File No. 763.72/1592

The Department of State to the British Embassy

The Department of State has received His Britannic Majesty’s. Embassy’s note of March 12, 19152 inviting attention to press reports [Page 356] as to the arrival in a United States port of a German ship which had on board upwards of three hundred prisoners of different nationalities, of both sexes, some, of them citizens of the United. States, and pointing out that, as the Department of State has doubtless considered, the fact that had a cruiser of the British fleet met this German ship and engaged her, these civilians, including citizens of the United States, would have been in imminent danger of their lives.


His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy requests to be informed, should there be no objection thereto, whether the Government of the United States has called the attention of the competent authority to the consequences which may be expected to follow from the practice of sinking neutral ships and carrying their neutral crews on a ship of war in constant danger of attack.

In reply the Department of State informs His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy that, as the information requested appears to relate to questions between neutral countries and Germany, the Department of State regrets that it is precluded from discussing the question presented by His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy.

  1. Ante, p. 341.