any time during the internment of this vessel. It is further stated that Herr Max Kjier was discharged from the Kronprinz Wilhelm on the 12th of February last, in a port in South America, due to sickness.
I am advised by the Secretary of the Navy that the commanding officers of the Prinz Eitel Friedrich and the Kronprinz Wilhelm and the officers and crews under them have taken the internment conditions and parole most seriously and that his department has no reason to believe that there will be any violation of these conditions; nor will any change on the part of his department be made as regards the status of these vessels and their personnel.
I have [etc.]