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withstanding, and in disregard of article 13 of the treaty of 1799, that “no such articles (of contraband), carried in the vessels, or by the subjects or citizens of either party to the enemies of the other, shall be deemed contraband so as to induce confiscation or condemnation and a loss of property to individuals,” and that “in the case ...? of a vessel stopped for articles of contraband, if the master of the vessel stopped will deliver out the goods supposed to be of contraband nature, he shall be admitted to do it, and the vessel shall not in that case be carried into any port, nor further detained, but shall be allowed to proceed on her voyage."

In addition to the sinking of American vessels, foreign merchant vessels carrying American citizens and American property have been sunk by German submarines without warning and without any adequate security for the safety of the persons on board or compensation for the destruction of the property by such action, notwithstanding the solemn engagement of article 15 of the treaty of 1799 that “all persons belonging to any vessel of War, public or private, who shall molest or insult in any manner whatever the people, vessels or effects of the other party shall be responsible in their persons and property for damages and interest; sufficient security for which shall be given by all commanders of private armed vessels before they are commissioned,” and notwithstanding the further stipulation of article 12 of the treaty of 1785 that "the free intercourse & commerce of the Subjects or Citizens of the party remaining neuter with the belligerent powers shall not be interrupted.” Disregarding these obligations, the German Government has proclaimed certain zones of the high seas in which it declared without reservation that all ships, including those of neutrals, will be sunk, and in those zones German submarines have, in fact, in accordance with this declaration, ruthlessly sunk merchant vessels and jeopardized or destroyed the lives of American citizens on board.

Moreover, since the severance of relations between the United States and Germany, certain American citizens in Germany have been prevented from removing freely from the country. While this is not a violation of the terms of the treaties mentioned, it is a disregard of the reciprocal liberty of intercourse between the two countries in time of peace, and cannot be taken otherwise than as an indication of a purpose on the part of the German Government to disregard in the event of war the similar liberty of action provided for in article 23 of the treaty of 1799—the very article which it is now proposed to interpret and supplement almost wholly in the interest of the large number of German subjects residing in the United States

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and enjoying in their persons or property the protection of the United States Government. This article provides in effect that merchants of either country residing in the other shall be allowed a stated time in which to remain to settle their affairs and to “depart freely, carrying off all their effects, without molestation or hindrance," and women and children, artisans and certain others, may continue their respective employments and shall not be molested in their persons or property. It is now proposed by the Imperial German Government to enlarge the scope of this article so as to grant to German subjects and German property remaining in the United States in time of war the same treatment in many respects as that enjoyed by neutral subjects and neutral property in the United States.

In view of the clear violations by the German authorities of the plain terms of the treaties in question, solemnly concluded on the mutual understanding that the obligations thereunder would be faithfully kept, in view further of the disregard of the canons of international courtesy and the comity of nations in the treatment of innocent American citizens in Germany, the Government of the United States cannot perceive any advantage which would flow from further engagements, even though they were merely declaratory of international law, entered into with the Imperial German Government in regard to the meaning of any of the articles of these treaties, or as supplementary to them. In these circumstances, therefore, the Government of the United States declines to enter into the special protocol proposed by the Imperial Government.

I feel constrained in view of the circumstances to add that this Government is seriously considering whether or not the treaty of 1828 and the revived articles of the treaties of 1785 and 1799 have not been in effect abrogated by the German Government's flagrant violations of their provisions, for it would be manifestly unjust and inequitable to require one party to an agreement to observe its stipulations and to permit the other party to disregard them. It would appear that the mutuality of the undertaking has been destroyed by the conduct of the German authorities. Accept [etc.]


File No. 711.622/6
The Swiss Minister (Ritter) to the Secretary of State

[Translation] Department of

WASHINGTON, March 30, 1917. German Interests

[Received March 31.] SIR: According to instructions of my Government I have the honor to forward to Your Excellency the following communication of the German Government:

The German Government challenges the assertion that it has violated the treaties of 1785, 1799, and 1828. American citizens may freely leave Germany and for the most part have already done so. That departure from the country is delayed under certain circumstances is to be ascribed to necessary precautionary measures.

