Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of the American Republics (Duggan)
In connection with the resolution which Mr. Welles intends to present at Panama for a neutral zone around the Americas, with the exception of the territorial waters of European possessions, the Department has ascertained that there are at the present time in ports of the American Republics approximately 82 German vessels. There is one German vessel in United States ports. Their distribution is indicated on the attached tabulation.
Under the proposed arrangement it would be possible for all of these vessels to engage in carrying goods between the American Republics free from search and seizure by the war vessels of Great Britain and France. A difficult problem of patrol may be presented, since these vessels might serve as mother ships to supply German submarines just at the edge of the neutral zone.
There is also the problem of these vessels being clandestinely fitted out as raiders and then of their attacking merchant shipping outside of the zone, returning within the zone in order to escape attack of the war vessels of Great Britain and France.
- Habana only. [Footnote in the original.]↩