File No. 300.115/2249
The German Ambassador (Bernstorff) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 29.]
My Dear Mr. Secretary: The attorneys of the W. L. Green Commission Company of St. Louis, Missouri, Messrs. Hays, Kaufmann and Lindheim, New York, have addressed to me the enclosed letter, informing me of a shipment of foodstuffs to Germany.3 In reply 1 have sent Messrs. Hays, Kaufmann and Lindheim the letter also enclosed.
I avail myself of this opportunity to officially confirm to you the statement given to the above attorneys in regard to the regulations [Page 318] of the order of the German Federal Council. This order does not refer to foodstuffs that will reach Germany from neutral countries, but refers solely to the supply of food at present in Germany, the object being to prevent a possible accumulation and cornering of foodstuffs, in other words, to prevent all speculation in same. The order, therefore, does not in the least affect questions of international law. I may assume that my Government has already notified the American Ambassador accordingly.
I shall be in a position within the next few days to submit, for my Government, proposals for an organization, which will assure the fulfilment of the guarantee of my Government to the effect that the German Government will not interfere with the importation of foodstuffs from the United States and their exclusive sale to the civilian population, and that the foodstuffs will not reach the Government or the military and naval forces.1
Believe me [etc.]