File No. No. 763.72113/363

The Secretary of State to the Hercules Powder Co., Wilmington, Del.

Gentlemen: The Department has received, by reference from the Post Office Department, your letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated May 4, 1917,1 wherein you make inquiry as to whether you should make any further payments to the Vereinigte Koln Rottweiler Pulverfabriken, of Berlin, Germany, which concern, you state, is one of your stockholders.

You are doubtless aware that the existence of a state of war between the United States and Germany is regarded as making illegal all intercourse between residents of the respective countries. It may also be stated, for your information, that the Administration and Congress have under consideration measures having for their object the prevention of trade, directly or indirectly, with, on behalf of, for the benefit of, or on account of, any person residing in Germany, or residing in a neutral country and doing business in Germany, and that in these circumstances, it is advisable for persons in the United States to proceed with caution in their transactions with persons of German nationality, at least until the present situation is cleared up by definite action by Congress. As bearing on the general question of commercial intercourse with the enemy, the Department may refer you to Moore’s International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk

  1. Not printed.