In 1916 the Austrian ambassador, Dr. Dumba, had been recalled at the request of the American Department of State. He had entrusted a letter addressd to his government to the keeping of a newspaper correspondent. When intercepted, the letter revealed a plan to foment strikes in the American munitions plants. The submarine question was discussed in the cases of the Ancona and the Petrolite. On April 8, 1917, the Austrian government, as Germany's ally, broke off diplomatice relations with the United States, and in due course war was declared against Austria.
With these interferences by both of the belligerent groups, is neutrality possible and feasible? Is it worth the effort? Will it inevitably lead to war, especially in case of a maritime power, and a maritime conflict? It is again a case of circumstances, of interests, of policy, of point of view. Until all effective states agree upon the abandonment of neutrality, those remaining outside the agreement will insist on their right to judge for themselves as to the neutral or belligerent character of their policy, in the case of a conflict between two or more other states. This lies in the field of policy. And as long as the policy of neutrality may be elected, it follows that the status of neutrality will exist, together with its rights and duties. The belligerent states will be sufficiently active in demanding that a country be impartially neutral. The neutral state must itself insist upon an observance of its rights.
Since the World war the "crisis of neutrality" has become a well-established phrase. But this phrase has two different meanings: It means, first, that the law____________________