File No. 763.72/2103

The German Ambassador ( Bernstorff ) to the Secretary of State

[Translation]
J. Nr. A 5476]

Mr. Secretary of State: On the 15th of last month an English merchant vessel fired on a German submarine in the Irish Sea without any challenge of any kind.

On the 18th of the same month a German submarine was fired on in Bristol Channel by an English passenger steamer that had been summoned to stop.

By direction of my Government I have the honor to bring those cases to your excellency’s notice in order again to lay stress on the point that British merchant vessels which attack German submarines of course expose themselves to the danger of destruction; American citizens who travel on such vessels do so on their own responsibility and incur the greatest risk.

Accept [etc.]

J. Bernstorff