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

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

"The Imperial Government, therefore, does not doubt that the Government of the United States will understand the situation thus forced upon Germany by the Entente Allies' brutal methods of war and by their determination to destroy the Central Powers, and that the Government of the United States will further realize that the now openly disclosed intentions of the Entente Allies give back to Germany the freedom of action which she reserved in her note addressed to the Government of the United States on May 4, 1916.

"Under these circumstances Germany will meet the illegal measures of her enemies by forcibly preventing, after February 1, 1917, in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the eastern Mediterranean all navigation, that of neutrals included, from and to England and from and to France, etc., etc. All ships met within the zone will be sunk."

In view of this declaration, which withdraws suddenly and without prior intimation the solemn assurance given in the Imperial Government's note of May 4, 1916, this Government has no alternative consistent with the dignity and honor of the United States but to take the course which it explicitly announced in its note of April 18, 1916+, it would take in the event that the Imperial Government did not declare and effect an abandonment of the methods of submarine warfare then employed and to which the Imperial Government now purpose again to resort.

The President has, therefore, directed me to announce to your Excellency that all diplomatic relations between the United States and the German Empire are severed, and that the American Ambassador at Berlin will be immediately withdrawn, and in accordance with such announcement to deliver to your Excellency your passports.

I have, etc.,

ROBERT LANSING.


ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT WILSON TO CONGRESS1
February 3, 1917

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: The Imperial German Government on the thirty-first of January announced to this Government and to the Governments of the other neutral nations that on and after the 14

____________________
14
Dip. Corr., 410 .

-68-

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