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nautical miles from Cape Finisterre and 20 nautical miles distance along the Spanish north coast as far as the French frontier.
Concerning the South, in the Mediterranean: For neutral shipping there remains open the sea district west of a line from Pt. de la Paquette to 38 degrees 20 minutes north and 6 degrees east, as well as north and west, of a zone 60 sea miles along the North African coast, beginning on (?) degrees west longitude....
Neutral ships plying within the barred zones do so at their own risk. Although precautions are being taken to spare neutral ships which on Feb. 1 are on the way to ports in the barred zone, during an appropriate delay, yet it is urgently to be advised that they should be warned and directed to other routes by all means available.
Neutral ships lying in ports of the barred zones can with the same safety abandon the barred zones if they sail before Feb. 5 and take the shortest route to the open district.
AMERICAN STEAMER TRAFFIC REGULATED. Traffic of regular American passenger steamers can go on unmolested if :
A-Falmouth is taken as the port of destination, and if,
B~On the going and return journey the Scilly Islands, as well as the point 50 degrees north, 20 degrees west, be steered on. Along this route no German mines will be laid;
C—If steamers on this journey bear the following special signals which only they will be permitted to display in American ports: A coating of paint on the ship's hull and the superstructure in vertical stripes three metres broad, alternating white and red; on every mast a large flag of checkered white and red, on the stern the American national flag; during darkness the national flag and the coat of paint to be as easily recognizable as possible from a distance; and the ships must be completely and brightly illuminated;
D—If only one steamer runs each week in each direction, arriving at Falmouth on Sundays, leaving Falmouth on Wednesdays.
E–If guarantees and assurances are given by the American Government that these steamers carry no contraband according to the German list of contraband.
Two copies of maps on which the barred zones are outlined are added. (Boston Herald, February 1, 1917.)
(h) [$214] America's Ultimatum to Germany.
GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION.
The Government of the United States, after having given carecareful consideration to the note of the Imperial Government of the tenth of April, regrets to state that the impression made upon it by the statements and proposals contained in that note is that the Imperial Government has failed to appreciate the
of suck on the Ssituation w
gravity of the situation which has resulted, not alone from the attack on the Sussex, but from the whole method and character of submarine warfare as disclosed by the unrestrained practice of the commanders of German undersea craft during the past twelve months and more in the indiscriminate destruction of merchant vessels of all sorts, nationalities and destinations. If the sinking of the Sussex had been an isolated case the Government of the United States might find it possible to hope that the officer who was responsible for that act had wilfully violated his orders or had been criminally negligent in taking none of the precautions they prescribed, and that the ends of justice might be satisfied by imposing upon him an adequate punishment, coupled with a formal disavowal of the act and payment of a suitable indemnity by the Imperial Government. But, though the attack upon the Sussex was manifestly indefensible and caused a loss of life so tragical as to make it stand forth as one of the most terrible examples of the inhumanity of submarine warfare as the commanders of German vessels are conducting it, it unhappily does not stand alone.
On the contrary, the Government of the United States is forced by recent events to conclude that it is only one instance, even though one of the most extreme and most distressing instances, of the deliberate method and spirit of indiscriminate destruction of merchant vessels of all sorts, nationalities and destinations which have become more and more unmistakble as the activity of German undersea vessels of war has in recent months been quickened and extended.
CANNOT ACCEPT ZONE POLICY.
The Imperial Government will recall that when, in February, 1915, it announced its intention of treating the waters surrounding Great Britain and Ireland as embraced within the seat of war and of destroying all merchant ships owned by its enemies that might be found within that zone of danger, and warned all vessels, neutral as well as belligerent, to keep out of the waters thus prescribed or to enter them at their peril, the Government of the United States earnestly protested. It took the position that such a policy could not be pursued without constant gross and palpable violations of the accepted law of nations, particularly if submarine craft were to be employed as its instruments, inasmuch as the rules prescribed by that law, rules founded on the principles of humanity and established for the protection of the lives of non-combatants at sea, could not in the nature of the case be observed by such vessels. It based its protest on the ground that persons of neutral nationality and vessels of neutral ownership would be exposed to extreme and intolerable risks; and that no right to close any part of the high seas could lawfully be asserted by the Imperial Government in the circumstances then existing. The law of nations in these matters, upon which the Government of the United States based that protest, is not of recent origin or founded upon merely arbitrary principles set up by convention. It is based, on the contrary, upon manifest principles of humanity and has long
8214]. AMERICAN ULTIMATUM
153 been established with the approval and by the express assent of all civilized nations. . . .
DISREGARD OF GERMAN ASSURANCES. In pursuance of this policy of submarine warfare against the commerce of its adversaries, thus announced and thus entered upon in despite of the solemn protest of the Government of the United States, the commanders of the Imperial Government's undersea vessels have carried on practices of such ruthless destruction which have made it more and more evident as the months have gone by that the Imperial Government has found it impracticable to put any such restraint upon them as it had hoped and promised to put. Again and again the Imperial Government has given its solemn assurances to the Government of the United States that at least passenger ships would not be thus dealt with, and yet it has repeatedly permitted its undersea commanders to disregard those assurances with entire impunity. As recently as February last it gave notice that it would regard all armed merchantmen owned by its enemies as part of the armed naval forces of its adversaries and deal with them as with men-of-war, thus, at least by implication, pledging itself to give warning to vessels which were not armed, and to accord security of life to their passengers and crews; but even this limitation their submarine commanders have recklessly ignored.
