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Secretary of State Robert Lansing to German Government


<November 17, 1918.>         

N A V A L  S I G N A L

FROM                         TO

     BELMAR,                      NAUEN,

          NEW JERSEY                   GERMANY

Date 11/17/18

Time 0900

Affairs Etranteres, Berne. Secretary of State in note dated November 15th., requests me to transmit the following communication in reply to the note of the German Government. Government of the United States has received radio messages addressed to the President of the United States by the German Government relative to relief from certain requirements imposed in the armistice with the Ottoman Government and the armistice with the German Government.1 The Communications which have been received will be forthwith communicated to the other Governments with which the Government of the United States is associated and also to the Supreme war council in Paris. The Government of the United States takes this opportunity to suggest to the German Government that communications of this nature which pertain to the terms of the armistice or to matters in which all the associated governments are interested should be sent to all the Governments and not addressed alone to the President or Government of the United States. The Government of the United States also desires to call the attention of the German Government to the fact that these communications should be presented through established Diplomatic channels rather than by direct radio communication.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: The specific requests were that the United States ship food to Germany and lift the requirement that all German civilians evacuate the Ottoman Empire. More broadly, the radio messages noted that the armistice terms did not align with the promises of Woodrow Wilson’s vision of peace outlined in his speeches, and especially in his Fourteen Points. FRUS: Papers Relating to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, Volume II:, consulted 8 November 2018.

Footnote 2: This appears to be a code word, most likely signifying the cable’s authenticity.

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