File No. 763.72/1852
The Netherland Minister of Foreign Affairs (Loudon) to the Netherland Minister at Washington, (Van Rappard)
[Left at the Department of State, February 22.]
Germany has suggested that the neutrals try to induce the English Government to reserve River Tyne for traffic of neutral vessels.[Page 122]
In that case the German Government is prepared, under certain reservations, likewise to leave the entrance to this river free of mines. The neutral consuls would see to it that English vessels do not make use of the port.
This suggestion is incomprehensible to me, for, among other things, it amounts to meddling on the part of the neutrals in the manner in which the war is being conducted by the belligerents; and it implies guaranties which the neutrals cannot give and a control which is incompatible with English sovereignty.
Kindly inquire confidentially of the American Government whether Germany has made the same proposition to it and what is its reply.