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The men from the Wilhelm, numbering were removed from the League Island more than 400, were assigned to Fort Navy Yard at Philadelphia, as their McPherson and those from the Eitel presence at the country's chief navy Friedrich to Fort Oglethorpe.
yard during the tense days preceding The men were housed in barracks sur our declaration of war was regarded as rounded by a barbed-wire stockade. They perilous.
Dr. Zimmermann's Defense of His Mexican Plan
HE German Secretary of Foreign
Affairs, Dr. Alfred Zimmermann,
made a second statement on March 29 in attempted defense of his unsuccessful plan to create a German-MexicanJapanese alliance against the United States. His act was subjected to criticism by Hugo Haase, leader of the Socialist minority, who remarked in the Reichstag that the affair had aggravated the situation in America. According to an Amsterdam Reuter dispatch, Dr. Zimmermann replied:
I wrote no letter to General Carranza. I was not so naïve. I merely addressed, by a route that appeared to me to be a safe one, instructions to our representative in Mexico. It is being investigated how these instructions fell into the hands of the American authorities. I instructed the Minister to Mexico, in the event of war with the l'nited States, to propose a German alliance to Mexico, and simultaneously to suggest that Japan join the alliance. I declared expressly that, despite the submarine war, we hoped that America would maintain neutrality.
My instructions were to be carried out only after the United States declared war and a state of war supervened. I believe the instructions were absolutely loyal as regards the United States.
General Carranza would have heard nothing of it up to the present if the United States had not published the instructions which came into its hands in a way which was not unobjectionable. Our behavior contrasts considerably with the behavior of the Washington Government.
President Wilson after our note of Jan. 31, 1917, which a voided all aggressiveness in tone, deemed it proper immediately to break off relations with extraordinary roughness. Our Ambassador no longer had the opportunity to explain or elucidate our attitude orally. The United States Government thus declined to negotiate with us. On the other hand, it addressed itself immediately to all the neutral powers to induce them to join the United States and break with us.
Every unprejudiced person must see in
this the hostile atttitude of the American Government, which seemed to consider it right, before being at war with us, to set the entire world against us. It cannot deny us the right to seek allies when it has itself practically declared war on us.
Herr Haase says that it caused great indignation in America. Of course,
in the first instance, the affair was employed as an incitement against us.
But the storm abated slowly and the calm and sensible politicians, and also the great mass of the American people, saw that there was nothing to object to in these instructions in themselves. I refer especially to the statements of
Senator Underwood. Even at times newspapers felt obliged to admit regretfully that not so very much had been made out of this affair.
The Government was reproached for thinking just of Mexico and Japan. First of all, Mexico was a neighboring State to America. If we wanted allies against America, Mexico would be the first to come into consideration. The relations between Mexico and ourselves since the time of Porfirio Diaz have been extremely friendly and trustful. The Mexicans, moreover, are known as good and efficient soldiers.
It can hardly be said that the relations between the United States and Mexico had been friendly and trustful.
But the world knows that antagonism exists between America and Japan. I maintain that these antagonisms are stronger than those which, despite the war, exist between Germany and Japan.
When I also wished to persuade Carranza that Japan should join the alliance there was nothing extraordinary in this. The relations between Japan and Mexico are long existent. The Mexicans and Japanese are of a like race and good relations exist between both countries.
When, further, the Entente press affirms that it is shameless to take away allies, such reproach must have a peculiar effect coming from powers who, like our enemies, made no scruple in taking away from us two powers and peoples with whom we were bound by treaties for more than thirty years. The powers who desire to make pliant an old European country of culture like Greece by unparalleled and violent means cannot raise such a reproach against us.
Secretary Lansing Is Handing a United States Treasury Warrant for $25,000,000 to Constantin Brun,
( Harris & Bwing)
TAKING FORMAL POSSESSION OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
American Sailors From the U. S. S. Hancock and Olympia in Front of the Government Buildings at St. Thomas for Ceremonies of Formal Transfer of Danish West Indies
(Photo Central News Service)
When I thought of this alliance with Mexico and Japan I allowed myself to be guided by the consideration that our brave troops already have to fight against a superior force of enemies, and my duty is, as far as possible, to keep further enemies away
from them. That Mexico and Japan suited that purpose even
Herr Haase will not deny.
Thus, I considered it a patriotic duty to release those instructions, and I hold to the standpoint that I acted rightly.
