File No. 763.72112/1643
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Germany (Gerard)
2083. Your 2726, August 13.2 While admitting established right of visit and search and reasonable liberality in its exercise, the United States cannot yield to the seizure of American ships or American-owned cargo in neutral ships on the high seas to be taken to belligerent ports for examination in search of evidence of contraband, where the captor is not in possession of evidential facts creating a legal presumption or just suspicion that the ship is engaged in illegitimate trade, or that contraband cargo is aboard. If report of consular agent Swinemünde is correct, you will make known these views to German Government and advise consuls and consular agents accordingly.