File No. 701.6211/432

The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister ( Ritter)

No. 460

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of April 20, 1917, in which you give the text of a communication received by your Government from the Imperial German Foreign Office, regarding the treatment to which Count von Bernstorff and his party were represented to have been subjected by officials at Halifax, Nova Scotia.1

In reply I have the honor to state that after their departure from the territorial waters of the United States, Count von Bernstorff and his party were travelling under safe-conducts granted by the British and French Governments, and that consequently any complaint by the German Government arising from the treatment of those persons after such departure should be made to the British and French Governments and not to the Government of the United States.

I should be glad if the above statement could be communicated to the German Government.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed.↩