Austria-Hungary Breaks With United States O
N April 8 the Government of Au adelphia, and one at Tampa. The ma
stria-Hungary severed diplomatic chinery in most of them had been dam
relations with the Government of aged. the United States. Baron Erich Zwie The following was the official note dinek, who had been Chargé d'Affaires handed to the American Chargé d'Afof the Austrian Embassy ever since the faires at Vienna in the absence of Amrecall of Dr. Dumba, former Ambassador, bassador Penfield, who had left for called at the State Department and de America a few days previously: manded passports for himself, all his Since the l'nited States of America has deembassy staff, including Ambassador clared that a state of war exists between it designate Tarnowski, and all Austrian
and the Imperial German Government, Au
stria-Hungary, as an ally of the German Consular officers in the United States
Empire, has decided to break off diplomatic and its possessions.
relations with the United States, and the As soon as the announcement of the Imperial and Royal Embassy at Washington break was received by the Administration
has been instructed to inform the Depart
ment of State to that effect. orders were given for king possession of the Austrian merchant vessels that
While regretting under these circumstances
to see a termination of the personal relations had been self-interned in this country. which he has had the honor to hold with the Secretary Lansing said that this was Chargé d'Affaires of the United States of done as a precautionary measure. There
America, the undersigned does not fail to were fourteen ships with a gross tonnage
place at the former's disposal herewith the
passport for the departure from Austriaof 67,807. The largest was the Martha
Hungary of himself and the other members Washington, 8,312 gross tons, at New of the embassy. York, three others were self-interned at At the same time the undersigned avails New York, one at Boston, three at New
himself of the opportunity to renew to the
Chargé d'Affaires the expression of his most Orleans, one at Pensacola, two at Gal
perfect consideration. veston, one at Newport News, one at Phil
Belgian Relief Work Transferred
RAND WHITLOCK, the American
Minister to Belgium, was ordered to
withdraw from Belgian soil by President Wilson on March 24; the President also ordered the departure of all American Consular officers. The withdrawal of the American members of the Belgian Relief Commission, who had been directing the feeding of several millions of destitute Belgian and French civilians, also was necessitated by the war situation. The work of these Americans was taken up by Dutch citizens under direction of the Netherlands Government. Herbert C.
Hoover, the head of the relief commission, continued to direct the work from Rotterdam, but after the American declaration of war it was understood that he would return to America to assume the position of Food Director. In the official announcement of the withdrawal the State Department at Washington very bluntly and sharply put the blame on the Germans, as the following extract from the official statement of March 24 shows:
“ Immediately after the break in relations the German authorities in Brussels withdrew from Mr. Whitlock the diplo
matic privileges and immunities which of its written undertakings causes grave he had up to that time enjoyed. His concern as to the future of the relief courier service to The Hague was work. In any event, it is felt that the stopped. He was denied the privilege of American staff of the commission can no communicating with the Department of longer serve with advantage in Belgium. State in cipher, and later even in plain Although a verbal promise has been made language. The members of the relief that the members of the commission commission were placed under great re would be permitted to leave if they destrictions of movements and communica sire, the German Government's obserytions, which hampered the efficient per
ance of its other undertakings has not formance of their task.
been such that the department would feel “ In spite of all these difficulties, the warranted in accepting responsibility for Government and the commission were leaving these American citizens in Gerdetermined to keep the work going till man occupied territory." the last possible moment. Now, however,
Four Belgian relief ships loaded with a more serious difficulty has arisen. In
food bound from America for Rotterdam the course of the last ten days several of the commission's ships have been at
were sunk by German submarines betacked without warning by German sub
tween March 25 and April 10, and it was marines, in flagrant violation of the
feared that all relief measures must be
abandoned. On April 17, however, it solemn engagements of the German Gov
was announced that eight loaded relief ernment. Protests addressed by this Government to Berlin through the inter
ships had reached Rotterdam between mediary of the Spanish Government
April 6 and 15, indicating that the Gerhave not been answered.
mans had concluded to allow the relief
service to continue. “ The German Government's disregard
Vessels Sunk by Submarines
HE allied nations having ceased to
ing Boatswain's Mate Eopolucci of the United States Naval Guard, perished.
report the detailed results of the
German submarine warfare, only general data can be obtained for the most part for the months of March and April.
The Aztec was the chief American ship reported sunk after the destruction of the Memphis, Vigilancia, and Illinois, the three American vessels whose loss brought on the extra session of Congress and the war declaration. The Aztec was an armed merchantman; the sinking was reported on April 2, the day the President delivered his war message. She was attacked by a submarine at night near an island off Brest, without warning, and in a heavy sea. She was a slowmoving freighter of 3,727 tons, loaded with a cargo of foodstuffs, valued at $500,000, belonging to the Oriental Navigation Company. The vessel's guns were in charge of a naval detachment consisting of a Lieutenant and a crew of 11 gunners; 28 of the men on board, includ
The American Oil steamship Healdton was sunk March 22 in the North Sea by a German submarine, and 21 of her crew, of whom 7 were Americans, perished. The cargo was valued at $2,150,000; the United States Government War Risk Bureau lost $499,000 by the sinking of the Healdton, bringing the total losses of the bureau—including $250,000 on the Illinois—to $1,583,924; but the premiums in that period amounted to $3,167,997.
On March 23 the French cruiser Danton was reported as having been torpedoed in the Mediteranean Sea; 296 men were lost, 806 saved. The vessel displaced 18,028 tons.
The unarmed American steamer Missourian, which left Genoa April 4 with 32 Americans in her crew of 53—net tonnage 4,981—was sunk without warning in the Mediterranean. The American