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the poor security of being allowed to take to the ship's boats before the ship was sent to the bottom. But again and again no warning has been given, no escape even to the ship's boats allowed to those on board. Great liners like the “Lusitania” and “Arabic” and mere passenger boats like the “Sussex" have been attacked without a moment's warning, often before they have even become aware that they were in the presence of an armed ship of the enemy, and the lives of noncombatants, passengers, and crew have been destroyed wholesale and in a manner which the Government of the United States can not but regard as wanton and without the slightest color of justification. No limit of any kind has in fact been set to their indiscriminate pursuit and destruction of merchantmen of all kinds and nationalities within the waters which the Imperial Government has chosen to designate as lying within the seat of war. The roll of Americans who have lost their lives upon ships thus attacked and destroyed has grown month by month until the ominous toll has mounted into the hundreds.
The Government of the United States has been very patient. At every stage of this distressing experience of tragedy after tragedy it has sought to be governed by the most thoughtful consideration of the extraordinary circumstances of an unprecedented war and to be guided by sentiments of very genuine friendship for the people and Government of Germany. It has accepted the successive explanations and assurances of the Imperial Government as of course given in entire sincerity and good faith, and has hoped, even against hope, that it would prove to be possible for the Imperial Government so to order and control the acts of its naval commanders as to square its policy with the recognized principles of humanity as embodied in the law of nations. It has made every allowance for unprecedented conditions and has been willing to wait until the facts became unmistakable and were susceptible of only one interpretation.
It now owes it to a just regard for its own rights to say to the Imperial Government that that time has come. It has become painfully evident to it that the position which it took at the very outset is inevitable, namely, the use of submarines for the destruction of an enemy's commerce, is, of necessity, because of the very character of the vessels employed and the very methods of attack which their employment of course involves, utterly incompatible with the principles of humanity, the longestablished and incontrovertible rights of neutrals, and the sacred immunities of noncombatants.
If it is still the purpose of the Imperial Government to prosecute relentless and indiscriminate warfare against vessels of commerce by the use of submarines without regard to what the Government of the United States must consider the sacred and indisputable rules of international law and the universally recognized dictates of humanity, the Government of the United States is at last forced to the conclusion that there is but one course it can pursue. Unless the Imperial Government should now immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight-carrying vessels, the Government of the United States can have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether. This action the Government of the United States contemplates with the greatest reluctance but feels constrained to take in behalf of humanity and the rights of neutral nations.
FACTS IN “SUSSEX" CASE The French channel steamer “Sussex,” employed regularly in passenger service between the ports of Folkestone, England, and Dieppe, France, as it had been for years, left Folkestone for Dieppe at 1:25 p. m., March 24, 1916, with 325 or more passengers and a crew of 53 men. The passengers, among whom were about 25 American citizens, were of several nationalities and many of them were women and children and nearly half of them subjects of neutral states. The “Sussex" carried no armament, had never been employed as a troop ship, and was following a route not used for transporting troops from Great Britain to France.
The steamer proceeded on its course almost due south after passing Dungeness. The weather was clear and the sea smooth. At 2:50 p. m., when the “Sussex” was about 13 miles from Dungeness, the captain of the vessel, who was on the bridge, saw about 150 meters from the ship, on the port side, the wake of a torpedo. It was also seen very clearly by the first officer and the boatswain who were with the captain on the bridge. Immediately the captain gave orders to port the helm and stop the starboard engine, the purpose being to swing the vessel to starboard so as to dodge the torpedo by allowing it to pass along the port bow on a line converging with the altered course of the steamer. Before, however, the vessel could be turned far enough to avoid crossing the course of the torpedo, the latter struck the hull at an angle a short distance forward of the bridge, exploded, destroyed the entire forward part of the steamer as far back as the first water-tight bulkhead, carried away the foremast with the wireless antenna and killed or injured about 80 of the persons on board.
PEACE NOTE TO THE POWERS
The Secretary of State to Ambassador W. H. Page
Department of State, Washington, December 18, 1916.
The President directs me to send you the following communication to be presented immediately to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government to which you are accredited :
“The President of the United States has instructed me to suggest to His Majesty's Government a course of action with regard to the present war which he hopes that the British Government will take under consideration as suggested in the most friendly spirit and as coming not only from a friend but also as coming from the representative of a neutral nation whose interests have been most seriously affected by the war and whose concern for its early conclusion arises out of a manifest necessity to determine how best to safeguard those interests if the war is to continue.
“The suggestion which I am instructed to make the President has long had it in mind to offer. He is somewhat embarrassed to offer it at this particular time because it may now seem to have been prompted by the recent overtures of the Central Powers. It is in fact in no way associated with them in its origin and the President would have delayed offering it until those overtures had been answered but for the fact that it also concerns the question of peace and may best be considered in connection with other proposals which have the same end in view. The President can only beg that his suggestion be considered entirely on its own merits and as if it had been made in other circumstances.
“The President suggests that an early occasion be sought to call out from all the nations now at war such an avowal of their respective views as to the terms upon which the war might be concluded and the arrangements which would be deemed satisfactory as a guaranty against its renewal or the kindling of any similar conflict in the future as would make it possible frankly to compare them. He is indifferent as to the means taken to accomplish this. He would be happy himself to serve or even to take the initiative in its accomplishment in any way that might prove acceptable, but he has no desire to determine the method or the instrumentality. One way will be as acceptable to him as another if only the great object he has in mind is attained.
“He takes the liberty of calling attention to the fact that the objects which the statesmen of the belligerents on both sides have in mind in this war are virtually the same, as stated in general terms to their own people and to the world. Each side desires to make the rights and privileges of weak peoples and small States as secure against aggression or denial in the future as the rights and privileges of the great and powerful States now at war. Each wishes itself to be made secure in the future, along with all other nations and peoples, against the recurrence of wars like this and against aggression of selfish interference of any kind. Each would be jealous of the formation of any more rival leagues to preserve an uncertain balance of power amidst multiplying suspicions; but each is ready to consider the formation of a league of nations to insure peace and justice throughout the world. Before that final step can be taken, however, each deems it necessary first to settle the issues of the