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tion and protection of interests of particular governments in particular countries. On the same principle is excluded the general file on the designation and rights of hospital ships attached to belligerent forces. A limited selection of documents from the file dealing with allegations as to the use of illegal and inhumane methods of warfare is printed, in order to bring out the attitude taken toward them by the American Government, to which they were so largely addressed.

With particular reference to the sections dealing with problems of international law, the general rule has been to exclude correspondence on particular cases which raise no new issues, but which are settled in a more or less routine manner according to principles determined in other cases for which papers are printed, or which are dropped because the facts are found not to be as first represented.

There is given below an exchange of letters between the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, under date of January 8 and 20, 1915, since this correspondence constitutes in some degree a review of the conduct of the Department of State in maintaining American neutrality during the year 1914, and therefore forms a logical introduction to the papers relating to that period of the World War. Papers bearing on all specific cases and statements of fact included in the Secretary's reply to Senator Stone are printed in this volume, with the exception of those under the heading "Searching of American vessels for German and Austrian subjects on the high seas and in territorial waters of a belligerent," which are included in the Supplement for 1915.

It may be added that the chief responsibility for the selection and arrangement of these papers was assigned to Dr. Joseph V. Fuller.

TYLER DENNETT Chief, Division of Publications



The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (Stone) to the Secretary

of State

WASHINGTON, January 8, 1915. DEAR MR. SECRETARY: As you are aware, frequent complaints or charges are made in one form or another through the press that this Government has shown partiality to Great Britain, France, and Russia as against Germany and Austria during the present war between those powers; in addition to which I have received numerous letters to the same effect from sympathizers with Germany and Austria.. The various grounds of these complaints may be summarized and stated in the following form:

1. Freedom of communication by submarine cables, but censorship of wireless messages.

2. Submission to censorship of mails and in some cases to the repeated
destruction of American letters found on neutral vessels.
3. The search of American vessels for German and Austrian subjects

(a) On the high seas;
(6) In territorial waters of a belligerent.

4. Submission without protest to English violations of the rules regardmg absolute and conditional contraband, as laid down

(a) In the Hague conventions;
(b) In international law;

(c) In the Declaration of London.
5. Submission without protest to inclusion of copper in the list of absolute

6. Submission without protest to interference with American trade to neutral countries

(a) In conditional contraband;

(b) In absolute contraband. 7. Submission without protest to interruption of trade in conditional contraband consigned to private persons in Germany and Austria, thereby supporting the policy of Great Britain to cut off all supplies from Germany and Austria.

8. Submission to British interruption of trade in petroleum, rubber, leather, wool, etc.

9. No interference with the sale to Great Britain and her allies of arms, ammunition, horses, uniforms, and other munitions of war, although such sales prolong the war.

10. No suppression of sale of dumdum bullets to Great Britain.

11. British warships are permitted to lie off American ports and intercept neutral vessels.

12. Submission without protest to disregard by Great Britain and her allies of —

(a) American naturalization certificates;

(6) American passports.
13. Change of policy in regard to loans to belligerents:

(a) General loans;

(b) Credit loans. 14. Submission to arrest of native-born Americans on neutral vessels and in British ports, and their imprisonment.

15. Indifference to confinement of non-combatants in detention camps in England and France.

16. Failure to prevent transshipment of British troops and war material across the territory of the United States.

17. Treatment and final internment of German steamship Geier and the collier Locksun at Honolulu.

18. Unfairness to Germany in rules relative to coaling of warships in Panama Canal Zone.

19. Failure to protest against the modifications of the Declaration of London by the British Government.

20. General unfriendly attitude of Government toward Germany and Austria. If you deem it not incompatible with the public interest, I would be obliged if you would furnish me with whatever information your Department may have touching these various points of complaint, or request the Counselor of the State Department to send me the information, with any suggestions you or he may deem advisable to make with respect to either the legal or political aspects of the subject. So far as informed, I see no reason why all the matter I am requesting to be furnished should not be made public, to the end that the true situation may be known and misapprehensions quieted. I have (etc.)


The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations


WASHINGTON, January 20, 1915. DEAR MR. STONE: I have received your letter of the 8th instant, referring to frequent complaints or charges made in one form or another through the press


that this Government has shown partiality to Great Britain, France, and Russia against Germany and Austria during the present war, and stating that you have received numerous letters to the same effect from sympathizers with the latter powers. You summarize the various grounds of these complaints and ask that you be furnished with whatever information the Department may have touching these points of complaint, in order that you may be informed as to what the true situation is in regard to these matters.

In order that you may have such information as the Department has on the subjects referred to in your letter, I will take them up seriatim.

(1) Freedom of communication by submarine cables versus censored communication by wireless.

The reason that wireless messages and cable messages require different treatment by a neutral government is as follows:

Communications by wireless can not be interrupted by a belligerent. With a submarine cable it is otherwise. The possibility of cutting the cable exists, and if a belligerent possesses naval superiority the cable is cut, as was the German cable near the Azores by one of Germany's enemies and as was the British cable near Fanning Island by a German naval force. Since a cáble is subject to hostile attack, the responsibility falls upon the belligerent and not upon the neutral to prevent cable communication.

A more important reason, however, at least from the point of view of a neutral government, is that messages sent out from a wireless station in neutral territory may be received by belligerent warships on the high seas. If these messages, whether plain or in cipher, direct the movements of warships or convey to them information as to the location of an enemy's public or private vessels, the neutral territory becomes a base of naval operations, to permit which would be essentially unneutral.

As a wireless message can be received by all stations and vessels within a given radius, every message in cipher, whatever its intended destination, must be censored; otherwise military information may be sent to warships off the coast of a neutral. It is manifest that a submarine cable is incapable of becoming a means of direct communication with a warship on the high seas. Hence its use can not, as a rule, make neutral territory a base for the direction of naval operations.

(2) Censorship of mails and in some cases repeated destruction of American letters on neutral vessels.

As to the censorship of mails, Germany as well as Great Britain has pursued this course in regard to private letters falling into their hands. The unquestioned right to adopt a measure of this sort makes objection to it inadvisable.

It has been asserted that American mail on board of Dutch steamers has been repeatedly destroyed. No evidence to this effect has been filed with the Government, and therefore no representations have been made. Until such a case is presented in concrete form, this Government would not be justified in presenting the matter to the offending belligerent. Complaints have come to the Department that mail on board neutral steamers has been opened and detained, but there seem to be but few cases where the mail from neutral countries has not been finally delivered. When mail is sent to belligerent countries open and is of a neutral and private character, it has not been molested, so far as the Department is advised.


(3) Searching of American vessels for German and Austrian subjects on the high seas and in territorial waters of a belligerent.

So far as this Government has been informed, no American vessels on the high seas, with two exceptions, have been detained or searched by belligerent warships for German and Austrian subjects. One of the exceptions to which reference is made is now the subject of a rigid investigation, and vigorous representations have been made to the offending government. The other exception, where certain German passengers were made to sign a promise not to take part in the war, has been brought to the attention of the offending government with a declaration that such procedure, if true, is an unwarranted exercise of jurisdiction over American vessels in which this Government will not acquiesce.

An American private vessel entering voluntarily the territorial waters of a belligerent becomes subject to its municipal laws, as do the persons on board the vessel.

There have appeared in certain publications the assertion that failure to protest in these cases is an abandonment of the principle for which the United States went to war in 1812. If the failure to protest were true, which it is not, the principle involved is entirely different from the one appealed to against unjustifiable impressment of Americans in the British Navy in time of peace.

(4) Submission without protest to British violations of the rules regarding absolute and conditional contraband as laid down in the Hague conventions, the Declaration of London, and international law.

There is no Hague convention which deals with absolute or conditional contraband, and, as the Declaration of London is not in force, the rules of international law only apply. As to the articles to be regarded as contraband, there is no general agreement between nations. It is the practice for a country, either in time of peace or after the outbreak of war, to declare the articles which it will consider as absolute or conditional contraband. It is true that a neutral government is seriously affected by this declaration, as the rights of its subjects or citizens may be impaired. But the rights and interests of belligerents and neutrals are opposed in respect to contraband articles and trade and there is no tribunal to which questions of difference may be readily submitted.

The record of the United States in the past is not free from criticism. When neutral, this Government has stood for a restricted list of absolute and conditional contraband. As a belligerent, we have contended for a liberal list, according to our conception of the necessities of the case.

The United States has made earnest representations to Great Britain in regard to the seizure and detention by the British authorities of all American ships or cargoes bona fide destined to neutral ports, on the ground that such seizures and detentions were contrary to the existing rules of international law. It will be recalled, however, that American courts have established various rules bearing on these matters. The rule of "continuous voyage" has been not only asserted by American tribunals but extended by them. They have exercised the right to determine from the circumstances whether the ostensible was the real destination. They have held that the shipment of articles of contraband to a neutral port "to order," from which, as a matter of fact, cargoes had been transshipped to the enemy, is corroborative evidence that the cargo is really destined to the enemy instead of to the neutral port of delivery. It is thus seen that some of the doctrines which appear to bear harshly upon neutrals at the present time are analogous to or outgrowths from policies adopted by the United States when it was a belligerent. The Government therefore can not consistently protest against the application of rules which it has followed in the past, unless they have not been practiced as heretofore.

(5) Acquiescence without protest to the inclusion of copper and other articles in the British lists of absolute contraband.

The United States has now under consideration the question of the right of a belligerent to include "copper unwrought" in its list of absolute contraband instead of in its list of conditional contraband. As the Government of the United States has in the past placed “all articles from which ammunition is manufactured” in its contraband list, and has declared copper to be among such materials, it necessarily finds some embarrassment in dealing with the subject.

Moreover, there is no instance of the United States acquiescing in Great britain's seizure of copper shipments. In every case in which it has been done vigorous representations have been made to the British Government, and the representatives of the United States have pressed for the release of the shipments.

(6) Submission without protest to interference with American trade to neutral countries in conditional and absolute contraband.

The fact that the commerce of the United States is interrupted by Great Britain is consequent upon the superiority of her Navy on the high seas. History shows that whenever a country has possessed that superiority our trade has been interrupted and that few articles essential to the prosecution of the war have been allowed to reach its enemy from this country. The Department's recent note to the British Government, which has been made public, in regard to detentions and seizures of American vessels and cargoes, is a complete answer to this complaint. Certain other complaints appear aimed at the loss of profit in trade, which must include, at least in part, trade in contraband with Germany; while other complaints demand the prohibition of trade in contraband, which appear to refer to trade with the Allies.

(7) Submission without protest to interruption of trade in conditional contraband consigned to private persons in Germany and Austria, thereby supporting the policy of Great Britain to cut off all supplies from Germany and Austria.

As no American vessel, so far as known, has attempted to carry conditional contraband to Germany or Austria-Hungary, no ground of complaint has arisen out of the seizure or condemnation by Great Britain of an American vessel with a belligerent destination. Until a case arises and the Government has taken action upon it, criticism is premature and unwarranted. The United States in its note of December 28 1 to the British Government strongly contended for the principle of freedom of trade in articles of conditional contraband not destined to the belligerent's forces.

(8) Submission to British interference with trade in petroleum, rubber, leather, wool, etc.

Petrol and other petroleum products have been proclaimed by Great Britain as contraband of war. In view of the absolute necessity of such products to the use of submarines, aeroplanes, and motors, the United States Government has not yet reached the conclusion that they are improperly included in a list of contraband. Military operations to-day are largely a question of motive power through mechanical devices. It is therefore difficult to argue successfully against the inclusion of petroleum among the articles of contraband. As to the detention of cargoes of petroleum going to neutral countries, this Government has thus far successfully obtained the release in every case of detention or seizure which has been brought to its attention.

Great Britain and France have placed rubber on the absolute contraband list and leather on the conditional contraband list. Rubber is extensively used in the manufacture and operation of motors and, like petrol, is regarded by some authorities as essential to motive power to-day. Leather is even more widely used in cavalry and infantry equipment. It is understood that both rubber and leather, together with wool, have been embargoed by most of the belligerent countries. It will be recalled that the United States has in the past exercised the right of embargo upon exports of any commodity which might aid the enemy's


(9) The United States has not interfered with the sale to Great Britain and her allies of arms, ammunition, horses, uniforms, and other munitions of war, although such sales prolong the conflict.

There is no power in the Executive to prevent the sale of ammunition to the belligerents.

The duty of a neutral to restrict trade in munitions of war has never been imposed by international law or by municipal statute. It has never been the policy of this Government to prevent the shipment of arms or ammunition into belligerent territory, except in the case of neighboring American Republics, and then only when civil strife prevailed. Even to this extent the belligerents in the present conflict, when they were neutrals, have never, so far as the records disclose, limited the sale of munitions of war. It is only necessary to point to the enormous quantities of arms and ammunition furnished by manufacturers in Germany to the belligerents in the Russo-Japanese war and in the recent Balkan wars to establish the general recognition of the propriety of the trade by a neutral nation.

It may be added that on the 15th of December last, the German Ambassador, by direction of his Government, presented a copy of a memorandum of the Imperial German Government which, among other things, set forth the attitude of that Government toward traffic in contraband of war by citizens of neutral countries. The Imperial Government stated that “under the general principles of international law, no exception can be taken to neutral States letting war material go to Germany's enemies from or through neutral territory,” and that the adversaries of Germany in the present war are, in the opinion of the Imperial Government, authorized to “draw on the United States contraband of war and

1 Dated 26th, presented 28th. See post, p. 372.

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