The New York Times
A Monthly Magazine
THE EUROPEAN WAR, VOLUME II
April, 1915-September, 1915
Number III, June, 1915
New York The New York Times Company
NUMBER III. JUNE, 1915.
THE LUSITANIA CASE (With Map)
PRESIDENT WILSON'S SPEECHES AND NOTE TO GERMANY
History of a Series of Attacks on American Lives in the German War Zone
AMERICAN NOTE TO GERMANY 409
GERMAN EMBASSY'S WARNING AND THE CONSEQUENCE 413 German Official Report 413 British Coroner's Verdict 414 German Note of Regret 415 England Answers Germany 415 Captain Turner Testifies 417 Lusitania's First Cabin List 418
DESCRIPTIONS BY SURVIVORS Submarine Crew Observed 420 Ernest Cowper's Account 420 Charles Frohman's Death 422 Alfred Vanderbilt's Heroic End 423 Klein and Hubbard Lost 423
GERMANY JUSTIFIES THE DEED German Official Report 424 Britain's Denial 424 Collector Malone's Denial 424 German Foreign Office Note on Neutrals 425 Dr. Dernburg's Defense 426
GERMAN PRESS OPINION Comment in Germany and Austria 427 German-American Press Comment 430
FALABA, CUSHING, GULFLIGHT Case of the Falaba 433 Case of the Cushing 434 Case of the Gulflight 435
AIM OF GERMAN SUBMARINE WARFARE 436 By Professor Flamm of Charlottenburg
THREE SPEECHES BY PRESIDENT WILSON "AMERICA FIRST"—Address to the Associated Press 438 "HUMANITY FIRST"—Address at Philadelphia 441 "AMERICA FOR HUMANITY"—Address at the Fleet Review in New York 443
TWO EX-PRESIDENT'S VIEWS Mr. Roosevelt Speaks 444 Mr. Taft Speaks 446
PRESIDENT WILSON'S NOTE 447 By Ex-President William H. Taft
ANOTHER VIEW (Poem) 447 By Beatrice Barry
IN THE SUBMARINE WAR ZONE 447 By The Associated Press
AMERICAN SHIPMENTS OF ARMS 448 By Count von Bernstorff
AMERICAN REPLY TO COUNT VON BERNSTORFF 449
MUNITIONS FROM NEUTRALS 451 Colloquy in the House of Commons
GERMANY AND THE LUSITANIA 452 By Dr. Charles W. Eliot
APPEALS FOR AMERICAN DEFENSE 455
THE DROWNED SAILOR (Poem) 457 By Maurice Hewlett
WAR WITH POISONOUS GASES (With Maps)
THE GAP AT YPRES MADE BY GERMAN CHLORINE VAPOR BOMBS
Reports by the Official "Eyewitness" and Dr. J.S. Haldane, F.R.S.
DR. HALDANE'S REPORT 458
THE "EYEWITNESS" STORY 459
WHAT THE GERMANS SAY 462
THE CANADIANS AT YPRES 463
VAPOR WARFARE RESUMED 471
TO CERTAIN GERMAN PROFESSORS OF CHEMICS (Poem) 478 By Sir Owen Seaman in Punch
SEVEN DAYS OF WAR EAST AND WEST (With Map) 479 By a Military Expert of The New York Times
AUSTRO-GERMAN SUCCESS 484 By Major E. Moraht
THE CAMPAIGN IN THE CARPATHIANS (With Map) 486 Russian Victory Succeeded by Reverses
ITALY IN THE WAR (With Maps)
HER MOVE AGAINST AUSTRO-HUNGARY
Last Phase of Italian Neutrality and Causes of the Struggle
DECLARATION OF WAR 490
FRANCIS JOSEPH'S DEFIANCE 490
ITALY'S CABINET EMPOWERED 491
ITALY'S JUSTIFICATION 494 By Foreign Minister Sonnino
GERMAN HATRED OF ITALY 497
ITALY'S NEUTRALITY—THE LAST PHASE 499 German, Serbian, and Italian Press Opinion
ANNUNCIATION (Poem) 503 By Ernst Lissauer
THE DARDANELLES (With Map) 504
ALLIES' SECOND CAMPAIGN WITH FLEETS AND LAND FORCES
"WAR BABIES" 516 From The Suffragette of London
THE EUROPEAN WAR AS SEEN BY CARTOONISTS 517 (With a Selection of American Cartoons on the Lusitania Case)
WHAT IS OUR DUTY? 533 By Emmeline Pankhurst
THE SOLDIER'S PASS (Poem) 536 By Maurice Hewlett
THE GREAT END 537 By Arnold Bennett
GERMAN WOMEN NOT YET FOR PEACE 540 By Gertrude Baumer
DIAGNOSIS OF THE ENGLISHMAN 541 By John Galsworthy
MY TERMS OF PEACE 545 By George Bernard Shaw
A POLICY OF MURDER 546 By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
THE SOLDIER'S EPITAPH (Poem) 548 From Truth
THE WILL TO POWER 549 By Eden Phillpotts
ALLEGED GERMAN ATROCITIES
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
And Presided Over by The Right Hon. Viscount Bryce Formerly British Ambassador at Washington
WARRANT OF BRYCE COMMITTEE'S APPOINTMENT 551 PART I 555 PART II 580
SCRIABIN'S LAST WORDS 591
CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAR 592
THE DRINK QUESTION (Poem) 612 From Truth
The New York Times
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
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.
The sinking of the British passenger steamer Falaba by a German submarine on March 28, through which Leon C. Thrasher, an American citizen, was drowned; the attack on April 28 on the American vessel Cushing by a German aeroplane; the torpedoing on May 1 of the American vessel Gulflight by a German submarine, as a result of which two or more American citizens met their death; and, finally, the torpedoing and sinking of the steamship Lusitania, constitute a series of events which the Government of the United States has observed with growing concern, distress, and amazement.
Recalling the humane and enlightened attitude hitherto assumed by the Imperial German Government in matters of international right, and particularly with regard to the freedom of the seas; having learned to recognize the German views and the German influence in the field of international obligation as always engaged upon the side of justice and humanity; and having understood the instructions of the Imperial German Government to its naval commanders to be upon the same plane of humane action prescribed by the naval codes of other nations, the Government of the United States was loath to believe—it cannot now bring itself to believe—that these acts, so absolutely contrary to the rules, the practices, and the spirit of modern warfare, could have the countenance or sanction of that great Government. It feels it to be its duty, therefore, to address the Imperial German Government concerning them with the utmost frankness and in the earnest hope that it is not mistaken in expecting action on the part of the Imperial German Government which will correct the unfortunate impressions which have been created, and vindicate once more the position of that Government with regard to the sacred freedom of the seas.
The Government of the United States has been apprised that the Imperial German Government considered themselves to be obliged by the extraordinary circumstances of the present war and the measures adopted by their adversaries in seeking to cut Germany off from all commerce, to adopt methods of retaliation which go much beyond the ordinary methods of warfare at sea, in the proclamation of a war zone from which they have warned neutral ships to keep away. This Government has already taken occasion to inform the Imperial German Government that it cannot admit the adoption of such measures or such a warning of danger to operate as in any degree an abbreviation of the rights of American shipmasters or of American citizens bound on lawful errands as passengers on merchant ships of belligerent nationality, and that it must hold the Imperial German Government to a strict accountability for any infringement of those rights, intentional or incidental. It does not understand the Imperial German Government to question those rights. It assumes, on the contrary, that the Imperial Government accept, as of course, the rule that the lives of noncombatants, whether they be of neutral citizenship or citizens of one of the nations at war, cannot lawfully or rightfully be put in jeopardy by the capture or destruction of an unarmed merchantman, and recognize also, as all other nations do, the obligation to take the usual precaution of visit and search to ascertain whether a suspected merchantman is in fact of belligerent nationality or is in fact carrying contraband of war under a neutral flag.
The Government of the United States, therefore, desires to call the attention of the Imperial German Government with the utmost earnestness to the fact that the objection to their present method of attack against the trade of their enemies lies in the practical impossibility of employing submarines in the destruction of commerce without disregarding those rules of fairness, reason, justice, and humanity which all modern opinion regards as imperative. It is practically impossible for the officers of a submarine to visit a merchantman at sea and examine her papers and cargo. It is practically impossible for them to make a prize of her; and, if they cannot put a prize crew on board of her, they cannot sink her without leaving her crew and all on board of her to the mercy of the sea in her small boats. These facts it is understood the Imperial German Government frankly admit. We are informed that in the instances of which we have spoken time enough for even that poor measure of safety was not given, and in at least two of the cases cited not so much as a warning was received. Manifestly, submarines cannot be used against merchantmen, as the last few weeks have shown, without an inevitable violation of many sacred principles of justice and humanity.
American citizens act within their indisputable rights in taking their ships and in traveling wherever their legitimate business calls them upon the high seas, and exercise those rights in what should be the well-justified confidence that their lives will not be endangered by acts done in clear violation of universally acknowledged international obligations, and certainly in the confidence that their own Government will sustain them in the exercise of their rights.
There was recently published in the newspapers of the United States, I regret to inform the Imperial German Government, a formal warning, purporting to come from the Imperial German Embassy at Washington, addressed to the people of the United States, and stating, in effect, that any citizen of the United States who exercised his right of free travel upon the seas would do so at his peril if his journey should take him within the zone of waters within which the Imperial German Navy was using submarines against the commerce of Great Britain and France, notwithstanding the respectful but very earnest protest of his Government, the Government of the United States. I do not refer to this for the purpose of calling the attention of the Imperial German Government at this time to the surprising irregularity of a communication from the Imperial German Embassy at Washington addressed to the people of the United States through the newspapers, but only for the purpose of pointing out that no warning that an unlawful and inhumane act will be committed can possibly be accepted as an excuse or palliation for that act or as an abatement of the responsibility for its commission.
