File No. 763.72/3270

The Minister in China ( Reinsch ) to the Secretary of State


… After daily deliberations the Cabinet have sent word to me that they will send a note to Germany strongly disapproving submarine policy and declaring that they will break off diplomatic relations if it is persisted in: they are ready to take this action on condition that I give them the assurances reported in my cipher telegram February 2, 12 midnight [February 6, 11 p.m.?]: they offer in return the assurances that any action on the part of Germany which the United States takes as a casus belli they will regard as occasion for severing diplomatic relations. I do not propose to give the assurances unless this Government associates itself more fully with the action of ours, but I urgently request your instructions whether I might do so if no more satisfactory action by China could be induced by any other means.