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MESSAGE FROM THE GERMAN EMPEROR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES REGARDING CERTAIN NEGOTIATIONS WHICH
PRECEDED THE WAR 1

BERLIN VIA COPENHAGEN,

Dated August 14, 1914,

Recd. August 15, 7.30 p.m. SECRETARY OF STATE, Washington:

August 14, 3 p.m. The following was communicated personally to me by the Emperor in writing:

"Private and confidential.
“For the President personally.

"One. The Royal Highness Prince Henry was received by His Majesty King George V in London, who empowered him to transmit to me verbally that England would remain neutral if war broke out on the continent involving Germany and France, Austria and Russia. This message was telegraphed to me by my brother from London after his conversation with His Majesty the King and repeated verbally on the 29th July.

"Two. My ambassador in London transmitted a message from Sir Edward Grey to Berlin saying that only in case France was likely to be crushed England would interfere.

“Three. On the 30th my ambassador in London reported that Sir Edward Grey, in the course of a private (sic) conversation, told him that if the conflict remained localized between Russia - not Servia and Austria, England would not move, but if we mixed in the fray, she would take quick decisions and grave maneuvers; in other words, if I left my ally, Austria, in the lurch to fight alone England would not touch me.

Four. This communication being directly counter to the King's message to me, I telegraphed to His Majesty on the 29th or 30th thanking him for kind message through my brother and begging him to use all his power to keep France and Russia, his allies, from making any warlike preparations calculated to disturb my work on mediation, stating that I was in constant communication with His Majesty the Czar. In the evening the King kindly answered that he had ordered his Government to use every possible influence with his allies to repudiate taking

i Official Bulletin, Washington, August 14, 1917.

any provocative military measures. At the same time His Majesty asked me I should transmit to Vienna the British proposal that Austria was to take Belgrade and a few other Servian towns and a strip of country as a main mise (sic) to make sure that the Servian promises on paper should be fulfilled in reality. This proposal was in the same moment telegraphed to me from Vienna for London quite in conjunction with the British proposal; besides I had telegraphed to His Majesty the Czar the same as an idea of mine before I received the two communications from Vienna and London. As both were of the same opinion, I immediately transmitted the telegrams vice versa to Vienna and London. I felt that I was able to tide the question over and was happy at the peaceful outlook.

“Five. While I was preparing a note to His Majesty the Czar the next morning to inform him that Vienna, London, and Berlin were agreed about the treatment of affairs, I received the telephone message from his excellency the chancellor that in the night before, the Czar had given the order to mobilize the whole of the Russian Army, which was of course also meant against Germany; whereas up till then the southern armies had been mobilized against Austria.

“Six. In a telegram from London my ambassador informed me he understood British Government would guarantee neutrality of France and wished to know whether Germany would refrain from attack. I telegraphed to His Majesty the King personally that mobilization being already carried out could not be stopped, but if His Majesty could guarantee with his armed forces the neutrality of France, I would refrain from attacking her, leave her alone, and employ my forces elsewhere. His Majesty answered that he thought my offer was based on a misunderstanding, and as far as I can make out Sir Edward Grey never took my offer into serious consideration. He never answered it. Instead he declared England had to defend Belgian neutrality, which had to be violated by Germany on strategical grounds, news having been received that France was already preparing to enter Belgium and the King of the Belgians having refused my petition for a free passage under guarantee of his country's freedom. I am most grateful for the President's message. Wilhelm.”

GERARD, American Chargé d'Affaires, Copenhagen.

a

SEVERANCE OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN LIBERIA AND

GERMANY

1

The Secretary of State of Liberia to the German Consul at Monrovia

May 5, 1917 SIR,

As the policies of a nation must always be adjusted to meet new conditions affecting its vital interests, as they arise from time to time, so the transpiring of certain events, in connection with the Great European war which has staggered humanity in its ruthless operations and stupendous financial output, have rendered necessary a change of Liberia's attitude of strict neutrality, hitherto assumed and consistently maintained. I refer to the new German submarine program, drawn up by the Imperial German Government and put into execution on the 1st day of February of the present year, the detailed operations of which you are very well conversant with and informed.

