File No. 763.72/2889

The Chargé in Germany (Grew) to the Secretary of State


4407. Articles of similar tenor appear in this evening’s papers commenting on a report of the Paris Matin that American flyer Rockwell had been killed on the English front and that a host of American flyers were fighting against the Germans.

The fact that America permits the formation of this American aviatic squadron is considered unneutral and a direct abuse of Germany’s concessions and as only going to show that the United States has utterly lost all feeling for true neutrality.

Deutsche Tageszeitung states there is general indignation throughout Germany at this unneutral service to the Allies and that the German Government cannot and will not tolerate such a state of affairs.

Lokal-Anzeiger says Germany had hoped in view of her concessions that plain decency would deter Americans from traversing the commonest [Page 288] duties of neutrality and that it was to be expected that the American Government would speedily put a stop to acts by American citizens amounting to direct abuse of Germany’s concessions to America and an evasion of her agreement with the United States.

I am informed by the Foreign Office that this anti-American outburst in the press occurred without its previous knowledge or its approval, that it meets with condemnation both by the Chancellor and the Foreign Office, and that the former is taking steps to prevent reoccurrence. It was given out by the military representative at the close of daily press conference and was published before it could be withdrawn. At the same time it is indicative of the attitude of the Conservative Party and its allies in the Reichstag, the military and certain other high official circles, towards the United States, and it may have been directly inspired by them with a view to preparing public opinion for resolutions which may be adopted in the present session of the Budget Committee of the Reichstag calling on the Chancellor to resume the indiscriminate submarine warfare on account of the United States having failed to adopt the desired firmness in dealing with England’s blockade measures. It is not yet possible to foretell what the result of the matter will be.

Von Tirpitz returned to Berlin to-day.