File No. No. 763.72112/3489

The Secretary of State to Mr. Jay Zeamer, New York City

Sir: The Department has received your letter of the 11th instant1 in which you state that as an American commercial traveler you are about to make a business trip abroad and that you desire to receive whatever suggestions the Department might consider advisable in connection with business relations with German houses in foreign countries, many of which have been of years’ standing.

In reply I have to say that the Government has under consideration a proposed Congressional enactment intended to define the disabilities of persons in the United States with regard to commercial intercourse with enemy nationals. At present the Department can only refer you to the discussion of the effect of war upon commercial relations of enemy nationals contained in Moore’s International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq. The Department may call your particular attention to the following cases: Montgomery v. The United States, 15 Wall. 395; Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 7 Pet. 586; Kershaw v. Kelsey, 100 Mass. 561.

[Page 417]

The Department knows of no legal obstacle, so far as the laws of this country are concerned, to commercial transactions between American citizens and German subjects domiciled in neutral countries. However, you will, of course, understand that this statement on the part of the Department is made in contemplation of present conditions only.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Alvey A. Adee

Second Assistant Secretary
  1. Not printed.