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Secretary of State Robert Lansing to United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Walter Hines Page


TO             American Embassy, London.

FROM           Department of State signed LANSING

DATED          August 17, 2.p.m.

RECEIVED       August 18, 3.45.p.m.

NO             826

          Department has received following from American Embassy, Madrid:1

          “German Government has asked Spanish Government to inform United States that it suggests that the proposed conference at Berne dealing with questions of civil and military prisoners take place the middle of September.2 German Foreign Office at the same time declared its intention to include in the programme of the Conference certain questions relative to Germans living abroad, especially in China and Central America.”

          Department is today replying follows:

          Request Spanish Government to inform German Government that the Government of the United States has taken note of the German Government’s suggestion that the proposed conference at Berne take place the middle of September. In reply, the Government of the United States wishes to state that its Commissioners will be prepared to take part in the proposed conference on the 23rd of September, 1918. The Government of the United States further notifies the German Government that the American Commission will be composed as follows:-


              Honorable John W. Garrett, American Minister to the Netherlands, Chairman of the Commission.

              Honorable John W. Davis, Solicitor General of the United States.

              Major General F.J. Kernan, U.S.A.

              Captain H.H. Hough, U.S.N.


              Ellis Loring Dressel.

              Christian A. Herter, Secretary to Commission Special Assistant in the Department of State.

              Charles H. Russell, Junior Secretary of Legation.

              ColonelUlysses S. Grant 3rd, and

              ColonelSamuel G. Shartle, U.S.A.

              Commander Raymond Stone, U.S.N.

              Charles Moorfields Storey, Attorney in the Department of Justice. and

              Major James H. Perkins, Commissioner for Europe of the American National Red Cross.

              The Government of the United States expects to receive in reply a similar notification in regard to the personnel of the German Commission.”

              Llewellyn N. Snowden, Disbursing Officer will accompany the Commission as well as Albert Ward, Secretary to the Solicitor General and Confidential Clerks, Robert T. Allinson and Clinton E. MacEachran. The entire commission will assemble in London to hold any advisable preliminary conferences with the British and to report to Garrett. Members of the American Commission now in the United States will sail on or about the 24th reaching London about August 31st., and the entire Commission will probably go about September 7th from London to Paris. Please try to get suitable hotel accommodation for their stay in London. If any changes take place in the above dates, you will be notified by the Department. Please acknowledge receipt of this cable.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification notes “In 27/August 18” appear in the top-right corner. Note below close: “Mr [Irwin B.] LAUGHLIN [Secretary to Mr. Page]/Copies sent to Naval and Military Attache’s.”

Footnote 1: The United States Ambassador to Madrid was Joseph E. Willard.

Footnote 2: American and German representatives met in Bern, Switzerland, in the fall of 1918 to discuss issues relating to prisoners of war. See, FRUS, Supplement 2: The World War, document 148. For context see documents 90-147.

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