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informed that all the Ottoman subjects in question have received permission to leave America with the necessary safe-conduct. In view of the fact that the Sublime Porte has shown its good faith by allowing all the Americans residing at Constantinople, and who wished to go, to leave, and that the departure of those recently arrived from the Taranto to the number of about 150 has been delayed by the lack of the necessary permission from the Austrian Government, I have the honor to recommend that the American Government allow the Ottoman subjects at present held up to leave, for otherwise no other unofficial American will be able to leave Turkey. I have been assured that as soon as these Ottoman subjects shall have started for Europe the general permission for the departure of Americans will be reestablished by the Ottoman Government. MORRIS

File No. 763.72115/3164

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Sweden (Morris)


WASHINGTON, July 16, 1917, 6 p. m.

293. Your 532, July 13. Request Foreign Office to state immediately to Sublime Porte that a misunderstanding appears to exist. This Government cannot under the President's proclamation of April 6, relative to alien enemies, prevent the departure of Turkish subjects from the United States, and in fact does not do so. Turkish subjects are not considered alien enemies, and they will be furnished with safe-conduct upon application to leave. This Government, however, cannot undertake to act as intermediary in procuring for nonofficial Turkish subjects, safe-conducts from other governments; these should be subject of negotiations direct with the governments concerned. In view of the above it is confidently expected that the Turkish Government will now place no obstacle to the immediate departure of Americans from Turkey.

File No. 367.11/2154


The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State

546. From Constantinople:


STOCKHOLM, July 17, 1917.
[Received July 18, 12.40 a. m.]

Referring to my telegram of July 11 concerning departure of Americans. It is essential to arrange matter quickly, as the Sublime

1 Probably refers to message transmitted in telegram of July 13 from Minister Morris, ante, p. 252.

Porte is pressing for immediate departure of all Americans from interior now in Constantinople and threatening internment or other disagreeable measures if they do not promptly leave. Required permission has not yet come from Vienna, but it is daily expected. Please telegraph me as soon as possible decision of American Government concerning permission for departure of Turkish students or other Ottomans desiring to leave America. Ahlgren, Chargé d'Affaires.1


File No. 367.11/2157

The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State

569. From Constantinople:


STOCKHOLM, July 24, 1917.
[Received 8.08 p. m.]

This morning 50 Americans from the interior were permitted to leave for Switzerland so that less than 100 persons desiring to leave, of whom the greater number are Israelites from Palestine, are still in Constantinople. All the names of those who left will be forwarded by mail. Referring to my previous telegrams, please arrange as soon as possible the departure of the Ottoman students. Ahlgren, Chargé d'Affaires.


File No. 763.72115/3167

The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State


STOCKHOLM, July 24, 1917.

[Received July 25, 7 a. m.]

570. From Constantinople [July] 20:

Your despatch concerning departure of Ottoman subjects received. Since Ottoman Government considers Ottoman students referred to to be persons enjoying an official character, the American Government is urged to procure necessary safe-conducts enabling them to return to Turkey. Ottoman authorities have shown themselves favorably disposed about departure of Americans from Turkey and agree with American Government that departure of the said students was prevented through some misunderstanding.


'Of the Swedish Legation in Turkey.

File No. 763.72115/3181

The Spanish Minister (Riaño) to the Secretary of State


WASHINGTON, August 31, 1917.
[Received September 1.]

MR. SECRETARY: Having charge of the protection of Ottoman interests in this Republic, I have the honor to transmit herewith to Your Excellency a copy of the note verbale addressed to His Majesty's Legation at Constantinople by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sublime Porte.1

As Your Excellency will see the note deals with the departure of the Ottoman students who have been allowed to leave by the Department under your worthy charge and my sole object in sending it to Your Excellency is to put it on record.

I avail myself [etc.]



1 Not printed.




Statement Issued to the Press by the Department of State

WASHINGTON, February 8, 1917.

It having been reported to him that there is anxiety in some quarters on the part of persons residing in this country who are the subjects of foreign states lest their bank deposits or other property should be seized in the event of war between the United States and a foreign nation, the President authorizes the statement that all such fears are entirely unfounded. The Government of the United States will in no circumstances take advantage of a state of war to take possession of property to which international understandings and the recognized law of the land give it no just claim or title. It will scrupulously respect all private rights alike of its own citizens and of the subjects of foreign states.

Proclamation No. 1366, April 6, 1917, Prescribing Regulations under Which German Insurance Companies May Maintain Agencies in the United States during the Existence of a State of War



WHEREAS, certain insurance companies, incorporated under the laws of the German Empire, have been admitted to transact the business of insurance in various States of the United States, by means of separate United States Branches established pursuant to the laws of such States, and are now engaged in business under the supervision of the Insurance Departments thereof, with assets in the United States deposited with Insurance Departments or in the hands

1For treatment of merchant ships of enemy nationality in American ports at the entrance of the United States into the war see Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. II, pp. 1245-1262.

On Mar. 1, 1917, this statement was transmitted to the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin, in charge of the interests of the United States. (File No. 763.72113/320a.)

of resident trustees, citizens of the United States, for the protection of all policyholders in the United States;

AND WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the United States in the protection afforded by such insurance are of great magnitude, so that it is deemed to be important that the agencies of such companies in the United States be permitted to continue in business;

Now, THEREFORE, I, WOODROW WILSON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the powers vested in me as such, hereby declare and proclaim that such branch establishments of German Insurance Companies now engaged in the transaction of business in the United States pursuant to the laws of the several States are hereby authorized and permitted to continue the transaction of their business in accordance with the laws of such States in the same manner and to the same extent as though a state of war did not now exist; provided, however, that all funds of such establishments now in the possession of their managers or agents, or which shall hereafter come into their possession, shall be subject to such rules and regulations concerning the payment and disposition thereof as shall be prescribed by the insurance supervising officials of the State in which the principal office of such establishment in the United States is located, but in no event shall any funds belonging to or held for the benefit of such companies be transmitted outside of the United States nor be used as the basis for the establishment directly or indirectly of any credit within or outside of the United States to or for the benefit or use of the enemy or any of his allies without the permission of this Government.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this sixth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven[SEAL] teen, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-first.

By the President:


Secretary of State.


File No. 711.6221/165

The Swiss Minister (Ritter) to the Secretary of State

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The Swiss Minister, representing German interests in the United States, presents his compliments to the Secretary of State, and has


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