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contained in transit mail relating to provision of food or money for them. Government here rather doubtful whether such drastic action is desirable or necessary and would be glad to have your opinion on this point. PAGE

File No. 763.72114/3175

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Page)


WASHINGTON, January 14, 1918, 7 p. m.

6243. Your 8243, January 12, 11 a. m. Inasmuch as all licenses for shipments of supplies from the United States to Russian prisoners in Germany have been revoked for the present, the Department is inclined to believe that censorship mentioned unnecessary, at least as to correspondence emanating from the United States.


File No. 763.72114/3250

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State


LONDON, January 31, 1918, 2 p. m.
[Received 7.15 p. m.]

8455. Our 8243, January 12, 11 a. m. Your 6243, January 14, 7p. m. Foreign Office, Prisoners-of-War Department, states your 6243 settles question of shipment of food to Russian prisoners of war in Germany satisfactorily, but would like information as to whether the same principle of licenses that you apply to food is applied to money transfers.

Information would also be appreciated as to whether the British censorship should stop (a) correspondence from a neutral country to persons in the United States requesting that they take steps to have money and food forwarded from some neutral country to said prisoners of war; (b) correspondence from the United States to a neutral country sent for the same purpose.


File No. 763.72114/3250

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Page)


WASHINGTON, February 18, 1918, 5 p.m.

6609. Your 8455, January 31, 2 p. m. While the Department has not made public any statement regarding its negative attitude to

wards relief of Russian prisoners in Germany in the present circumstances, it has requested the appropriate authorities not to grant licenses for the transmission of food, and has asked the Red Cross here, to which license had been granted for the transmission of funds for Allied prisoners in enemy countries, to discourage for the present any applications in favor of Russian prisoners.

It is recommended that correspondence mentioned be detained. LANSING

File No. 763.72114A/219

The Minister in Switzerland (Stovall) to the Secretary of State


BERNE, October 5, 1918, 3 p.m.

[Received October 7, 4.41 p. m.]

5057. For War Trade Board [from Dresel]:

No. 205. Inter-Ally Commission of Berne has refused all applications, principally originating with Y.M.C.A. here, to send to Russian prisoners in Germany articles of any nature, including such as are used for religious services. I concur fully but at instance of Doctor Harte I request definite ruling from you on subject. Dresel.


File No. 763.72114A/219

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Stovall)


WASHINGTON, October 17, 1918, 4 p. m.

3137. For Dresel [from War Trade Board]:

No. 144. Replying Legation's 5057, October 5, 3 p. m., your 205. Board sustains action of A[llied] B[lockade] C[ommittee] in Paris [Berne] of refusing shipments for Y.M.C.A. into Germany for the use of Russians who were once prisoners but are now held there in duress.




File No. 811.2222/947b

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Spring Rice)1

WASHINGTON, September 17, 1917.

MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: In pursuance of Senate Resolution No. 108 of July 31 (calendar day August 1), 1917, I beg to enclose, as a basis for negotiations a preliminary draft of a proposed agreement between the United States and Great Britain relating to the conscription of the citizens or subjects of either of the contracting parties who may be residing within the territory of the other.

I shall be glad to be informed at your early convenience as to whether this draft is acceptable to your Government as the proper form for a convention of this character or, providing your Government are prepared to conclude with the United States an agreement along these general lines, as to the nature of the changes or modifications which would be necessary in order to render it entirely acceptable.

I am [etc.]



Draft of Agreement

ARTICLE 1. The United States and‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒‒agree that each, after a declaration to the other of a desire to have its citizens or subjects residing within the territory of the other return for military service, may notify them to proceed to their own country for such service, or to report to any designated authorities of their own country who may be in the country of their residence.

The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, to the French, Italian, and Russian Ambassadors and the Belgian and Serbian Ministers.

2. Resolved, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, requested to propose to all European nations engaged in war against the central powers of Europe and, if possible, secure from them an agreement authorizing and empowering the United States to apply the provisions of the act entitled 'An act to authorize the President to increase temporarily the Military Establishment of the United States,' approved May 18, 1917, to all such subjects and citizens domiciled in this country in the same manner and to the same effect as such provisions are applied to the citizens of the United States in selecting and raising an army or navy for service in the present war."

ART. 2. The High Contracting Parties agree to effect as soon as possible the transport by sea or land to their respective countries of their respective citizens or subjects answering the notice given in pursuance of article 1.

ART. 3. It is agreed that such of the persons who are notified in pursuance of article 1 and who, after the expiration of---------days from the date of the declaration made under that article, have not returned to their own country, shall be subject to arrest and delivery to the duly authorized agents of their own country for deportation for military service.

ART. 4. It is agreed that any person who is notified in pursuance of article 1 and who, after the expiration of----------days from the date of the declaration made under that article, has not returned to his own country, or who, after the expiration of... days from the date of said declaration has not been deported for military service in pursuance of article 3 shall be subject to military service under the laws of the country of his residence in all respects as if he was a citizen or subject thereof, except as provided in article 5. ART. 5. Any person subject to military service in accordance with the preceding articles shall be exempted from military service upon the formal request of the diplomatic or consular officers of his country made upon the authority and in the name of the Government.

ART. 6. The oath to be taken by any person entering the military service of a foreign country by virtue of this agreement, shall not be, nor be held to be, an oath of allegiance involving or causing his expatriation under any laws of his own country.

ART. 7. Under this agreement military service in one country, or exemption therefrom, shall be regarded as the equivalent of military service or exemption in the other country, and shall cancel any obligation or liability for such service.

ART. 8. It is agreed that the authorities of one country will endeavor to apprehend and take into custody deserters from the armed forces of the other found within its jurisdiction and turn them over to such authorities as their Government may designate.

ART. 9. It is understood, for the purposes of this agreement, that a person is a citizen or subject of the country the nationality of which he has last assumed in accordance with its laws. A certificate of the Government of either country setting forth the fact of such nationality shall be legal evidence as to the person's nationality.

ART. 10. This agreement, while in force, but not thereafter, suspends and holds in abeyance any provisions in conflict therewith in_____. ------between the United States and...

ART. 11. This agreement shall remain in force until either party shall cease to be a co-belligerent in the present war, whereupon any person entered into military service or taken into custody hereunder shall be immediately discharged from such service or released.

File No. 811.2222/1322a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Page)


WASHINGTON, October 30, 1917, 3 p. m.

5691. British Ambassador states Foreign Office has submitted to you counter-draft of proposed convention respecting conscription of citizens and subjects of contracting parties. If proposal has not been transmitted by mail so as to reach here within three or four days, telegraph text immediately.

File No. 811.2222/12232


The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State


LONDON, October 31, 1917. [Received November 1, 7.15 a. m.]

7571. Your 5691, October 30, 3 p. m. Proposed British draft of convention was transmitted by despatch 73921 included in pouch which closed yesterday. Following is text:

1. All male British subjects in the United States of America (which expression is used throughout this agreement as including only the possessions of the United States of America in the North American Continent) who at any time after the date on which this agreement comes into operation have attained the age of 18 years and have not attained the age of 41 years, and all male United States citizens in Great Britain who at any time after the date on which this agreement comes into operation are within the age limits for the time being specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States of America shall, unless they have applied to return and return accordingly to Great Britain or the United States of America, respectively (or volunteer to proceed and proceed accordingly to such other country as may be specified either generally or in particular cases by the competent authorities of their own country), within the periods laid down in this agreement for the purpose of serving in the army of their own country, be liable to service in the army of the country in which they are according 'o the laws of that country.

'Despatch not printed.

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