File No. 855.48/216
The Minister in the Netherlands ( Van Dyke ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 16.]
Sir: Supplementing my despatch 214 of March 2, and my telegrams 173 of February 27, and 178 of March 2,2 I have the honor to advise you that the German Minister has called upon me this afternoon, bringing a memorandum from his Government in regard to the ships of the Commission for Relief in Belgium. He expressed his personal regret that the memorandum had been so long delayed.[Page 1035]
I have cabled the substance of the memorandum to you and to Mr. Hoover, the chairman of the relief commission in London. Herewith you will find a copy of the memorandum in the German text with an English translation attached.
It will be observed that this assurance covers the freedom of the relief ships, bearing the flag and markings of the commission, from all molestation by German submarines in the voyage through the English Channel, and that orders to this effect have been issued by the German Government. We have thus obtained a concession of distinct advantage.
But the German memorandum expresses regret that safe-conduct can not be issued to relief ships on their way to and from England, in view of the existing mine danger in the war zone. The exact meaning of the reservation is not clear.
I have [etc.]
- Nos. 214 and 178 not printed.↩