File No. 763.72/1850

The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State


2369. Department’s 1770. Asked Von Jagow for report Nebraskan. Says he knows of none, but will ask Marine Department. In conversation I gathered there is little chance of Germany giving up torpedoing without notice unless England will allow entrance copper, cotton, rubber, and raw material not directly used for munitions of war. Prospect our breaking diplomatic relations foreshadowed in papers here does not worry German Government in the least. They do not believe we will declare war. He said he labored under great [Page 433] disadvantage in not being able to get Washington sentiment from Von Bernstorff. There is a remote chance of Germany arranging not to torpedo enemy ships carrying American passengers if such ships are certified by American authorities or consuls as not having munitions on board or cannon or arms and such ships must not ram submarine boats. Arrangements might be made for limited number of such ships with special flags.

Germany probably putting ten new submarine boats a month in water. Cannot see why raw material proposal not accepted, it will benefit us. Germany has plenty of food and raw material for war purposes. Needs raw material for industry.