Long acquainted as this Government has been with the character of the Imperial Government, and with the high principles of equity by which they have in the past been actuated and guided, the Government of the United States cannot believe that the commanders of the vessels which committed these acts of lawlessness did so except under a misapprehension of the orders issued by the Imperial German naval authorities. It takes it for granted that, at least within the practical possibilities of every such case, the commanders even of submarines were expected to do nothing that would involve the lives of noncombatants or the safety of neutral ships, even at the cost of failing of their object of capture or destruction. It confidently expects, therefore, that the Imperial German Government will disavow the acts of which the Government of the United States complains; that they will make reparation so far as reparation is possible for injuries which are without measure, and that they will take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence of anything so obviously subversive of the principles of warfare for which the Imperial German Government have in the past so wisely and so firmly contended.
The Government and people of the United States look to the Imperial German Government for just, prompt, and enlightened action in this vital matter with the greater confidence, because the United States and Germany are bound together not only by special ties of friendship, but also by the explicit stipulations of the Treaty of 1828, between the United States and the Kingdom of Prussia.
Expressions of regret and offers of reparation in case of the destruction of neutral ships sunk by mistake, while they may satisfy international obligations, if no loss of life results, cannot justify or excuse a practice the natural and necessary effect of which is to subject neutral nations and neutral persons to new and immeasurable risks.
The Imperial German Government will not expect the Government of the United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the performance of its sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment.
THE WARNING AND THE CONSEQUENCE—
THE GERMAN WARNING.
[On Saturday, May 1, the day that the Lusitania left New York on her last voyage, the following advertisement bearing the authentication of the German Embassy at Washington appeared in the chief newspapers of the United States, placed next the advertisement of the Cunard Line:
TRAVELLERS intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or of any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
IMPERIAL GERMAN EMBASSY
WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 22, 1915.
Despite this warning, relying on President Wilson's note to Germany of Feb. 10, 1915, which declared that the United States would "hold the Imperial Government of Germany to a strict accountability" for such an act within the submarine zone; relying, also, on the speed of the ship, and hardly conceiving that the threat would be carried out, over two thousand men, women, and children embarked. The total toll of the dead was 1,150, of whom 114 were known to be American citizens.
The German Embassy's warning advertisement was repeated on May 8, the day following the loss of the Lusitania. On May 12 the German Embassy notified the newspapers to discontinue publication of the advertisement, which had been scheduled to appear for the third time on the following Saturday.]
GERMAN OFFICIAL REPORT.
[By The Associated Press.]
BERLIN, May 14, (via Amsterdam to London, May 15.)—From the report received from the submarine which sank the Cunard Line steamer Lusitania last Friday the following official version of the incident is published by the Admiralty Staff over the signature of Admiral Behncke:
The submarine sighted the steamer, which showed no flag, May 7 at 2:20 o'clock, Central European time, afternoon, on the southeast coast of Ireland, in fine, clear weather.
At 3:10 o'clock one torpedo was fired at the Lusitania, which hit her starboard side below the Captain's bridge. The detonation of the torpedo was followed immediately by a further explosion of extremely strong effect. The ship quickly listed to starboard and began to sink.
The second explosion must be traced back to the ignition of quantities of ammunition inside the ship.
It appears from this report that the submarine sighted the Lusitania at 1:20 o'clock, London time, and fired the torpedo at 2:10 o'clock, London time. The Lusitania, according to all reports, was traveling at the rate of eighteen knots an hour. As fifty minutes elapsed between the sighting and the torpedoing, the Lusitania when first seen from the submarine must have been distant nearly fifteen knots, or about seventeen land miles. The Lusitania must have been recognized at the first appearance of the tops of her funnels above the horizon. To the Captain on the bridge of the Lusitania the submarine would have been at that time invisible, being below the horizon.
BRITISH CORONER'S VERDICT.
[By The Associated Press.]
KINSALE, Ireland, May 10.—The verdict, rendered here today by the coroner's jury, which investigated five deaths resulting from the torpedoing of the Lusitania, is as follows:
We find that the deceased met death from prolonged immersion and exhaustion in the sea eight miles south-southeast of Old Head of Kinsale, Friday, May 7, 1915, owing to the sinking of the Lusitania by torpedoes fired by a German, submarine.
We find that the appalling crime was committed contrary to international law and the conventions of all civilized nations.
We also charge the officers of said submarine and the Emperor and the Government of Germany, under whose orders they acted, with the crime of wholesale murder before the tribunal of the civilized world.
We desire to express sincere condolences and sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, the Cunard Company, and the United States, many of whose citizens perished in this murderous attack on an unarmed liner.
GERMAN NOTE OF REGRET.
BERLIN, (via London,) May 10.—The following dispatch has been sent by the German Foreign Office to the German Embassy at Washington:
Please communicate the following to the State Department: The German Government desires to express its deepest sympathy at the loss of lives on board the Lusitania. The responsibility rests, however, with the British Government, which, through its plan of starving the civilian population of Germany, has forced Germany to resort to retaliatory measures.
In spite of the German offer to stop the submarine war in case the starvation plan was given up, British merchant vessels are being generally armed with guns and have repeatedly tried to ram submarines, so that a previous search was impossible.
They cannot, therefore, be treated as ordinary merchant vessels. A recent declaration made to the British Parliament by the Parliamentary Secretary in answer to a question by Lord Charles Beresford said that at the present practically all British merchant vessels were armed and provided with hand grenades.
Besides, it has been openly admitted by the English press that the Lusitania on previous voyages repeatedly carried large quantities of war material. On the present voyage the Lusitania carried 5,400 cases of ammunition, while the rest of her cargo also consisted chiefly of contraband.
If England, after repeated official and unofficial warnings, considered herself able to declare that that boat ran no risk and thus light-heartedly assumed responsibility for the human life on board a steamer which, owing to its armament and cargo, was liable to destruction, the German Government, in spite of its heartfelt sympathy for the loss of American lives, cannot but regret that Americans felt more inclined to trust to English promises rather than to pay attention to the warnings from the German side.
ENGLAND ANSWERS GERMANY.[A]
[By The Associated Press.]
[Footnote A: In Germany's reply to the American protest against certain features of the "war zone" order, which was received in Washington on Feb. 14, occurred this expression:
If the United States ... should succeed at the last moment in removing the grounds which make that procedure [submarine warfare on merchant vessels] an obligatory duty for Germany ... and thereby make possible for Germany legitimate importation of the necessaries of life and industrial raw material, then the German Government ... would gladly draw conclusions from the new situation.
In the German note to the American Government justifying the sinking of the Lusitania presented above, appears this clause:
In spite of the German offer to stop the submarine war in case the starvation plan was given up....
These two expressions are referred to in the British official statement, published herewith, in these words:
It was not understood from the reply of the German Government [of Feb. 14] that they were prepared to abandon the principle of sinking British vessels by submarine.
Whether this may regarded as an opening for the renewal of the German offer in explicit terms, with the implication that England might accept it, is not explained.]
LONDON, Wednesday, May 12.—Inquiry in official circles elicited last night the following statement, representing the official British view of Germany's justification for torpedoing the Lusitania which Berlin transmitted to the State Department at Washington:
The German Government states that responsibility for the loss of the Lusitania rests with the British Government, which through their plan of starving the civil population of Germany has forced Germany to resort to retaliatory measures The reply to this is as follows:
As far back as last December Admiral von Tirpitz, (the German Marine Minister,) in an interview, foreshadowed a submarine blockade of Great Britain, and a merchant ship and a hospital ship were torpedoed Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, respectively.
The German Government on Feb. 4 declared their intention of instituting a general submarine blockade of Great Britain and Ireland, with the avowed purpose of cutting off supplies for these islands. This blockade was put into effect Feb. 18.
As already stated, merchant vessels had, as a matter of fact, been sunk by a German submarine at the end of January. Before Feb. 4 no vessel carrying food supplies for Germany had been held up by his Majesty's Government except on the ground that there was reason to believe the foodstuffs were intended for use of the armed forces of the enemy or the enemy Government.
His Majesty's Government had, however informed the State Department on Jan. 29 that they felt bound to place in a prize court the foodstuffs of the steamer Wilhelmina, which was going to a German port, in view of the Government control of foodstuffs in Germany, as being destined for the enemy Government and, therefore, liable to capture.
The decision of his Majesty's Government to carry out the measures laid down by the Order in Council was due to the action of the German Government in insisting on their submarine blockade.
This, added to other infractions of international law by Germany, led to British reprisals, which differ from the German action in that his Majesty's Government scrupulously respect the lives of noncombatants traveling in merchant vessels, and do not even enforce the recognized penalty of confiscation for a breach of the blockade, whereas the German policy is to sink enemy or neutral vessels at sight, with total disregard for the lives of noncombatants and the property of neutrals.
The Germans state that, in spite of their offer to stop their submarine war in case the starvation plan was given up, Great Britain has taken even more stringent blockade measures. The answer to this is as follows:
It was not understood from the reply of the German Government that they were prepared to abandon the principle of sinking British vessels by submarine.
They have refused to abandon the use of mines for offensive purposes on the high seas on any condition. They have committed various other infractions of international law, such as strewing the high seas and trade routes with mines, and British and neutral vessels will continue to run danger from this course, whether Germany abandons her submarine blockade or not.
It should be noted that since the employment of submarines, contrary to international law, the Germans also have been guilty of the use of asphyxiating gas. They have even proceeded to the poisoning of water in South Africa.
The Germans represent British merchant vessels generally as armed with guns and say that they repeatedly ram submarines. The answer to this is as follows:
It is not to be wondered at that merchant vessels, knowing they are liable to be sunk without warning and without any chance being given those on board to save their lives, should take measures for self-defense.
With regard to the Lusitania: The vessel was not armed on her last voyage, and had not been armed during the whole war.
The Germans attempt to justify the sinking of the Lusitania by the fact that she had arms and ammunition on board. The presence of contraband on board a neutral vessel does render her liable to capture, but certainly not to destruction, with the loss of a large portion of her crew and passengers. Every enemy vessel is a fair prize, but there is no legal provision, not to speak of the principles of humanity, which would justify what can only be described as murder because a vessel carries contraband.
The Germans maintain that after repeated official and unofficial warnings his Majesty's Government were responsible for the loss of life, as they considered themselves able to declare that the boat ran no risk, and thus "light-heartedly assume the responsibility for the human lives on board a steamer which, owing to its armament and cargo, is liable to destruction." The reply thereto is:
First—His Majesty's Government never declared the boat ran no risk.
Second—The fact that the Germans issued their warning shows that the crime was premeditated. They had no more right to murder passengers after warning them than before.
Third—In spite of their attempts to put the blame on Great Britain, it will tax the ingenuity even of the Germans to explain away the fact that it was a German torpedo, fired by a German seaman from a German submarine, that sank the vessel and caused over 1,000 deaths.
CAPTAIN TURNER TESTIFIES.
[By The Associated Press.]
KINSALE, Ireland, May 10.—The inquest which began here Saturday over five victims of the Lusitania was concluded today. A vital feature of the hearing was the testimony of Captain W.T. Turner of the lost steamship. Coroner Horga questioned him:
"You were aware threats had been made that the ship would be torpedoed?"
"We were," the Captain replied.
"Was she armed?"
"What precautions did you take?"
"We had all the boats swung when we came within the danger zone, between the passing of Fastnet and the time of the accident."
The Coroner asked him whether he had received a message concerning the sinking of a ship off Kinsale by a submarine. Captain Turner replied that he had not.
"Did you receive any special instructions as to the voyage?"
"Are you at liberty to tell us what they were?"
"Did you carry them out?"
"Yes, to the best of my ability."
"Tell us in your own words what happened after passing Fastnet."
"The weather was clear," Captain Turner answered. "We were going at a speed of eighteen knots. I was on the port side and heard Second Officer Hefford call out:
"'Here's a torpedo.'
"I ran to the other side and saw clearly the wake of a torpedo. Smoke and steam came up between the last two funnels. There was a slight shock. Immediately after the first explosion there was another report, but that may possibly have been internal.
"I at once gave the order to lower the boats down to the rails, and I directed that women and children should get into them. I also had all the bulkheads closed.
"Between the time of passing Fastnet, about 11 o'clock, and of the torpedoing I saw no sign whatever of any submarines. There was some haze along the Irish coast, and when we were near Fastnet I slowed down to fifteen knots. I was in wireless communication with shore all the way across."
Captain Turner was asked whether he had received any messages in regard to the presence of submarines off the Irish coast. He replied in the affirmative. Questioned regarding the nature of the message, he replied:
"I respectfully refer you to the Admiralty for an answer."
"I also gave orders to stop the ship," Captain Turner continued, "but we could not stop. We found that the engines were out of commission. It was not safe to lower boats until the speed was off the vessel. As a matter of fact, there was a perceptible headway on her up to the time she went down.
"When she was struck she listed to starboard. I stood on the bridge when she sank, and the Lusitania went down under me. She floated about eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck her. My watch stopped at 2:36. I was picked up from among the wreckage and afterward was brought aboard a trawler.
"No warship was convoying us. I saw no warship, and none was reported to me as having been seen. At the time I was picked up I noticed bodies floating on the surface, but saw no living persons."
"Eighteen knots was not the normal speed of the Lusitania, was it?"
"At ordinary times," answered Captain Turner, "she could make 25 knots, but in war times her speed was reduced to 21 knots. My reason for going 18 knots was that I wanted to arrive at Liverpool bar without stopping, and within two or three hours of high water."
"Was there a lookout kept for submarines having regard to previous warnings?"
"Yes, we had double lookouts."
"Were you going a zigzag course at the moment the torpedoing took place?"
"No. It was bright weather, and land was clearly visible."
"Was it possible for a submarine to approach without being seen?"
"Oh, yes; quite possible."
"Something has been said regarding the impossibility of launching the boats on the port side?"
"Yes," said Captain Turner, "owing to the listing of the ship."
"How many boats were launched safely?"
"I cannot say."
"Were any launched safely?"
"Yes, and one or two on the port side."
"Were your orders promptly carried out?"
"Was there any panic on board?"
"No, there was no panic at all. It was all most calm."
"How many persons were on board?"
"There were 1,500 passengers and about 600 crew."
By the foreman of the jury—In the face of the warnings at New York that the Lusitania would be torpedoed, did you make any application to the Admiralty for an escort?
"No, I left that to them. It is their business, not mine. I simply had to carry out my orders to go, and I would do it again."
Captain Turner uttered the last words of this reply with great emphasis.
By the Coroner—I am very glad to hear you say so, Captain.
By a juryman—Did you get a wireless to steer your vessel in a northern direction?
"No," replied Captain Turner.
"Was the course of the vessel altered after the torpedoes struck her?"
"I headed straight for land, but it was useless. Previous to this the watertight bulkheads were closed. I suppose the explosion forced them open. I don't know the exact extent to which the Lusitania was damaged."
"There must have been serious damage done to the watertight bulkheads?"
"There certainly was, without doubt."
"Were the passengers supplied with lifebelts?"
"Were any special orders given that morning that lifebelts be put on?"
"Was any warning given before you were torpedoed?"
"None whatever. It was suddenly done and finished."
"If there had been a patrol boat about might it have been of assistance?"
"It might, but it is one of those things one never knows."
With regard to the threats against his ship Captain Turner said he saw nothing except what appeared in the New York papers the day before the Lusitania sailed. He had never heard the passengers talking about the threats, he said.
"Was a warning given to the lower decks after the ship had been struck?" Captain Turner was asked.
"All the passengers must have heard the explosion," Captain Turner replied.
Captain Turner, in answer to another question, said he received no report from the lookout before the torpedo struck the Lusitania.
Ship's Bugler Livermore testified that the watertight compartments were closed, but that the explosion and the force of the water must have burst them open. He said that all the officers were at their posts and that earlier arrivals of the rescue craft would not have saved the situation.
After physicians had testified that the victims had met death through prolonged immersion and exhaustion the Coroner summed up the case.
He said that the first torpedo fired by the German submarine did serious damage to the Lusitania, but that, not satisfied with this, the Germans had discharged another torpedo. The second torpedo, he said, must have been more deadly, because it went right through the ship, hastening the work of destruction.
[Illustration: "Lusitania's" First Cabin List
May 22, 1915.
BY THE QUADRUPLE-SCREW TURBINE
* W.T. Turner, R.N.R.
@ J.C. ANDERSON
@ CHIEF ENGINEER—A. BRYCE
@ SURGEON—J.F. McDERMOTT
@ ASST SURGEON—J. GARRY
@ CHIEF OFFICER—J.T. PIPER
@ PURSER—J.A. McCUBBIN
* 2ND PURSER—P. DRAPER
* CHIEF STEWARD—J.V. JONES
From New York to Liverpool, May 1st 1915.
Mr. Henry Adams England. Mrs. Adams England. Mr. A.H. Adams London, Eng. * Mr. William McM. Adams London, Eng. * Lady Allan Montreal, Can. * and maid (Emily Davies) Miss Anna Allan Montreal, Can. @ Miss Gwen Allan Montreal, Can. * and maid (Annie Walker) * Mr. N.N. Alles New York, N.Y. * Mr. Julian de Ayala Liverpool, Eng. (Consul General for Cuba at Liverpool)
* Mr. James Baker England. Miss Margaret A. Baker New York, N.Y. * Mr. Allan Barnes Toronto, Ont. * Mr. G.W.B. Bartlett London, Eng. Mrs. Bartlett London, Eng. Mr. Lindon Bates Jr. New York, N.Y. * Mr. J.J. Battersby Stockport, Eng. * Mr. Oliver Bernard Boston, Mass. * Mr. Charles P. Bernard New York, N.Y. @ Mr. Albert C. Bilicke Los Angeles, Cal. * Mrs. Bilicke Los Angeles, Cal. Mr. Harry B. Baldwin New York, N.Y. Mrs. Baldwin New York, N.Y. Mr. Leonidas Bistis Greece. Mr. James J. Black Liverpool, Eng. Mr. Thomas Bloomfield New York, N.Y. * Mr. James Bohan Toronto, Canada. * Mr. Harold Boulton Jr. Chicago, Ill. * Mr. Charles W. Bowring New York, N.Y. Miss Dorothy Braithwaite Montreal, Can. * Miss Josephine Brandell New York, N.Y. @ Mr. C.T. Brodrick Boston, Mass. * Mr. J.H. Brooks Bridgeport, Conn. Mrs. Mary C. Brown New York, N.Y. @ Mr. H.A. Bruno Montclair, N.J. Mrs. Bruno Montclair, N.J. * Mrs. J.S. Burnside Toronto, Ont. * and maid (Martha Waites) Toronto, Ont. Miss Iris Burnside Toronto, Ont. * Mr. A.J. Byington London, Eng. * Mr. Michael G. Byrne New York, N.Y. * Mr. Peter Buswell England. @ Mr. William H.H. Brown Buffalo, N.Y. * Mr. Hy. G. Burgess England.
* Mr. Robert W. Cairns Booked on Board Mr. Conway S. Campbell-Johnston Los Angeles, Cal. @ Mrs. Campbell-Johnston Los Angeles, Cal. Mr. Alexander Campbell London, Eng. @ Mr. David L. Chabot Montreal, Can. * Mrs. W. Chapman Toronto, Canada. * Mr. John H. Charles Toronto, Canada. * Miss Doris Charles Toronto, Canada. * Rev. Cowley Clarke London, Eng. * Mr. A.R. Clarke Toronto, Canada. @ Mr. W. Broderick Cloete San Antonio, Tex. * Mr. H.G. Colebrook Toronto, Canada. * Miss Dorothy Conner New York, N.Y. @ Mr. George R. Copping Toronto, Canada. Mrs. Copping Toronto, Canada. @ Mrs. William Crichton New York, N.Y. Mr. Paul Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. Master Peter Crompton (8 months) and nurse (Dorothy D. Allen) @ Master Steven Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. (17 years) Master John David Crompton Philadelphia. Pa. (6 years) Master Paul Romelly Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. (9 years) Miss Alberta Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. (12 years) Miss Catherine Crompton Philadelphia, Pa. (10 Years) @ Mr. Robert W. Crooks Toronto, Canada. * Mr. A.B. Cross F. Malay States.
* Mr. Harold M. Daly Ottawa, Ont. @ Mr. Robert E. Dearbergh New York, N.Y. @ Mrs. A. Depage Belgium. Mr. C.A. Dingwall London, Eng. Miss C. Dougall Guelph, Ont. Mr. Audley Drake Detroit, Mich. Mr. Alan Dredge British Honduras. Mrs. Dredge British Honduras. Mr. James Dunsmuir Toronto, Canada.
Mr. W.A. Emond Quebec, Can.
Mr. John Fenwick Switzerland * Dr. Howard Fisher New York, N.Y. Mr. Justin M. Forman New York, N.Y. Mr. Chas. F. Fowles New York, N.Y. @ Mrs. Fowles New York, N.Y. Mr. Richard R. Freeman Jr. Boston, Mass. Mr. J. Friedenstein London, Eng. Mr. Edwin W. Friend Farmington, Ct. @ Mr. Charles Frohman New York, N.Y. @ and valet (Wm. Stainton)
* Mr. Fred. J. Gauntlett New York, N.Y. Mr. Mathew Gibson Glasgow, Scot. Mr. George A. Gilpin England. Mr. Edgar Gorer London, Eng. * Mr. Oscar F. Grab New York, N.Y. Mr. Montagu T. Grant Chicago, Ill. Mrs. Grant Chicago, Ill.
Mr. Frederick S. Hammond Toronto, Canada. * Mrs. F.S. Hammond Toronto, Canada. * Mr. O.H. Hammond New York, N.Y. Mrs. O.H. Hammond New York, N.Y. * Mr. C.C. Hardwick New York, N.Y. Mr. John H. Harper New York, N.Y. * Mr. Dwight C. Harris New York, N.Y. Mr. F.W. Hawkins Winnipeg, Man. @ Miss Katheryn Hickson New York, N.Y. * Mr. Charles T. Hill London, Eng. Mr. William S. Hodges Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Hodges Philadelphia, Pa. @ Master W.S. Hodges Jr. Philadelphia, Pa. Master Dean W. Hodges Philadelphia, Pa. * Master W.R.G. Holt Montreal, Can. * Mr. Thomas Home Toronto, Canada. @ Mr. Albert L. Hopkins New York, N.Y. * Dr. J.T. Houghton Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Mr. Elbert Hubbard E. Aurora, N.Y. Mrs. Hubbard E. Aurora, N.Y. Miss P. Hutchinson England.
* Mr. C.T. Jeffery Chicago, Ill. * Mr. Francis B. Jenkins New York, N.Y. * Miss Rita Jolivet Paris, France. @ Miss Margaret D. Jones Honolulu, Hawaii.
* Mr. W. Keeble Toronto, Canada. * Mrs. Keeble Toronto, Canada. Mr. Francis C. Kellett Tuckahoe, N.Y. * Mr. Maitland Kempson Toronto, Canada. * Dr. Owen Kenan New York, N.Y. Mrs. C. Hickson Kennedy New York, N.Y. Mr. Harry J. Keser Philadelphia, Pa. @ Mrs. Keser Philadelphia, Pa. * Mr. Geo. A. Kessler New York, N.Y. @ Mr. Thos. B. King New York, N.Y. Mr. Charles Klein London, Eng. Mr. C. Harwood Knight Baltimore, Md. Miss Elaine H. Knight Baltimore, Md. * Mr. S.M. Knox Philadelphia, Pa.
Sir Hugh Lane England. * Mrs. H.H. Lassetter London, Eng. * Mr. F. Lassetter London, Eng. * Mr. Charles E. Lauriat Jr. Boston, Mass. Mr. C.A. Learoyd Sidney, Aus. * Mrs. Learoyd Sidney, Aus. * and maid (Marg't Hurley) * Mr. James Leary New York, N.Y. Mr. Evan A. Leigh Liverpool, Eng. * Mr. Isaac Lehmann New York, N.Y. * Miss Dilane Lehmann Booked on Board * Mr. Martin Lehmann Booked on Board Mr. Joseph Levinson Jr. Canada. Mr. Gerald A. Letts New York, N.Y. Mr. F. Guy Lewin England. * Mrs. Popham Lobb New York, N.Y. * Mr. R.R. Lockhart Toronto, Canada. Mr. Allen D. Loney New York, N.Y. Mrs. Loney New York, N.Y. and maid (Elise Boutellier) * Miss Virginia Loney New York, N.Y. Mrs. A.C. Luck Worcester, Mass. Master Eldridge C. Luck Worcester, Mass. Master Kenneth T. Luck Worcester, Mass.
* Mr. John W. McConnel Manchester, Eng. Mr. William McLean France. Mr. F.E. MacLennan Glasgow, Scot. * Mr. Louis McMurray Toronto, Canada. Mr. Fred. A. McMurtry New York, N.Y. @ Mrs. Henry D. Macdona New York, N.Y. * Lady Mackworth Cardiff, Wales. Mr. Stewart S. Mason Boston, Mass. @ Mrs. Mason Boston, Mass. * Mr. Arthur T. Mathews Montreal, Can. @ Rev. Basil W. Maturin Oxford, Eng. Mr. George Maurice London, Eng. Mr. Maurice B. Medbury New York, N.Y. Capt. J.B. Miller Washington, D.C. Mr. Charles V. Mills New York, N.Y. Mr. James D. Mitchell England. Mr. R.T. Moodie Gainesville, Tex. * Mrs. M.S. Morell Toronto, Canada. Mr. K.J. Morrison Canada. * Mr. G.G. Mosley England. Mrs. C. Munro Liverpool, Eng. Mr. Herman A. Myers New York, N.Y. * Mr. Joseph L. Myers New York, N.Y.
@ Mr. F.G. Naumann England. @ Mr. Gustaf Adolf Nyblom Canada.
* Mr. F. Orr-Lewis Montreal, Can. * and manservant (Geo. Slingsby) * Mrs. A.B. Osborne Hamilton, Ont. Mrs. T.O. Osbourne Glasgow, Scot.
* Mrs. F. Padley Liverpool, Eng. @ Mr. Frederico G. Padila Liverpool, Eng. (Consul Gen'l for Mexico at Liverpool) Mr. J.H. Page New York, N.Y. @ Mr. M.N. Pappadopoulo Greece. * Mrs. Pappadopoulo Greece. * Mr. Frank Partridge New York, N.Y. @ Mr. Charles E. Paynter Liverpool, Eng. * Miss Irene Paynter Liverpool, Eng. Mr. F.A. Peardon Toronto, Can. @ Dr. F.S. Pearson New York, N.Y. @ Mrs. Pearson New York, N.Y. * Major F. Warren Pearl New York, N.Y. * Mrs. Pearl New York, N.Y. * infant and maid (Greta Lorenson) Miss Amy W.W. Pearl New York, N.Y. Miss Susan W. Pearl New York, N.Y. * and maid (Alice Lines) * Master Stuart Duncan D. Pearl New York, N.Y. Mr. Edwin Perkins England. * Mr. Frederick J. Perry Buffalo, N.Y. @ Mr. Albert Norris Perry Buffalo, N.Y. * Mr. Wallace B. Phillips New York, N.Y. * Mr. Robinson Pirie Hamilton, Ont. * Mr. William J. Pierpoint Liverpool, Eng. @ Mr. Charles A. Plamondon Chicago, Ill. @ Mrs. Plamondon Chicago, Ill. Mr. Henry Pollard Washington, D.C. * Miss Theodate Pope Farmington, Ct. and maid (Emily Robinson) London, Eng. * Mr. Eugene H. Posen New York, N.Y. Mr. George A. Powell Toronto, Ont.
* Mr. Norman A. Ratcliff England. * Mr. Robert Rankin New York, N.Y. * Mr. A.L. Rhys-Evans Cardiff, Wales. Mr. Chas. E. Robinson Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Robinson Philadelphia, Pa. Mr. Frank A. Rogers Toronto, Canada. @ Mrs. Rogers Toronto, Canada. * Mr. Percy W. Rogers Toronto, Can. Mr. Thos. W. Rumble Toronto, Canada. Mrs. G. Sterling Ryerson Toronto, Canada. * Miss Laura Ryerson Toronto, Canada.
Mr. Leo M. Schwabacher Baltimore, Md. * Mr. August W. Schwarte New York, N.Y. Mr. Max M. Schwarcz New York, N.Y. Mr. A.J. Scott Manila, P.I. @ Mr Percy W. Seccombe Peterboro, N.H. Miss Elizabeth Seccombe Peterboro, N.H. Mr. Victor E. Shields Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Shields Cincinnati, Ohio. @ Mrs. R.D. Shymer New York, N.Y. Mr. Jacobus Sigurd Sweden. Mr. Thomas J. Silva Temple, Texas. * Mr. Thomas Slidell New York, N.Y. * Mrs. Jessie Taft Smith Braceville, O. Mr. Henry B. Sonneborn Baltimore, Md. @ Comd'r. J. Foster Stackhouse London, Eng. @ Mrs. George W. Stephens Montreal, Can. and maid (Elise Oberlin) Master John H.C. Stephens Montreal, Can. and nurse (Carolina Milten) Mr. Duncan Stewart Montreal, Can. Mr. Herbert S. Stone New York, N.Y. @ Mr. Martin van Straaten London, Eng. Mr. Julius Strauss Hamilton, Ont. Mr. Alex. Stuart Glasgow, Scot. * Mr. Charles F. Sturdy Montreal, Can.
* Mr. R.L. Taylor Montreal, Can. Mr. F.B. Tesson Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Tesson Philadelphia, Pa. * Mr. D.A. Thomas Cardiff, Wales. Mr. E. Blish Thompson Seymour, Indiana. * Mrs. Thompson Seymour, Indiana. @ Mr. Georges Tiberghien France. * Mr. R.J. Timmis Gainesville, Texas. * Mr. F.E.O. Tootal London, Eng. * Mr. Ernest Townley Toronto, Canada. @ Mr. Isaac F. Trumbull Bridgeport, Conn. * Mr. Scott Turner Lansing, Mich. * Mr. G.H. Turton Melbourne, Australia.
Mr. Alfred G. Vanderbilt New York, N.Y. and valet (Ronald Denyer) * Mr. W.A.F. Vassar London, Eng. @ Mr. G.L.P. Vernon London, Eng.
* Mrs A.T. Wakefield Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. David Walker New York, N.Y. Mrs. Wallace Watson Montreal, Can. Mrs. Anthony Watson England. @ Mrs. Catherine E. Willey Lake Forest, Ill. Mr. Thomas H. Williams Liverpool, Eng. Mr. Charles F. Williamson New York, N.Y. Mr. Winter Liverpool, Eng. * Mrs. A.S. Witherbee New York, N.Y. Master A.S. Witherbee Jr. (3 yrs.) New York, N.Y. Mr. Lothrop Withington Boston, Mass. Mr. Walter Wright Scotland. @ Mr. Arthur John Wood England. * Mr. Robt. C. Wright Cleveland, Ohio.
Mr. J.M. Young Hamilton, Ont. Mrs. Young Hamilton, Ont. * Mr. Philip J. Yung Antwerp, Belgium
Total number of Saloon Passengers 293
Survivors marked * Identified Dead marked @
(This list, as corrected to May 22, 1915—the final revision—is a facsimile of the broadside issued by the Cunard Company. It will be noted that all of Paul Crompton's family perished, including himself, his wife, and six children.)]
The characteristic courage of the Irish and British people was manifested at the time of this terrible disaster, the Coroner continued, and there was no panic. He charged that the responsibility "lay on the German Government and the whole people of Germany, who collaborated in the terrible crime."
"I propose to ask the jury," he continued, "to return the only verdict possible for a self-respecting jury, that the men in charge of the German submarine were guilty of willful murder."
The jury then retired and prepared their verdict.
Descriptions by Survivors
SUBMARINE CREW OBSERVED.
[By The Associated Press.]
LONDON, May 10.—The Fishguard correspondent of The Daily News quotes the Rev. Mr. Guvier of the Church of England's Canadian Railway Mission, a Lusitania survivor, as saying that when the ship sank a submarine rose to the surface and came within 300 yards of the scene.
"The crew stood stolidly on the deck," he said, "and surveyed their handiwork. I could distinguish the German flag, but it was impossible to see the number of the submarine, which disappeared after a few minutes."
ERNEST COWPER'S ACCOUNT.
QUEENSTOWN, Saturday, May 8, 3:18 A.M.—A sharp lookout for submarines was kept aboard the Lusitania as she approached the Irish coast, according to Ernest Cowper, a Toronto newspaper man, who was among the survivors landed at Queenstown.
He said that after the ship was torpedoed there was no panic among the crew, but that they went about the work of getting passengers into the boats in a prompt and efficient manner.
"As we neared the coast of Ireland," said Mr. Cowper, "we all joined in the lookout, for a possible attack by a submarine was the sole topic of conversation.
"I was chatting with a friend at the rail about 2 o'clock, when suddenly I caught a glimpse of the conning tower of a submarine about a thousand yards distant. I immediately called my friend's attention to it. Immediately we both saw the track of a torpedo, followed almost instantly by an explosion. Portions of splintered hull were sent flying into the air, and then another torpedo struck. The ship began to list to starboard.
"The crew at once proceeded to get the passengers into boats in an orderly, prompt, and efficient manner. Miss Helen Smith appealed to me to save her. I placed her in a boat and saw her safely away. I got into one of the last boats to leave.
"Some of the boats could not be launched, as the vessel was sinking. There was a large number of women and children in the second cabin. Forty of the children were less than a year old."
From interviews with passengers it appears that when the torpedoes burst they sent forth suffocating fumes, which had their effect on the passengers, causing some of them to lose consciousness.
Two stokers, Byrne and Hussey of Liverpool, gave a few details. They said the submarine gave no notice and fired two torpedoes, one hitting No. 1 stoke hole and the second the engine room. The first torpedo was discharged at 2 o'clock. In twenty-five minutes the great liner disappeared.
The Cunard Line agent states that the total number of persons aboard the Lusitania was 2,160.
MR. KESSLER'S DESCRIPTION.
[Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.]
LONDON, Monday, May 10.—Survivors of the Lusitania arriving in London yesterday from Queenstown told some of their tragic experiences to THE NEW YORK TIMES correspondent.
They forcibly expressed the opinion that the Lusitania was badly handled in being run into waters where it was known submarines were waiting. Although not for a moment attempting to shift the blame from the "murderous Germans" for the sinking of a ship full of innocent passengers, they insisted that the officers of the steamship, knowing that submarines were lurking off the Irish coast, ought to have taken a different path to avoid all danger....
George A. Kessler of New York, in an interview, gave the following description of the Lusitania sinking and of preliminary incidents aboard:
"On Wednesday I saw the crew taking tarpaulins from the boats, and I went up to the Purser and said:
"'It's all right drilling your crew, but why don't you drill your passengers?'
"The Purser said he thought it was a good idea, and added, 'Why not tell Captain Turner, Sir?'
"The next day I had a conversation with the Captain, and to him suggested that the passengers should receive tickets, each with a number denoting the number of the boat he should make for in case anything untoward happened. I added that this detail would minimize difficulties in the event of trouble.
"The Captain replied that this suggestion was made after the disaster to the Titanic. The Cunard people had thought it over and considered it impracticable. He added that, of course, he could not act on the advice given, because he should first have the authority of the Board of Trade.
"I talked with the Captain generally about the torpedo scare, which neither of us regarded as of any moment. The Captain (you understand, of course, that we were smoking and chatting) explained his plans to me. He said that they were then slowing down, (in fact, we were going only about eighteen knots,) and that the ship would be slowed down until they got somewhere further on the voyage, and then they would go at all speed and get over the war zone.
"I asked him what the war zone was, and he said 500 miles from Liverpool.
"According to the next day's run, ending about two hours before the mishap occurred, we were about 380 or 390 miles from Liverpool. So we were in the war zone, and we were going only at a speed of eighteen knots at the critical moment.
"For the two days previous, as well as I remember, the mileage was 506 and 501, and on Thursday the mileage was 488. On Friday I was playing bridge when the pool was put up on the day's run and I heard twenty numbers go from 480 to 499. I thought it would be a grand speculation to buy the lowest number, as we were going so slow. I did buy it, and paid $100. The amount in the pool was between $300 and $350, and when the pool was declared, I was the winner.
"The steward offered to hand over the money if I would go to his cabin, but I said that he could pay me later.
"Shortly after the steward had left me I was on the upper deck and looking out to sea. I saw all at once the wash of a torpedo, indicated by a snake-like churn of the surface of the water. It may have been about thirty feet away. And then came a thud."
Mr. Kessler told of the general rush for the deck and the second explosion. Then he continued:
"Mr. Berth and his wife, from New York, first-class passengers, were the last ones I spoke to. I should say that all the passengers in the dining saloon had come up on deck. The upper deck was crowded, and, of course, the passengers were wondering what was the matter, few really believing what it proved to be. Still they began to lower boats, and then things began to happen very quickly.
"Mr. Berth was trying to persuade his wife to get into a boat. She said she would not do so without him. He said, 'Oh, come along, my darling; I will be all right,' and I added to his persuasions.
"I saw him help her into the boat with the ropes of the davits. I fell into the same boat, and we were slipped down into the water over the side of the liner, which was bulging out, the list being the other way. The boat struck the water, and after some seconds (it may have been a minute) I looked up and cried out, 'My God, the Lusitania is gone!'
"We saw the entire bulk, which had been almost upright just a few seconds before, suddenly lurch over away from us. Then she seemed to stand upright in the water, and the next instant the keel of the vessel caught the keel of the boat in which we were floating, and we were thrown into the water. There were only about thirty people in the boat, and I should say that all were stokers or third-class passengers. There may have been one or two first class; I cannot recall who they were.
"When the boat was overturned I sank fifteen or twenty feet. I thought I was gone. However, I had my lifebelt around me, and managed to rise again to the surface. There I floated for possibly ten or fifteen minutes, when I saw and made a grab at a collapsible lifeboat at which other passengers were also grabbing. We managed to get it shipshape and clamber in. There were eight or nine in the boat, all stokers except one or two third-class passengers.
"It was partly filled with water and in the scramble which occurred the boat was overturned, and once more we were pitched into the water. This occurred, I should say, eight times, the boat usually righting itself. Before we were picked up by the Bluebell six of the party of eight or nine were lying drowned in the bilge water which was in the bottom."
When asked what he thought the effect of the sinking would be on the United States, Mr. Kessler answered:
"My God! what can America do? Nothing will bring back these people to life.
"It was cold-blooded, deliberate murder, and nothing else—the greatest murder the world has ever known. How will going to war mend that?"
To the question whether the loss of the liner could have been avoided, Mr. Kessler said slowly:
"That is a very serious question, and I hesitate to give an opinion on matters which are purely technical.
"Still, it seems to me as a landsman, and one who has crossed the ocean a great many times, that the safety of the Lusitania lay in speed. We were in the war zone by 140 or 150 miles, and every moment that we dawdled at fifteen or eighteen knots was an increase of our risk of being torpedoed.
"Again, (and of course I merely make the comment,) I cannot understand why there were no destroyers or patrol boats about, as we certainly had been led to expect there would be when we reached the war zone.
"The ship was torpedoed at 2:05 P.M. My watch stopped at 2:30. It was 5 o'clock when I was picked up by the Bluebell, and it was 10 o'clock before we were landed in Queenstown."
CHARLES FROHMAN'S DEATH.
[Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.]
LONDON, May 10.—A highly interesting story was told tonight by Rita Jolivet, the actress, who stood calmly chatting with Charles Frohman and Alfred G. Vanderbilt during the last tense moments before the Lusitania sank. The three of them, together with G.L.S. Vernon, Miss Jolivet's brother-in-law, and Mr. Scott, who had come all the way from Japan to enlist, joined hands and stood waiting to face death together. Miss Jolivet said:
We stood talking about the Germans and the rumor which had gained currency that a man, obviously of German origin, had been arrested for tampering with the wireless. The story was that the man had been discovered at 1 o'clock in the morning a day or two before doing something to the wireless apparatus and had been immediately imprisoned. I did not see the man arrested, so I am not sure about the story's truth, but there were good grounds for believing it.
We determined not to enter the boats, and just a minute or two before the end Mr. Frohman said with a smile: "Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure that life gives us."
Mr. Scott fetched three lifebelts, one for Mr. Vanderbilt, one for Mr. Frohman, and one for my brother-in-law. He said he was not going to wear one himself, and my brother-in-law also refused to put his on. I hear that Mr. Vanderbilt gave his to a lady, Mrs. Scott. I helped to put a lifebelt on Mr. Frohman. My brother-in-law took hold of my hand and I grasped the hand of Mr. Frohman, who, as you know, was lame. Mr. Scott took hold of his other hand, and Mr. Vanderbilt joined the row, too. We had made up our minds to die together.
Then Mr. Frohman, in a perfectly calm voice, said: "They've done for us; we had better get out." He knew that his beautiful adventure was about to begin. He had hardly spoken when, with a tremendous roar, a great wave swept along the deck and we were all divided in a moment. I have not seen any of those brave men alive since. Mr. Frohman, Mr. Vanderbilt, and my brother-in-law were drowned. When Mr. Frohman's body was recovered there was the most beautiful and peaceful smile upon his lips.
VANDERBILT'S HEROIC END.
[Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.]
LONDON, May 9.—Two survivors of the Lusitania disaster have given testimony that Alfred G. Vanderbilt died heroically; that he went to death to save the life of a woman.
Thomas Slidell, a friend of Mr. Vanderbilt, who lives at the Knickerbocker Club in New York, and was traveling with him, told of the sacrifice first. Then tonight Norman Ratcliffe, who lives in Gillingham, Kent, and was returning from Japan, offered verification. Mr. Ratcliffe was rescued, after clinging to a box in the sea for three hours. With him was a steward of the Lusitania. He said:
This steward told me he had seen Mr. Vanderbilt on the Lusitania's deck, shortly after the ship was struck, with a lifebelt about his body. When the ship gave every indication that it would sink within a few minutes, the steward said, Mr. Vanderbilt took off his lifebelt and gave it to a woman who passed him on the deck, trembling with fear of the fate she expected to meet. The steward said Mr. Vanderbilt turned back, as though to look for another belt, and he saw him no more.
Telling of his last moments on the ship and his last sight of Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Slidell said:
I saw Alfred G. Vanderbilt only a few minutes before I left the ship. He was standing with a lifebelt in his hand. A woman came up to him, and I saw him place the belt around the woman. He had none for himself, and I know that he could not swim.
Only the day before we had been talking of a day and a dawn some years ago when we went down the bay at New York in his yacht and waited to welcome and dip our flag to the Lusitania on her maiden voyage. We saw the first and last of her. Vanderbilt, who had given largely to the Red Cross, was returning to England in order to offer a fleet of wagons and himself as driver to the Red Cross Society, for he said he felt every day that he was not doing enough.
KLEIN AND HUBBARD LOST.
Oliver O. Bernard, scenic artist of Covent Garden, said:
Only one or two of the shining marks which disasters at sea seem invariably to involve have lived to tell the Lusitania's tale. Vanderbilt, the sportsman, is gone. Genial Charles Klein, the playwright, is gone. That erratic American literary genius, Elbert Hubbard, is gone, and with him a wife to whom he seemed particularly devoted. And Charles Frohman is gone.
Frohman's was the only body I could recognize in the Queenstown mortuary, and perhaps it will interest his many friends in London and New York to know that the famous manager's face in death gives uncommonly convincing evidence that he died without a struggle. It wears a serenely peaceful look.
Frohman must have found it more difficult for him to take his place in a lifeboat than any other man on the ship. He was quite lame, and hobbled about on deck laboriously with a heavy cane. He seldom came to the general dining saloon, either out of sensitiveness or because of distress caused by his leg.
I last saw Alfred G. Vanderbilt standing at the port entrance to the grand saloon. He stood there the personification of sportsmanlike coolness. In his right hand was grasped what looked to me like a large purple leather jewel case. It may have belonged to Lady Mackworth, as Mr. Vanderbilt had been much in company of the Thomas party during the trip, and evidently had volunteered to do Lady Mackworth the service of saving her gems for her. Mr. Vanderbilt was absolutely unperturbed. In my eyes, he was the figure of a gentleman waiting unconcernedly for a train. He had on a dark striped suit, and was without cap or other head covering.
Germany Justifies the Deed
[It should be borne in mind that the subjoined official and semi-official out-givings on behalf of Germany, announcing the destruction of the Lusitania, justifying it, striving to implicate the British Government, and to some extent modifying the original war zone proclamation of Feb. 18, 1915, were published prior to the receipt by the German Imperial Government of President Wilson's note of May 13. British official rejoinders and a statement by the Collector of the Port of New York are included under this head.—Editor.]
GERMAN OFFICIAL REPORT.
BERLIN, May 8, (via wireless to London Sunday, May 9.)—The following official communication was issued tonight:
The Cunard liner Lusitania was yesterday torpedoed by a German submarine and sank.
The Lusitania was naturally armed with guns, as were recently most of the English mercantile steamers. Moreover, as is well known here, she had large quantities of war material in her cargo.
Her owners, therefore, knew to what danger the passengers were exposed. They alone bear all the responsibility for what has happened.
Germany, on her part, left nothing undone to repeatedly and strongly warn them. The Imperial Ambassador in Washington even went so far as to make a public warning, so as to draw attention to this danger. The English press sneered at the warning and relied on the protection of the British fleet to safeguard Atlantic traffic.
LONDON, May 8.—The British Government today made the following announcement:
The statement appearing in some newspapers that the Lusitania was armed is wholly false.
COLLECTOR MALONE'S DENIAL.
In THE NEW YORK TIMES of May 9, 1915, the following report appeared:
Dudley Field Malone, Collector of the Port, gave an official denial yesterday to the German charge that the Lusitania had guns mounted when the left this port on Saturday, May 1. He said:
"This report is not correct. The Lusitania was inspected before sailing, as is customary.
"No guns were found, mounted or unmounted, and the vessel sailed without any armament. No merchant ship would be allowed to arm in this port and leave the harbor."
This statement was given out by the Collector yesterday morning at his home, 270 Riverside Drive.
Herman Winter, Assistant Manager of the Cunard Line, 22 State Street, who was on the Lusitania for three hours before she sailed for Liverpool, denied the report that she ever carried any guns.
"It is true," Mr. Winter said, "that she had aboard 4,200 cases of cartridges, but they were cartridges for small arms, packed in separate cases, and could not have injured the vessel by exploding. They certainly do not come under the classification of ammunition. The United States authorities would not permit us to carry ammunition, classified as such by the military authorities, on a passenger liner. For years we have been sending small-arms cartridges abroad on the Lusitania."
"The Lusitania had 1,250 steel shrapnel cases, but they were empty. There was no explosive of any sort aboard. As to the report that the Lusitania had guns aboard, I cannot assert too strongly that it is positively untrue. There were no guns whatever aboard. The Lusitania was an unarmed passenger steamer. Furthermore she never has been armed, and never carried an unmounted gun or rifle out of port in times of war or peace."
"Then you unqualifiedly declare that the Lusitania was not armed against submarines?" he was asked.
"The ship," Mr Winter replied, "was as defenseless against undersea and underhanded attack as a Hoboken ferryboat in the North River would be against one of the United States battleships."
Captain D.J. Roberts, Marine Superintendent of the Cunard Line, said yesterday that he was prepared to testify under oath in any court and from his personal knowledge that the Lusitania did not carry any guns when she sailed from New York at 12:28 P.M. on May 1 for Liverpool.
"It is my invariable custom to go through the passenger ships every day they are in port," he said, "and I made my last inspection of the Lusitania on sailing day at 7 A.M. There were no guns or plates or mountings where guns could be fitted on the Lusitania, nor have there been since she has been in the service. The ship has never carried troops or been chartered by the British Government for any purpose whatsoever.
"In order that there should be no mistake about the ensigns flown by British merchant vessels, the Admiralty ordered after war had been declared that only the red ensign, a square red flag with the union jack in the corner, should be shown at the stern of a merchantman, and the white St. George's ensign by all war vessels, whether armored or unarmored. These are the only two flags that are hoisted on British ships today, with the exception of the company's house flag, when they are entering port or passing at sea, and the mail flag on the foremast, which every steamship flies coming in to denote that she has mails on board.
"Before the war both the Lusitania and the Mauretania flew the blue ensign of the Royal Naval Reserve, which any British merchant vessel is allowed to do if her commander and officers and two-thirds of the crew belong to the reserve."
NEUTRALS IN THE WAR ZONE.
[German Foreign Office Note.]
[Special to The New York Times.]
WASHINGTON, May 11.—Secretary Bryan received from Ambassador Gerard at Berlin today the text of an official declaration by the German Government of its policy with respect to American and other neutral ships meeting German submarines in the naval war zone around the British Isles and in the North Sea. This declaration was handed to Mr. Gerard by the German Foreign Office which explained that it was being issued as a "circular statement" in regard to "mistaken attacks by German submarines on commerce vessels of neutral nations."
First—The Imperial German Government has naturally no intention of causing to be attacked by submarines or aircraft such neutral ships of commerce in the zone of naval warfare, more definitely described in the notice of the German Admiralty staff of Feb. 4 last, as have been guilty of no hostile act. On the contrary, the most definite instructions have repeatedly been issued to German war vessels to avoid attacks on such ships under all circumstances. Even when such ships have contraband of war on board they are dealt with by submarines solely according to the rules of international law applying to prize warfare.
Second—Should a neutral ship nevertheless come to harm through German submarines or aircraft on account of an unfortunate (X) [mistake?] in the above-mentioned zone of naval warfare, the German Government will unreservedly recognize its responsibility therefor. In such a case it will express its regrets and afford damages without first instituting a prize court action.
Third—It is the custom of the German Government as soon as the sinking of a neutral ship in the above-mentioned zone of naval warfare is ascribed to German war vessels to institute an immediate investigation into the cause. If grounds appear thereby to be given for association of such a hypothesis the German Navy places itself in communication with the interested neutral Government so that the latter may also institute an investigation. If the German Government is thereby convinced that the ship has been destroyed by Germany's war vessels, it will not delay in carrying out the provisions of Paragraph 2 above. In case the German Government, contrary to the viewpoint of the neutral Government is not convinced by the result of the investigation, the German Government has already on several occasions declared itself ready to allow the question to be decided by an international investigation commission, according to Chapter 3 of The Hague Convention of Oct. 18, 1907, for the peaceful solution of international disputes.
This circular is understood to have been rather reassuring to high officials of the United States Government, although it does not cover the attitude of the German Government toward the treatment to be accorded to Americans and other neutral noncombatants, men, women, and children, on board vessels flying the flag of England, France, or Russia. The absence of any allusion to the principle involved in the Lusitania case is believed here to mean that the statement was prepared and was ready for promulgation before the destruction of the Lusitania on Friday. Several days usually have been required for messages to come to Washington from Ambassador Gerard, by roundabout cable relay route, and it is believed that this dispatch is no exception in this respect.
DR. DERNBURG'S DEFENSE.
The sinking of the Lusitania as a man-of-war was justified by Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, late German Colonial Secretary and recognized as quasi-official spokesman of the German Imperial Government in the United States, in a statement issued in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 8, 1915. The statement reads:
Great Britain declared the North Sea a war zone in the Winter. No protest was made by the United States or any neutral. Great Britain held up all neutral ships carrying non-contraband goods, detaining them, buying or confiscating their cargoes.
Great Britain constantly changed the contraband lists, so no foodstuffs of any kind have actually reached Germany since the war began. International law says foodstuffs destined for the civil population must pass. It does not recognize any right to starve out a whole people.
As a consequence, and in retaliation, Germany declared the waters around England a war zone, and started a submarine warfare. It became known in February that British ships were flying the American flag as a protection.
Great Britain replied by officially declaring its purpose to starve 120,000,000 Germans and Austrians. The United States very thoughtfully tried to mediate, proposing that foodstuffs should be passed and submarine warfare be stopped.
Germany agreed; England turned the proposal down. Then, in order to protect American passengers, they were warned by public advertisement of the danger of sailing under the flag of a belligerent.
Vessels carrying contraband of war are liable to destruction unless they can be taken to a port of the country that captures them. The right of search need not be exercised if it is certain such ships carry contraband.
Oil is contraband, like war ammunition and all metals. The master of the Gulflight (an American oil tank steamer sunk recently) swore before customs officials to his cargo of oil for France.
The master of the Lusitania similarly swore to his manifest of cargo of metals and ammunition. Both the Gulflight and the Lusitania carried contraband when attacked, it is obvious.
The Lusitania's manifest showed she carried for Liverpool 260,000 pounds of brass; 60,000 pounds of copper; 189 cases of military goods; 1,271 cases of ammunition, and for London, 4,200 cases of cartridges.
Vessels of that kind can be seized and be destroyed under The Hague rules without any respect to a war zone. The Lusitania was a British auxiliary cruiser, a man-of-war. On the same day she sailed the Cameronia, another Cunarder, was commandeered in New York Harbor for military service.
The fact is that the Lusitania was a British war vessel under orders of the Admiralty to carry a cargo of contraband of war. The passengers had had full warning, first by the German note to England in February, second by advertisement.
Germany wants to do anything reasonable so as not to make the United States or its citizens suffer in any way. But she cannot do so unless Americans will take necessary precautions to protect themselves from dangers of which they are cognizant.
What Germany has done, she has done by way of retaliation after her offer through President Wilson, regarding submarine warfare, was turned down and after Britain declared the war was directed toward the 120,000,000 innocent noncombatants, women and children.
Americans can do their own thinking when the facts are laid before them. I have really no authority to speak. But my mission in the United States is to inform your people of the German attitude. The German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff, can speak only in official phrases. I talk straight out, bluntly.
Dr. Dernburg put much stress on the fact that the Cunard Line officials did not warn American passengers that the ship carried a large store of ammunition and other contraband of war. He continued:
Did they issue a warning? I would like an answer. If that warning was not given, American passengers were being used as a cloak for England's war shipments.
It is not reasonable that such a vessel could not be sunk because there were American passengers on board. They had been warned by Germany of the danger.
England could hire one American to travel to and fro on each of her ships, carry on shipments of arms, and place her men-of-war anywhere, if American passengers can be used as shields.
Asked whether he expected action by the United States because of the Lusitania's sinking, Dr. Dernburg said:
That is a question I cannot discuss. I can only say that any ship flying the American flag and not carrying contraband of war is and will be as safe as a cradle. But any other ship, not so exempt, is as unsafe as a volcano—or as was the Lusitania.
When he was told that the Transylvania, another Cunard liner, sailed from New York on May 7, to cover the same route as the Lusitania, Dr. Dernburg said:
I can only say that the German warnings will reappear henceforth by advertisement. That is significant.
German Press Opinion
Contrasting with the attitude of the German-American press since the issuance of President Wilson's note of May 13 to the German Imperial Government, the comment of the press in Germany has been in accordance with the German official statements put forth prior to the receipt of the American note. Under date of May 9, 1915, the following dispatch by The Associated Press was received from Berlin:
Commenting on the destruction Lusitania, the Berliner Tageblatt says:
With deep emotion we learn of the destruction of the Lusitania, in which countless men lost their lives. We lament with sincere hearts their hard fate, but we know we are completely devoid of blame.
We may be sure that through the English telegrams communicated to the world indignation will again be raised against Germany, but we must hope that calm reflection will later pronounce the verdict of condemnation against the British Admiralty.
The many who are now sorrowing may raise complaint against Winston Spencer Churchill, First Lord of the British Admiralty, who, by conscienceless instructions which must bring him the curse of mankind, conjured up this cruel warfare....
The Lusitania was a warship on the list of English auxiliary cruisers and carried armament of twelve strongly mounted guns. She was more strongly mounted with guns than any German armored cruiser. As an auxiliary cruiser she must have been prepared for attack.
Count von Reventlow, the naval expert, says, in the Tages Zeitung:
The American Government probably will make the case the basis for diplomatic action, but it could have prevented the loss of American lives by appropriate instructions. It is the American Government's fault, therefore, if it did not take Germany's war zone declarations seriously enough.
The writer declares, further, that Germany had full and trustworthy information that the Lusitania carried a cargo of war material, as she had on previous trips.
The Lokal Anzeiger also assumes that the steamship was carrying munitions of war, and maintains that this and "the fact that she was a fully armed cruiser completely justifies her destruction under the laws of warfare."
The Kreuz Zeitung, after referring to the warning issued by Ambassador von Bernstorff, adds:
If citizens of neutral States were lost with the sunken ship they must bear the full blame.
Some papers further testify the sinking of the steamer because on a previous occasion she had resorted to the expedient of flying the American flag. Germania, the clerical organ, deprecates probable attempts by Germany's antagonists to make moral capital against her out of the sinking of the Lusitania and the loss of life. The paper says:
We can look forward to such efforts with a clear conscience, for we have proceeded correctly. We can only answer to those who place their sympathies above justice, that war is war.
An editorial article in the Frankfurter Zeitung was quoted in an Amsterdam dispatch to The London Times of May 10, as follows:
The Lusitania has been sent to the bottom. That is the announcement which must arouse measureless horror among many thousands.
A giant ship of the British merchant fleet, a vessel of over 31,000 tons, one of the most famous of the fast steamers of the British-American passenger service, a ship full of people, who had little or nothing to do with the war, has been attacked and sunk by a German torpedo. This is the announcement which in a few words indicates a mighty catastrophe to a ship with 2,000 people aboard.
We always feel that it is tragic and all too hard when war inflicts wounds on those who do not carry its weapons.
We lament similarly the fate of the unfortunate villages and towns where war rages and the innocent victims of bombs who, far behind the trenches, and often without our being able to estimate the meaning of this murder, are snatched from the ranks of the unarmed.
Much more terrible is the fate of those who on the high sea, many hundreds in number, suddenly see death before their eyes.
A German war vessel has sunk the ship. It has done its duty.
For the German Navy the sinking of the Lusitania means an extraordinary success. Its destruction demolished the last fable with which the people of England consoled themselves; on which hostile shipping relied when it dared to defy the German warnings.
We do not need to seek grounds to justify the destruction of a British ship. She belonged to the enemy and brought us harm. She has fallen to our shots.
The enemy and the whole world were warned that he who ventured to trust himself within her staked his life.
The London Daily Mail of May 16 quotes from Der Tag the following article by Herr von Rath, who is described as a favorite spokesman in the Wilhelmstrasse:
President Wilson is very much troubled by the drowning of so many American citizens, and we Germans sincerely share his feelings, but we see in the Lusitania affair one of the many cruel necessities which the struggle for existence brings with it.
