The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador ( Bernstorff )

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of yesterday informing me that orders to the commanders of the German submarines have been made so stringent that the recurrence of incidents similar to the Arabic case is considered out of the question; that the attack on the Arabic was undertaken against the instructions issued to the commander of the submarine; and that the Imperial Government regrets and disavows this act and has notified Commander Schneider accordingly. Furthermore, you advise me that your Government is prepared to pay an indemnity for [Page 561] the loss of American lives and that you are authorized to negotiate with me in regard to this indemnity.

In reply I hasten to inform you that I have noted with satisfaction the above assurances of your Government, and I am now prepared to negotiate with you concerning the amount of the indemnity. Steps will be taken at once to come in touch with the interested persons, after which I shall be pleased to communicate with you further in this matter.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing