File No. 763.72116/588

The Swiss Chargé ( Oederlin) to the Secretary of State

Department of German Interests

The Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honor to submit to His Excellency the contents of a cablegram received today from the Swiss Foreign Office:

The German Government protests against the use of shotguns by the American Army and calls attention to the fact that according to the law of war (Kriegsrecht) every prisoner found to have in his possession such guns or ammunition belonging thereto forfeits his life. This protest is based upon article 23(e) of the Hague convention respecting laws and customs of war on land. Reply by cable is required before October 1, 1918.

The Chargé d’Affaires will be glad to transmit the reply of the Government of the United States to the Swiss Foreign Office for communication to the German Government, and will not fail to transmit to His Excellency, immediately upon receipt thereof, the note verbale of the German Government on this matter, which, it is understood, is en route to the United States.