File No. 763.72111Y2/12
The Ambassador in Germany ( Gerard ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 5, 4.15 p.m.]
4992. I have just been informed by Count Montgelas of the Foreign Office that the Americans taken in on the Yarrowdale will be released immediately on the ground that they could not have known at the time of sailing that it was Germany’s intention to treat armed merchantmen as ships of war.
[For telegram from the Ambassador in Germany, No. 5002, February 5, stating “Reports here German ships and crews have been seized and Foreign Office says prisoners on Yarrowdale will not be released until news comes that these reports are not true”; and reply, through the Ambassador in Spain, February 6, stating that the reports are untrue; that “The German Government, therefore, has absolutely no ground on this account to withhold release of Americans on Yarrowdale;” and that “the United States Government expects that no further obstacle will be interposed to their immediate release,” see post, pages 587, 588.]