File No. 701.6311/141

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State


2732. My 2722, August 31, 4 p. m. This afternoon at the Admiralty Bell1 was shown in confidence one of the despatches which Archibald was bearing to Vienna. It is from Dumba to Baron Burian, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and is entirely in longhand. Bell was allowed to keep possession of the document long enough to make a rough translation which I append, and take photographs of the document which will go forward in the next pouch. Letter reads as follows:

New York , August 20, 1915.

Excellency: Yesterday evening Consul General von Nuber received the enclosed memorandum from the chief editor of the Szabadság, an influential paper, after having had an interview with me on the previous day, in which are defined his proposals with regard to the arrangements for a strike in the steel and munitions factory at Bethlehem (Schwab’s) and in the Middle West. To-day at 12 o’clock, Mr. Archibald, who is well known to your excellency, leaves for Berlin and Vienna on the Rotterdam. I wish to take this rare and safe opportunity of recommending the proposal to your excellency’s warmest consideration. I have the impression that we could, if not actually prevent, at any rate, very much disorganize the manufacture of munitions of war at Bethlehem and in the Middle West and hold it up for months, which the German military attaché states is of great importance and would considerably outweigh the relatively small cost. But even if the arrangement does not succeed, it is probable that we should compel favorable conditions of work for our poor oppressed countrymen-through the crisis. These white slaves now work at Bethlehem for twelve hours a day on seven days of the week. All the weaklings go under and get consumption.

As far as German workmen exist under these sweated conditions a means of escape will be provided immediately. A private German employment bureau has also been established which obtains fresh employment for such persons [Page 933] as have voluntarily ceased work, and which is working very well. We will take part in this and give it the widest support.

I beg that your excellency will kindly tell me by wireless whether you agree to the contents of this letter, as it is urgent, With all esteem, C. Dumba .

The enclosure which is in Hungarian has not yet been translated.

Archibald is due to arrive to-morrow morning at Rotterdam on the Rotterdam.

American Ambassador
  1. Second Secretary of the Embassy.