File No. 865.857An2/60

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Austria-Hungary ( Penfield )


1024. Please deliver the following cipher despatch to Baron Burian from the Chargé at Washington:

Washington , December 11, 1915.

262. Have been received to-day by Secretary of State who gave me copy of Ancona note. Lansing assured me of his great respect and appreciation for bravery and chivalrous spirit in our army and navy and reminded me that Austria-Hungary has many friends here even among those who are strongly pro-Allies and these friends we should not alienate. Lansing said that note although very firm and determined does not intend to offend but has to be taken as strong appeal to our sense of chivalry and self-respect not to endorse [Page 627] an action by which duty of due consideration for safety of travelers evidently neglected. Life of travelers demands ample consideration even if it would sometimes become necessary to let steamer go. Lansing and administration would be painfully surprised if Austria-Hungary would defend an action which contrary to our proud tradition and against laws of humanity which America absolutely determined to defend whereas cooperation and severe punishment of commander would produce here on the contrary all over the country excellent effect of which we could be proud.

I believe that situation demands very serious and prompt attention.