File No. 462.11Se8/58a

The Secretary of State to the German Ambassador (Bernstorff)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I wish to call your attention again to the case of the American vessel William P. Frye , which was sunk on the high seas by the German armed cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich on January 28, 1915, and which, as you know, has been the subject of diplomatic correspondence with your Government.

You will recall that in your Government’s note of November 29, 1915,1 the Imperial Government agreed in principle with the proposal of the United States that the question of the amount of damages to be paid owners and captain of the William P. Frye be settled by diplomatic negotiations, “should the American Government insist on the demands for the meeting of the experts at Washington or the early choice of an umpire.”

Without prejudice to a settlement of the case by this method and in the hope that further delay and unnecessary expense may be avoided, I have to suggest that a diplomatic settlement be attempted [Page 279] between us, using the claim contained in my Government’s note of March 31, 1915,1 as the basis of our negotiations.

I will be glad to have you give me your views as to this suggestion. In case you concur we could begin negotiations orally and later reduce our views to writing, or we could carry on the negotiations by correspondence, as you prefer.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing