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

Cablegram Sent 23 February 1918.   ROC


For Information

February 15, 1918

TO        American Embassy, London.

FROM      Department of State, signed ‘Lansing’

DATED     February 14, 7 p.m.

RECEIVED  February 15, 1918. 10 a.m.

NO.       6578

   The Government of Mexico has notified this Government through its Ambassador at Washington1 that article 12 and 15 of the Hague Convention2 dealing with rights and duties of neutral powers in naval warfare are violated by the stay of American warships in Mexican ports or territorial waters for a longer period than 24 hours. Please inform Department by cable whether His Majesty’s Government have received a like notice relating to British War vessels.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 337. There is a note below close: “MR. LAUGHLIN/Copies sent to Naval and Military Attachés for information.” Irwin B. Laughlin was secretary to Ambassador Page. The naval attaché in London was VAdm. William S. Sims; the military attaché was Lt. Col. Stephen L’H. Slocum.

Footnote 1: Ignacio Bonillas.

Footnote 2: Along with the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes enshrined in international law. Article 12 of the international agreement was the Convention Relating to the Status of Enemy Ships at the Outbreak of Hostilities, and Article 15 was the Convention Concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War.

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