File No. 763.72111/4757
The Secretary of Labor ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: As an expeditious means of furnishing you with information with respect to the manner in which this Department has cared for the officers and crewmen of the German vessels lying in American ports, I have the honor to hand you herewith a copy of a communication which I am at this time sending to the President.
The plan was embodied in the following telegram sent by the Department of Labor to the immigration officers on Apr. 4, 1917:
“Lay all plans, but take no actual step until receipt of cablegram reading ‘proceed,’ to take charge of and detain in immigration station every officer and crewman of German merchant vessels only. Customs officers will take charge of vessels and later turn over personal effects of officers and men. Military or naval officers will furnish soldiers or marines needed to aid in safely and surely conveying men to station. Immigration officers may carry arms if in your judgment necessary.” (File No. 763.72115/3860.)↩