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man Empire and the United States, requires certain explanations and additions on account of the development of international law. The German Government therefore proposes that a special arrangement be now signed, of which the English text is as follows: Agreement between Germany and the United States of America concerning the treatment of each others citizens and their private property after the severance of diplomatic relations.

Article 1). After the severance of diplomatic relations between Germany and the United States of America and in the event of the outbreak of war between the two Powers, the citizens of either party and their private property in the territory of the other party shall be treated according to Article 23 of the treaty of amity and commerce between Prussia and the United States, of the 11th of July, 1799, with the following explanatory and supplementary clauses:

Article 2). German merchants in the United States and American merchants in Germany shall, so far as the treatment of their persons and their property is concerned, be held in every respect on a par with the other persons mentioned in Article 23. They shall accordingly, even after the period provided for in Article 23 has elapsed, be entitled to remain and continue their profession in the country of their residence. Merchants as well as the other persons mentioned in Article 23 may be excluded from fortified places or other places of military importance.

Article 3). Germans in the United States and Americans in Germany shall be free to leave the country of their residence within the time and by the routes that shall be assured to them by the proper authorities. The persons departing shall be entitled to take along their personal property, including money, valuables, and bank accounts, excepting such property the exportation of which is prohibited according to general provisions.

Article 4). The protection of Germans in the United States and of Americans in Germany and of their property shall be guaranteed in accordance with the laws existing in the countries of either party. They shall be under no other restrictions concerning the enjoyment of their private rights and the judicial enforcement of their rights than neutral residents. They may accordingly not be transferred to concentration camps, nor shall their private property be subject to sequestration or liquidation or other compulsory alienation except in case that under the existing laws apply also to neutrals. As a general rule German property in the United States and American property in Germany shall not be subject to sequestration or liquidation, or other compulsory alienation under other conditions than neutral property.

Article 5). Patent rights or other protected rights held by Germans in the United States or Americans in Germany shall not be declared void, nor shall the exercise of such rights be impeded,

nor shall such rights be transferred to others without the consent of the person entitled thereto, provided that regulations made exclusively in the interest of the State shall apply.

Article 6). Contracts made between Germans and Americans, either before or after the severance of diplomatic relations, also obligations of all kinds between Germans and Americans, shall not be declared cancelled, void, or in suspension, except under provisions applicable to neutrals. Likewise the citizens of either party shall not be impeded in fulfilling their liabilities arising from such obligations, either by injunctions or by other provisions, unless these apply to neutrals.

Article 7). The provisions of the sixth Hague Convention, relative to the treatment of enemy merchant ships at the outbreak of hostilities, shall apply to the merchant vessels of either party and their cargo. The aforesaid ships may not be forced to leave port unless at the same time they be given a pass, recognized as binding by all the enemy sea powers, to a home port, or a port of an allied country, or to another port of the country in which the ship happens to be.

Article 8). The regulations of chapter 3 of the eleventh Hague Convention, relative to certain restrictions in the exercise of the right of capture in maritime war, shall apply to the captains, officers, and members of the crews of merchant ships specified in Article 7, and of such merchant ships as may be captured in the course of a possible war.

Article 9). This agreement shall apply also to the colonies and other foreign possessions of either party.

I am instructed and have the honor to bring the foregoing to your Excellency's knowledge and to add that the German Government would consider the arrangement as concluded and act accordingly as soon as the consent of the American Government shall have been communicated to it through the Swiss Government.

Be pleased, etc.,


The Secretary of State to the Minister of Switzerland in Charge of German Interests in America

No. 416.]

DEPARTMENT of State, Washington, March 20, 1917.

SIR: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of February 10th presenting the proposals of the German Government for an interpretative and supplementary agreement as to Article 23 of the treaty of

1799. After due consideration, I have to inform you that the Government of the United States is not disposed to look with favor upon the proposed agreement to alter or supplement the meaning of Article 23 of this treaty. This position of the Government of the United States, which might under other conditions be different, is due to the repeated violations by Germany of the treaty of 1828 and the Articles of the treaties of 1785 and 1799 revived by the treaty of 1828. It is not necessary to narrate in detail these violations, for the attention of the German Government has been called to the circumstances of each instance of violation, but I may here refer to certain of them briefly and in general terms.

Since the sinking of the American steamer William P. Frye for the carriage of contraband, there have been perpetrated by the German naval forces similar unwarranted attacks upon and destruction of numerous American vessels for the reason, as alleged, that they were engaged in transportation of articles of contraband, notwithstanding, 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 or 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 and commerce of the

subjects or citizens of the party remaining neutral 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 can not 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 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 of 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 can not 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.,




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