File No. No. 763.72112/3457

The Secretary of State to Messrs. Berliner, Strauss & Meyer, New York City

Gentlemen: The Department has received your letter of April 2, 1917,1 wherein you seek information as to whether, in the state of war existing between this country and Germany, you may trade with persons of German origin in Mexico, Central America and South America.

The Department cannot undertake to enter into a discussion at this time of the matters referred to in your letter, but may refer you to the following cases: Janson v. Driefontein Consolidated Mines, Ltd., L.R. (1902) A.C. 484, 505; Kershaw v. Kelsey (1868), 100 Mass. 561; Montgomery v. United States, 15 Wall. 395; Briggs v. United States, 143 U.S. 346; Williams v. Paine , 169 U.S. 55.

It may be further observed that the Department cannot, of course, advise you as to any laws that may be enacted in the future by this Government or the Government of Germany affecting the nationals of the respective countries with reference to their commercial activities.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk

  1. Not printed.