Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview
Care should be taken that, during dark, national flag and painted marks are easily recognizable from a distance and that the boats are well lighted throughout;
one steamer a week sails in each direction with arrival at Falmouth on Sunday and departure from Falmouth on Wednesday.
The United States Government guarantees that no contraband (according to German contraband list) is carried by those steamers.

SEVERANCE OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH GERMANY1
February 3, 1917

EXCELLENCY: In acknowledging the note with accompanying memoranda, which you delivered into my hands on the afternoon of January 31, and which announced the purpose of your Government as to the future conduct of submarine warfare, I would direct your attention to the following statements appearing in the correspondence which has passed between the Government of the United States and the Imperial German Government in regard to submarine warfare.

This Government on April 18, 1916, in presenting the case of the Sussex, declared--

"If it is still the purpose of the Imperial Government to prosecute relentless and indiscriminate warfare against vessels of commerce by the use of submarines without regard to what the Government of the United States must consider the sacred and indisputable rules of international law and the universally recognized dictates of humanity, the Government of the United States is at last forced to the conclusion that there is but one course it can pursue. Unless the Imperial Government should now immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight-carrying vessels, the Government of the United States can have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."

In reply to the note from which the above declaration is quoted your Excellency's Government stated in a note dated May 4, 1916-- 14

____________________
14
Dip. Corr., 407. Secretary Lansing to Ambassador Bernstorff.

-66-

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