The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador (Bernstorff)

No. 1587]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of August 7, asking that an inquiry be made of the Russian Government as to the ground on which it denies the demand for the release of the Germans taken prisoners by Russian troops in Persia.

As it appears from your excellency’s note that the German subjects referred to were taken prisoners in Persia, presumably in violation of the neutrality of Persia, any inquiry in regard to the grounds upon which the Russian Government may justify its course in seizing these men on Persian territory would, therefore, seem properly to be made to the Persian Government whose rights are alleged to have been infringed. The Department does not feel that it could properly make an inquiry of Russia in accordance with your request.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing