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practically all merchantmen, and ordering the use of their guns for offence. Photographs of the English orders had been sent to the neutral Governments, with the Memorandum of the 8th February, 1916. These orders are directly contrary to the declarations of the English Ambassador in Washington on the 25th August, 1914. The Imperial German Government had hoped that these facts would prompt the neutral Governments to carry out the disarmament of merchant vessels on the lines of the proposals for disarmament made by the United States Government on 23rd January, 1916. Actually, however, the arming of these ships with guns provided by our enemies has been energetically pursued.
Advantage was taken by England and her Allies of the American Government's decision not to keep her citizens off enemy merchant ships to arm merchantmen for attack. This makes it easy for merchantmen to destroy the submarines, and, in case of the failure of their attack, to count themselves secure owing to the presence on board of American citizens.
The order as to the use of arms was supplemented by instructions given to the masters of the merchant vessels to fly false colors and to ram the submarines. The news that prize-money was paid to successful captains of merchant ships and honors conferred upon them increased the effectiveness of these orders. The Allies have associated themselves with these English measures.
Germany now finds herself faced with the following facts:
(a) That for a year a blockade contrary to international law has kept neutral commerce away from German ports and made export from Germany impossible.
(6) That for six months an extension, contrary to international law, of the laws of contraband has hampered the maritime commerce of neutral neighbors in respect of Germany.
(c) That interference with the post, contrary to international law, is striving to cut Germany off from all communication with the outside world.
(d) That systematically increased coercion of neutrals, on the principle that “Might is right," is stopping trade with Germany across the land frontiers, with a view to completing the starvation blockade of the non-combatant population of the Central Powers.
(e) That Germans who are found at sea by our enemies are robbed of their liberty regardless of whether they are combatants or non-combatants.
() That our enemies have armed their merchant ships for attack, and have thus made impossible the use of submarines in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of London.
The English White Book, of the 5th January, 1916, with regard to the restriction of German commerce, boasts that through these measures Germany's export trade has been almost completely stopped, and that her imports have been made dependent on the good-will of England.
The Imperial Government may hope that, in view of the friendly relations that have existed between the two countries for a hundred years, the standpoint herein laid down will meet with the sympathy of the people of the United States, in spite of the increased difficulty of mutual understanding brought about by the conduct of our enemies.
The last words of this Memorandum were vigorously commented on by the American Press as a proof that we wished to appeal, not to the American Government, but to the American people, as a result of the movement which had been set on foot in Congress, and especially in the Senate, that American citizens should be prohibited from travelling on the armed merchant vessels of combatant States.
The struggle which was at that time being waged in Congress has been greatly exaggerated in Germany. At home it was thought that the weight of opinion in Congress in favor of the warning of passengers was very great. On the pro-German side in New York it was thought that Congress was anxious to avert danger of a conflict. If this could have happened through a yielding on the part of Germany, it would, of course, have made things much easier for the Americans; if, however, Germany refused to give way, they thought the United States would have found a more conciliatory formula, as the country was seeking before all things to avert war. They believed that the re-election of 1916 had been largely won through the battle-cry, “He kept us out of the war," which showed that Congress, with its love of freedom, reflected the general opinion. It was, moreover, doubted in the same quarter whether Wilson, as a pacifist candidate for the Presidency, could declare war at that time, when there was as yet no definite provocation-as, for example, the Mexico Dispatch. The theory of this small pro-German group in New York was that Congress would at that time have done anything to avoid war, and that they had only accepted the Gore resolution in order to humiliate the President in the eyes of the world as no head of a State had ever been disavowed before.
In the same quarter-as also happened before the Committee of the German National Assembly—the whole question aroused indignation. It was said that when the Germans read that it had been pompously brought forward as a point of honor whether a few Americans should travel by enemy armed vessels, they bristled with anger. It looked to them as though the alternatives were whether these few Americans should travel in the warzone on neutral ships, or whether a great civilized nation like Germany should go under! The matter developed from the "too proud to fight” attitude when Wilson really believed there was a danger of war, and so drew back-to the tone of February, 1916—when he no longer believed in the possibility of war, but felt sure that he could subdue us with hard words. They thought it strange, moreover, to hear Wilson speaking of the gradual breakdown of the delicate structure of international law. That had resulted from England's attitude, and in 1812 America had declared war on the English because of an illegal blockade.
Politics are not to be carried on by indignation, but only with a cool head and a clear vision for political realities. We could not alter the American situation, but must strive to conduct ourselves in such a way as to prejudice the position of the United States as little as possible.
I had from the beginning little doubt that Mr. Wilson would make his will prevail, because the domestic position in the United States made any other issue impossible. The presidential election was imminent, and the Democratic party had no likely candidate apart from Mr. Wilson. If a split occurred within the party the Republicans would be bound to win. Senators Stone and Gore were the leaders of the Democratic Opposition, while the Republicans in this case supported the policy of the President, partly because they were on the side of the Entente, partly because they wanted to assure the interests of American commerce. As has already been mentioned, Senator Stone had always maintained a neutral attitude to the last, chiefly because he was one of the two representatives of Missouri, and could not ignore the large number of Germans among his constituents. For this reason he was called by the proEntente Press, like the New York Herald, “pro-German Mr. Stone.” Senator Gore was a Pacifist on principle, and thought that the resolution for which he was responsible, to prohibit Americans from travelling on armed merchantmen, would avert the danger of war.
The whole Congress story can only be read as a domestic party skirmish, with a view to the approaching Presidential election; one section of the Democratic party wanted a candidate other than Wilson. Just as it was at that time a mistake to expect any advantage from the Congress Opposition, so to-day a similar mistake is made in Germany, when it is assumed that the struggle in the Senate over the ratification of the Peace Treaty has a pro-German background.
The debate in Congress was not in any way connected with an acute German-American situation. It seems necessary to give here a short survey of the negotiations, as they appeared from my point of view. Our first concession occurred after the Arabic incident, our second later, after the Sussex incident. Between these two there was never any concession to America on the part of Germany, for the shelving of the second Lusitania crisis constituted a compromise. Between February, 1915, and the Lusitania incident we were conducting an unrestricted submarine campaign, subsequently a limited one, though this was not known to America until after the sinking of the Arabic; after February, 1916, the unrestricted campaign was renewed until the Sussex incident, after which cruiser warfare was began. This is all that concerned me in this connection. Internal differences of opinion within the German Government, such as occurred after February, 1915, did not make their way