DESTRUCTION. Vessels of neutral ownership, even vessels of neutral ownership bound from neutral port to neutral port, have been destroyed along with vessels of belligerent ownership in constantly increasing numbers. Sumetimes the merchantmen attacked have been warned, and summoned to surrender before being fired on or torpedoed; sometimes their passengers and crews have been vouchsafed the poor security of being allowed to take to the ship's boats before the ship was sent to the bottom. But again and again no warning has been given, no escape even to the ship’s boats allowed to those on board. Great liners like the Lusitania and Arabic and merchant boats like the Sussex have been attacked without a woment's warning, often before they have even become aware that they were in the presence of an armed ship of the enemy, and the lives of non-combatants, passengers and crew have been destroyed wholesale and in a manner which the Government of the United States can but regard as wanton and without the slightest color of justification. No limit of any kind has, in fact, been set to their indiscriminate pursuit and destructon of merchantmen of all kinds and nationalities within the waters which the Imperial Government has chosen to designate as lying within the seat of war. The roll of Americans who have lost their lives upon ships thus attacked and destroyed has grown month by month until the ominous toll has mounted into the hundreds.
PATIENCE. The Government of the United States has been very patient.
At every stage of this distressing experience of tragedy after tragedy it has sought to be governed by the most thoughtful consideration of the extraordinary circumstances of an unprecedented war and to be guided by sentiments of very genuine friendship for the people and government of Germany. It has accepted the successive explanations and assurances of the Imperial Government, as of course, given with entire sincerity and good faith, and has hoped, even against hope, that it would prove to be possible for the Imperial Government so to order and control the acts of its naval commanders as to square its policy with the recognized principles of humanity as embodied in the law of nations. It has made every allowance for unprecedented conditions and has been willing to wait until the facts became unmistakable, and were susceptible of only one interpretation.
SEVERANCE OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS.
It now owes it to its own rights to say to the Imperial Government that that time has come. It has become painfully evident to it that the position which it took at the very outset is inevitable, namely, the use of submarines for the destruction of an enemy's commerce is of necessity because of the very character of the vessels employed, and the very methods of attack which their employment of course involves, utterly incompatible with the principles of humanity, the long established and incontrovertible rights of neutrals, and the sacred immunities of noncombatants.
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. This action the Government of the United States contemplates with the greatest reluctance but feels constrained to take in behalf of humanity and the rights of neutral nations.
(Department of State, Diplomatic Correspondence, European War, No 3, pp. 242-245.)
(i)  President's Refusal to Negotiate With Berlin
Unless Blockade Order is Withdrawn. BY SECRETARY OF STATE ROBERT LANSING. (February 12, 1917.)
In view of the appearance in the newspapers of Feb. 11 of a report that Germany was initiating negotiations with the United States in regard to submarine warfare, the Department of State makes the following statement:
A suggestion was made orally to the Department of State late
Saturday afternoon by the Minister of Switzerland that the German Government is willing to negotiate with the United States, provided that the commercial blockade against England would not be interfered with. At the request of the Secretary of State, this suggestion was made in writing and presented to him by the Swiss Minister Sunday night. The communication is as follows:
MEMORANDUM. The Swiss Government has been requested by the German Government to say that the latter is now, as before, willing to negotiate, formally or informally, with the United States, provided that the commercial blockade against England will not be broken thereby.
(Signed) P. RITTER. The memorandum received immediate consideration, and the the following reply was dispatched : “My Dear Mr. Minister:
"I am requested by the President to say to you, in acknowledging the memorandum which you were kind enough to send me on the 11th inst., that the Government of the United States would gladly discuss with the German Government any questions it might propose for discussion were it to withdraw its proclamation of the 31st of January, in which, suddenly and without previous intimation of any kind, it cancelled the assurances which it had given this Government on the 4th of May last, but that it does not feel that it can enter into any discussion with the German Government concerning the policy of submarine warfare against neutrals which it is now pursuing unless and until the German Government renews its assurances of the 4th of May and acts upon the assurance. I am, my dear Mr. Minister, &c.,
“ROBERT LANSING.” (New York Times, February 13, 1917.) (j) [$216] American Passengers on the Laconia (February,
1917). There are three bits of literature in connection with the sinking of the Laconia that patriotic Americans should preserve. One is the story of the tragedy as written by Floyd P. Gibbons, of the Chicago "Tribune.” The second is the message cabled by Austin Y. Hoy to President Wilson. The third is the simple narrative of that heroic priest, Father Sargeant.
The Gibbons article is too long to reproduce here, but the others follow:
Here is the Hoy cablegram: “The President of the United States,
“Washington, D. C. “I am an American citizen, representing the Sullivan Machinery Company of Chicago, living abroad not as an expatriate but for the promotion of American trade.
"I love the flag, believing in its significance.