File No. 862.20212/78

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page) to the Secretary of State


Your 4493, February 28, 8 p.m. The three messages were deciphered to-day and are practically identical. They contain instructions to the three legations to use a certain variation of the cipher code when communicating with Berlin. The one to Santiago was to [Page 158] be repeated to other missions in South America. The question of our having a copy of the code has been taken up, but there appear to be serious difficulties. I am told actual code would be of no use to us as it was never used straight, but with a great number of variations which are known to only one or two experts here. They can not be spared to go to America. If you will send me copies of B[ernstorff]’s cipher telegrams, the British authorities will gladly decipher them as quickly as possible giving me copies as fast as deciphered. I could telegraph texts or summaries in matters of importance and send the others by pouch. Neither Spring Rice nor Gaunt know anything about this matter.