File No. 841.801/49
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received 2.40 p. m.]
2517. Your 1721, June 16. Following note received from Foreign Office, dated July 22:
I did not fail to refer to the proper department of His Majesty’s Government the note which your excellency was so good as to address to me on the 18th ultimo regarding the Admiralty announcement cancelling the notice on navigation in the North Sea on the 30th November 1914.
I have now the honour to inform your excellency that the action of His Majesty’s Government in indicating routes to be followed by neutral merchant vessels in the vicinity of the British Isles and in the North Sea is based upon the fact that merchant vessels passing through the North Sea run very grave risk unless they act in strict accordance with the directions of the Admiralty. Before issuing such special directions to a neutral vessel the Admiralty desires to be assured that the vessel’s voyage is undertaken with the knowledge and consent of the government of the country whose flag she flies, and for this reason it is necessary that the application by a neutral vessel for advice as to special routes should be supported by the diplomatic representative of the government in question.
If such support to the application is not given, neutral vessels will not receive the special instructions as to the northabout route and will be advised to go southabout where they can be supplied with the latest warnings and obtain the services of pilots where necessary.