File No. 763.72/7230
The Peruvian Minister ( Freyre ) to the Secretary of State
[A copy of the following translation of a telegram from the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Peruvian Minister at Washington, was handed by the Minister to the Secretary of State on October 8, 1917:]
After having vainly endeavored to procure that the German Government settle our claim for the sinking of the Peruvian bark Lorton, which occurred in February of this year and constituted a violation of the fundamental principles of international law, the Peruvian Government was compelled to exact of the Imperial German Government a satisfactory solution of the question, within a term of eight days. The German Government, however, declared to the Peruvian Minister at Berlin that a solution of the question within a peremptory term was absolutely impossible. I, therefore, decided to inform Congress of the Government’s resolution to break diplomatic relations with Germany, and Congress approved this resolution by a [Page 341] vote of 105 to 6. Instructions have been forwarded immediately to the Peruvian Minister at Berlin that he demand his passports, and passports have been handed to the German Minister at Lima. We will address a direct communication on the subject to the United States Government; in the meanwhile, you are instructed to make it acquainted with the situation.