While Liberia has endeavored to stand aloof from a conflict, the original causes of which were of purely European concern and interest, yet the method adopted by the Imperial German Government and its allies to vindicate what they conceive to be their national rights and honor and to bring to their arms a speedy and successful victory by such means as the sinking of unarmed ships of their enemies and neutrals without warning, the bombardment of undefended towns and villages, and the violation of the rights of small neutral States, are such flagrant violations of the rules of civilized warfare as to justly create on the part of Liberia grave apprehensions and fears of the eventual permanent establishment of the doctrine of "might" over "right" in the realms of international relations, which doctrine, if allowed to obtain, can only result in the complete subjugation and elimination from the sisterhood of nations of all small and weak States.

Hence the Government and people of Liberia cannot any longer, in their own interest, continue to view with indifference and unconcern the present world's cataclysm, especially since the new German submarine program seriously threatens the lives of Liberian citizens traveling on the high seas as passengers and crew on allied and neutral ships.

Although Liberia is fully conscious of her utter inability to enforce, upon any of the belligerent nations, respect and due regard for the rights

i Official Bulletin, Washington, July 10, 1917.

and safety of her citizens, yet that fact will not deter her from protesting, by the most effective means at her disposal, against any attempt to infringe upon her sacred international rights — in spite of the veiled threats made by the acting Imperial German consul in his published statement of "war news," issued and circulated in this city, under the official seal of his Imperial Government on the 21st of April, to the effect that powers of the third and last importance will be held to strict accountability for all damage done to German interest, the bill for which will be presented and payment thereof enforced after the happy issues of the war.

The Liberian Government is therefore constrained, as an earnest protest against the continued enforcement of the new German submarine program, which threatens the lives of Liberian citizens, as well as grave financial and economic embarrassments to the Republic, to sever relations with the Imperial German Government, and to revoke the exequatur granted to Germany's official representative at this capital.

With assurances of my high esteem and profound respect, I have the honor to subscribe myself,

Your obedient servant,
(Signed) C. D. B. KING,

Secretary of State.

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE REGULATION, MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND THE MAINTENANCE OF ITS

NEUTRALITY

By the President of the United States of America

A PROCLAMATION

No. 1371, May 23, 1917 Whereas the United States exercises sovereignty in the land and waters of the Canal Zone and is responsible for the construction, operation, maintenance, and protection of the Panama Canal:

Now, therefore, I, WOODROW Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare and proclaim the following Rules and Regulations for the regulation, management and protection of the Panama Canal and the Maintenance of its Neutrality which are in addition to the general “Rules and Regulations for the Operation and Navigation of the Panama Canal and Approaches Thereto, including all Waters under its jurisdiction" put into force by Executive Order of July 9, 1914.

Rule 1. A vessel of war, for the purposes of these rules, is defined as a public armed vessel, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government, whose name appears on the list of officers of the military fleet, and the crew of which are under regular naval discipline, which vessel is qualified by its armament and the character of its personnel to take offensive action against the public or private ships of

the enemy

Rule 2. An auxiliary vessel, for the purposes of these rules, is defined as any vessel, belligerent or neutral, armed or unarmed, which does not fall under the definition of Rule 1, which is employed as a transport or fleet auxiliary or in any other way for the direct purpose of prosecuting or aiding hostilities, whether by land or sea; but a vessel fitted up and used exclusively as a hospital ship is excepted.

Rule 3. A vessel of war or an auxiliary vessel of a belligerent, other than the United States, shall only be permitted to pass through the Canal after her commanding officer has given written assurance to the Authorities of the Panama Canal that the Rules and Regulations will be faithfully observed.

The authorities of the Panama Canal shall take such steps as may be requisite to insure the observance of the Rules and Regulations by auxiliary vessels which are not commanded by an officer of the military fleet.

Rule 4. Vessels of war or auxiliary vessels of a belligerent, other than the United States, shall not revictual nor take any stores in the Canal except so far as may be strictly necessary; and the transit of such vessels through the Canal shall be effected with the least possible delay in accordance with the Canal Regulations in force, and with only such intermission as may result from the necessities of the service.

Prizes shall be in all respects subject to the same Rules as vessels of war of a belligerent.

Rule 5. No vessel of war or auxiliary vessel of a belligerent, other than the United States, shall receive fuel or lubricants while within the territorial waters of the Canal Zone, except on the written authorization of the Canal Authorities, specifying the amount of fuel and lubricants which may be received.

Rule 6. Before issuing any authorization for the receipt of fuel and

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