Since the provisions of article 12 of the treaty of 1785 and article 13 of the treaty of 1799 do not oppose blockade or obstructions similar to blockade, the U-boat warfare does not contravene them. In turn, Germany has to reproach the United States with a violation of those treaties in that, without justification on the ground of neutrality it prevented the departure, on and after the beginning of the war, of various German merchant vessels, contrary to the treaty of 1828; contrary to article 19 of the treaty of 1799, the American Government, in the Appam case, also contested the right of the prize to stay in American ports and permitted judicial proceedings against the prize. Until further notice the German Government will adhere to the maintenance of article 23 of the treaty of 1799, inasmuch as it assumes from the declarations heretofore made by the State Department that the American Government holds the same view for the present situation as well as for a possible state of war; in the same supposition it will place a liberal construction upon the article, that is to say, will not prevent money remittances to the United States, and also, in particular, honor Imperial Treasury certificates and continue to allow Americans to depart. Accept [etc.]


Proclamation No. 1364, April 6, 1917, Declaring the Existence of a

State of War with the German Empire and Setting Forth Regulations Prescribing Conduct toward Alien Enemies



WHEREAS the Congress of the United States in the exercise of the constitutional authority vested in them have resolved, by joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives bearing date this day "That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has ... been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared”;

WHEREAS it is provided by Section four thousand and sixty-seven of the Revised Statutes, as follows:

Whenever there is declared a war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government,

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being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States, and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed, as alien enemies. The President is authorized, in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject, and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any other regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public safety;

WHEREAS, by Sections four thousand and sixty-eight, four thousand and sixty-nine, and four thousand and seventy, of the Revised Statutes, further provision is made relative to alien enemies;

Now, THEREFORE, I, WOODROW Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim to all whom it may concern that a state of war exists between the United States and the Imperial German Government; and I do specially direct all officers, civil or military, of the United States that they exercise vigilance and zeal in the discharge of the duties incident to such a state of war; and I do, moreover, earnestly appeal to all American citizens that they, in loyal devotion to their country, dedicated from its foundation to the principles of liberty and justice, uphold the laws of the land, and give undivided and willing support to those measures which may be adopted by the constitutional authorities in prosecuting the war to a successful issue and in obtaining a secure and just peace;

And, acting under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the United States and the said sections of the Revised Statutes, I do hereby further proclaim and direct that the conduct to be observed on the part of the United States towards all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of Germany, being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, who for the purpose of this proclamation and under such sections of the Revised Statutes are termed alien enemies, shall be as follows:

All alien enemies are enjoined to preserve the peace towards the United States and to refrain from crime against the public safety, and from violating the laws of the United States and of the States and Territories thereof, and to refrain from actual hostility or giving information, aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States, and to comply strictly with the regulations which are hereby or which may be from time to time promulgated by the President; and so long as they shall conduct themselves in accordance with law, they shall be undisturbed in the peaceful pursuit of their lives and occupations and be accorded the consideration due to all peaceful and law-abiding persons, except so far as restrictions may be necessary for their own protection and for the safety of the United States; and towards such alien enemies as conduct themselves in accordance with law, all citizens of the United States are enjoined to preserve the peace and to treat them with all such friendliness as may be compatible with loyalty and allegiance to the United States.

And all alien enemies who fail to conduct themselves as so enjoined, in addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, shall be liable to restraint, or to give security, or to remove and depart from the United States in the manner prescribed by Sections four thousand and sixty-nine and four thousand and seventy of the Revised Statutes, and as prescribed in the regulations duly promulgated by the President;

And pursuant to the authority vested in me, I hereby declare and establish the following regulations, which I find necessary in the premises and for the public safety:

(1) An alien enemy shall not have in his possession, at any time or place, any fire-arm, weapon or implement of war, or component part thereof, ammunition, maxim or other silencer, bomb or explosive or material used in the manufacture of explosives;

(2) An alien enemy shall not have in his possession at any time or place, or use or operate any aircraft or wireless apparatus, or any form of signalling device, or any form of cipher code, or any paper, document or book written or printed in cipher or in which there may be invisible writing.

(3) All property found in the possession of an alien enemy in violation of the foregoing regulations shall be subject to seizure by the United States;

(4) An alien enemy shall not approach or be found within one-half of a mile of any Federal or State fort, camp, arsenal, aircraft station, Government or naval vessel, navy yard, factory, or workshop for the manufacture of munitions of war or of any products for the use of the army or navy:

(5) An alien enemy shall not write, print, or publish any attack or threats against the Government or Congress of the United States, or either branch thereof, or against the measures or policy of the United States, or against the person or property of any person in the military, naval, or civil service of the United States, or of the States or Territories, or of the District of Columbia, or of the municipal governments therein;

(6) An alien enemy shall not commit or abet any hostile act against the United States, or give information, aid, or comfort to its enemies;

(7) An alien enemy shall not reside in or continue to reside in, to remain in, or enter any locality which the President may

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