File No. 855.48/478

The Swiss Minister ( Ritter ) to the Secretary of State

Department of German
Interests XII 2

Sir: As soon as this Legation had taken over German interests the question arose as to whether I could, according to the American-German arrangement of 1914, continue to issue safe-conducts for the steamers which the American Commission for Relief in Belgium is continually sending to Holland. I immediately asked my Government to submit the question to the German Government and am now authorized to issue certificates of safe-conduct for all steamers of the American Commission for Relief in Belgium leaving the United States with cargoes consigned to that commission. The steamers must, however, take the course north of the Shetland Islands, remain outside the blockade zone declared by the German Government, and avoid the English Channel.

I have the honor to inform your excellency of the above, and for your information beg to enclose herewith copy of the certificate of safe-conduct1 issued by this Legation in accordance with the arrangement set forth in the memoranda, dated November 23, 1914, and December 24, 1914, from the German Foreign Office to the American Embassy at Berlin.2

Accept [etc.]

P. Ritter