File No. 763.72119/513

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico ( Fletcher)


123. Your 26, March 17, 10 p.m.2 Please avail [yourself?] of early opportunity to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs for the kind offer of General Carranza to mediate between this Government and Germany. You may inform him that this Government thoroughly appreciates the helpful spirit which prompted his offer and the friendly messages which accompanied it. As he is aware, for nearly three years this Government has patiently sought to secure the safety of American citizens upon the seas relying upon the obligation of the German Government to observe the rules of international law and upon the solemn promises of that Government to [Page 262] protect innocent lives. The deliberate violations of law by the Imperial Government, the slaughter of American citizens and the wanton attacks on American vessels by German submarines, in utter disregard of the promises given, have defeated the President’s efforts to preserve friendly relations and have forced this country to abandon a neutrality which it could no longer maintain and maintain its honor and rights.

At the time General Carranza’s offer was received the situation was such that mediation did not seem practicable. The President therefore deferred instructing you in regard to the matter in the hope that a favorable opportunity might arise which would permit of a more responsive communication to General Carranza’s tender of good offices.

It is deeply regretted that events have not developed in a way to make for the acceptance of General Carranza’s counsel and assistance. The President hopes, however, that he may always rely upon the same friendly spirit of conciliation in dealing with the many important matters concerning Mexico and the United States.

  1. Ante, p. 241.