File No. 362.112T41/10

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page )


1411. The North German Gazette of April 2 contains the following:

The Falaba lies! Until now it has almost always been stated, even by Englishmen, that opportunity was given crews of ships doomed to destruction, to leave their vessel. That is a postulate of humanity and it is a matter of course that our submarine commanders are obedient to it as long as ever possible from the military standpoint, but naturally not a moment longer. This humanity is, however, rendered practically impossible for our submarines the moment England offers rewards to her merchant vessels which ram submarines and systematically trains them, for combat. Since England proceeds in such a manner, every English merchant vessel is not only confiscable enemy’s property but is under suspicion of a hostile act of an attack and our submarines are bound to observe greatest caution.

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Please inform us whether any order has been issued giving reward to merchant vessels which ram submarines and whether merchant vessels are trained to combat with submarines.