[Illustration: H.M. Queen Elizabeth
Queen of the Belgians. Though Born a Bavarian
Duchess, She Has Equaled
Her Husband in Devotion to Belgium
(Photo from Bain News Service.)]
[Illustration: Kronprinz Wilhelm and his family
The Kronprinzessin Cecilie and the Little Princes
Ferdinand, Hubertus, and Friedrich
(Photo by American Press Assoc.)]
THE EUROPEAN WAR
THE LUSITANIA CASE
President Wilson’s Speeches and Note to Germany
History of a Series of Attacks on American Lives in the German War Zone
President Wilson’s note to Germany, written consequent on the torpedoing by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, of the British passenger steamship Lusitania, off Kinsale Head, Ireland, by which over 100 American citizens lost their lives, is dated six days later, showing that time for careful deliberation was duly taken. The President’s Secretary, Joseph P. Tumulty, on May 8 made this statement:
“Of course, the President feels the distress and the gravity of the situation to the utmost, and is considering very earnestly, but very calmly, the right course of action to pursue. He knows that the people of the country wish and expect him to act with deliberation as well as with firmness.”
Although signed by Mr. Bryan, as Secretary of State, the note was written originally by the President in shorthand—a favorite method of Mr. Wilson in making memoranda—and transcribed by him on his own typewriter. The document was then presented to the members of the President’s Cabinet, a draft of it was sent to Counselor Lansing of the State Department, and, after a few minor changes, it was transmitted by cable to Ambassador Gerard in Berlin.
Department of state,
Washington, May 13, 1915.
The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador at Berlin:
Please call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and after reading to him this communication leave with him a copy.
In view of recent acts of the German authorities in violation of American rights on the high seas, which culminated in the torpedoing and sinking of the British steamship Lusitania on May 7, 1915, by which over 100 American citizens lost their lives, it is clearly wise and desirable that the Government of the United States and the Imperial German Government should come to a clear and full understanding as to the grave situation which has resulted.