File No. 763.72/3199a

The Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in Neutral Countries

[Circular Telegram]

You are instructed to notify immediately the Government to which you are accredited that this Government, in view of the recent announcement of the German Government of its intention to renew indiscriminate submarine warfare, has no alternative but to pursue the course laid down in its note to the German Government on April 18, 1916.1 It will, therefore, recall the American Ambassador and his suite at Berlin and will forthwith deliver to the German Ambassador here passports for him and his suite.

You will also say that the President is reluctant to believe that Germany will actually carry out the threats made against neutral commerce, but, if it is done, the President will ask from Congress authority to use the national power to protect American citizens engaged in peaceable and lawful errands on the high seas. The course taken is, in the view of the President, in entire conformity with the principles enunciated by him in his address to the Senate on January 12 [22?],2 and he therefore believes that it will make for the peace of the world if the other neutral powers can find it possible to take similar action to that taken by this Government.

Immediately make full report by telegraph of the reception of this announcement and of suggestion as to similar action.