If, as English reports try to make us believe, Mr. Wilson is now meditating revenge, we will not disturb him in this occupation, but would only hope that his demands will be addressed to the right and not the wrong quarters.
The right address is England. On the German side, everything was done to warn American travelers from the impending peril, while British irresponsibility and arrogance nullified the effect of the German admonition.
Mr. Wilson is certainly in a precarious position. After showing himself so weak in the face of the long and ruthless British provocations, he has to play the strong man with Germany. Otherwise he will lose what prestige he has left, and he knows that in the background the pretender to the throne, Mr. Roosevelt, is lurking.
But what are the gallant shouters in the United States thinking about? Should the United States send troops to take part in the fighting in Flanders? The gigantic losses of their Canadian neighbors should not exactly encourage them, from a military standpoint. Moreover the United States are so weak that they have never even been able to impose their will on Mexico or to do anything to the still more unpleasant Japanese than to clench their fists in their pockets.
Should their superdreadnoughts cross the Atlantic Ocean? England has not even useful work for her own ironclads in this war. What would American warships do?
How about our Germanic brethren in the United States—the half million German and Austro-Hungarian reservists who are not permitted to take part in the defense of their home lands? Will they stand with folded arms and see their fatherlands attacked?
What the United States has already done to support our enemies is, apart from interference with private property, the worst which she could do to us. We have nothing more to expect or to fear. Therefore, the threats of our erstwhile friend Roosevelt leave us quite cold.
Let the United States also preserve up from warmed-up humanitarian platitudes, for her craven submission to England's will is promoting an outrageous scheme to deliver Germany's women and children to death by starvation.
A wireless dispatch from Berlin to Sayville, L.I., on May 16 reported this outgiving by the Overseas News Agency:
The whole German press, particularly the Cologne Gazette, the Frankfort Gazette and the Berliner Tageblatt, deeply regret the loss of American lives caused by the sinking of the Lusitania.
The Tages Zeitung and other newspapers state that the responsibility rests with the British Government, which, attempting to starve the peaceful civilian population of a big country, forced Germany in self-defense to declare British waters a war zone; with shipowners, who allowed passengers to embark on an armed steamer carrying war material, and neglected German warnings against entering the war zone, and, finally, with the English press.
Heartfelt sympathy is expressed by the German press and public for the victims of the catastrophe and their relatives.
From The Hague, via London, on May 19 a special cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES reported that, acting apparently under official instructions, several leading German newspapers had on that day joined in a fierce attack on the United States, making a concerted demand that Germany refuse to yield to the American protest.
Practically all these newspapers repeat the same arguments, declaring that neutrals entering the war zone do so at their own risk, and that the Americans aboard the Lusitania "were shielding contraband goods with their persons." The Berliner Tageblatt said:
The demand of the Washington Government must be rejected. Indeed, the whole note hardly merits serious consideration. Its "firm tone" is only a cloak to hide America's consciousness of her own culpability. If American citizens, in spite of the warnings of the German Admiralty, intrusted themselves on the Lusitania, the blame for the consequences falls on themselves and their Government.
Can the United States affirm that there were no munitions aboard? If not, it has not the shadow of a right to protest.
GERMAN-AMERICAN PRESS COMMENTS.
Under the heading "The President's Note," Herman Ridder, editor of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, one of the leading German-American newspapers, said in that publication on May 15:
The attitude assumed by the President, in the note delivered yesterday to the German Government, toward the infringement of our rights on the seas is diplomatically correct and must compel the support of the entire American people.
We have suffered grievously at the hands of more than one of the belligerent nations, but for the moment we are dealing only with Germany. The note recites a series of events which the Government of the United States could not silently pass by, and demands reparation for American lives lost and American property already destroyed and a guarantee that the rights of the United States and its citizens shall be observed in the future. All this the German Government may well grant, frankly and unreservedly and without loss of honor or prestige. It would be incomprehensible if it did not do so.
The note admits, as most diplomatic documents do, of two interpretations. They will be applied to it variously, as the reader is inclined to pessimism or to optimism. It is a document in which lies the choice of war or peace evenly balanced. I prefer to read into it all the optimism which can be derived from the knowledge that two nations, historically like-minded and bound to one another by strong ties of friendship, seldom go to war over matters which can be settled without resort to the arbitrament of arms. There is no question outstanding today between the United States and Germany which cannot be settled through diplomatic channels. I am inclined all the more to this optimism by the temperament and character of the President of the United for the time being.
I see in the note great possibilities for good. The undersea activities of the German Navy in their effect upon the rights of the United States and its citizens form, properly, the burden of its argument. We are addressing Germany, and it is only over her submarine policy that our interests have clashed with hers. The note takes cognizance, however, of the inter-relation of Germany's submarine policy and the British policy of "starving out Germany." The President has opened an avenue to the full discussion of the rights and obligations of submarines in naval warfare, and when Germany has stated her case it is not only not impossible but it is highly probable that he will be asked to suggest a modus vivendi by which the objectionable features of both these policies may be removed.
The situation is basically triangular and it is difficult to see how the settlement of our difficulties with Germany can escape involving at the same time the rectification of Great Britain's methods of dealing with the trade between neutral countries and her adversaries. It is but a step from the position of mediator in a question of this sort to that of mediator in the larger questions which make for war or peace. I believe that the note contains the hopeful sign that these things may come to pass.
The possibilities are there and the President, I am confident, will overlook no possibility of advancing the cause of an early return of peace to Europe nor leave any unturned stone to free this country of the dangers and inconveniences which have become the concomitants of the European struggle. Out of the troubled waters of our present relations with Germany may thus come a great and, we may hope, a lasting good. Should this happily be the case, the wisdom of the President will have been confirmed and the thankfulness of the nation secured to him. On the other hand, should his pacific hand be forced by those who wax fat and wealthy on strife and the end should be disaster untold to the country, he will still have the consolation of having fought a good battle and of knowing that he was worsted only by the irresistible force of demagogy in this country or abroad.
The subject with which the note deals is one of the same paramount importance to Germany as it is to this country, and we must wait in patience for Germany's reply; and I, for one, shall wait in the confidence that when it is received it will be found to offer a basis for a friendly solution of the questions which exist between Germany and the United States and, not unlikely, for those further steps which I have intimated.
Under the caption "A Word of Earnest Advice," the evening edition of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung on May 14 issued the following warning to Germans and German-Americans:
The times are grave—even very grave.... A conflict between America and the old Fatherland is threatening. Such a conflict must rend the heart of every German-American who has acquired the rights of citizenship here, who has founded a new career for himself and brought up his children.
It is probably unnecessary to give any advice to the American citizens among our readers in regard to their conduct in this grave time. A series of years must pass before an immigrant can obtain his citizenship papers; nobody is forced to become a citizen. Of the man who has voluntarily become a citizen of the United States we may therefore expect that he knows the conditions here obtaining the institutions of the country of his adoption, as well as his rights and duties. But there are thousands upon thousands of our readers who are not citizens, and to them a serious word of advice shall now be addressed. In the grave time of the conflict let efforts be made to avoid every personal conflict. It is not necessarily cowardly to deny one's descent, but it is not necessary, either, to make demonstrations.
Where there is life there is hope. The hope still is entertained that the conflict will be eliminated, that the bond of friendship between Germany and America will not be torn. Through thoughtless Hotspurs, who allow themselves to be carried away by excitement and do not dam up the flood of their eloquence, much mischief can be done. Keeping away from the public places where the excited groups congregate and discuss the burning questions of the day must be urgently recommended. It was for many a sport to participate in these discussions, and with more or less skill, but always energetically to champion the German cause.
The American is in general very liberal in regard to expression of opinion. He likes to hear also the "other side," but it must not be forgotten that in times of conflict the "other side" may be regarded as the "enemy side." What has heretofore sounded harmless may now be interpreted as a criticism made against the United States. But the American as a rule repels a criticism made by strangers against the affairs of his own country. Through heated discussions and unwise demonstrations nothing is at present to be achieved but much can be spoiled.
Calmness is now the first duty of citizenship—for all non-citizens.
But whoever is a citizen—he would be doing well in any event to stay away from the streets and squares where the noisy ones congregate.
There are very many Germans whose motto here, too, is: "We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world." But whoever bellows that into the ears of hundreds of persons of hostile mind in the public market place is either a fool or—weary of life.
In submarine warfare the Germans may be superior to the British, but in undermining the latter are superior to the former. They have now succeeded in undermining the friendship between Uncle Sam and the Deutsche Michel. Let us hope that the fuse can be extinguished before the explosion follows.
Charles Neumeyer, editor of The Louisville (Ky.) Anzeiger, in a dispatch on May 14 to THE NEW YORK TIMES, said of President Wilson's note:
The American note to Berlin evidences the desire of the President to hold Germany to strict accountability for the loss of American lives in the Lusitania disaster. This proceeding on the part of the American Government is eminently just and proper. If the President had failed to hold Germany to strict accountability he would have failed of his official duty. The President's forceful action cannot be but of salutary effect in this country also. It gives the American people the assurance that the Government at Washington is prepared and ready for the protection of American citizens wherever they may chance to be.
There was a time when the Government did not resort to very vigorous measures in this respect. American citizens while traveling abroad were frequently subject to insult and violence, and the authorities at Washington seemingly paid little heed to complaints. The result was that the American citizen abroad was not held in that respect which emanates from the knowledge that his home Government is prepared to go to the length of its ability, if necessary, to accord him protection.
One or two of the demands formulated against Germany do not meet with our approval. The President demands a cessation of German submarine warfare on merchant vessels, but while the interruption of the starvation plan adopted by England against the civil population is urged upon the latter it will continue. The starvation plan is primarily being waged against the weak and helpless, and is, therefore, responsible. It is also in violation of the spirit if not the letter of international law. If the President can force a demand for the cessation of the submarine warfare, he ought also to have the right to demand the lifting of the starvation blockade. The tragedy was chiefly due to either stupidity or design on the part of the British Admiralty in failing to afford proper protection to the ship. While we do not agree with the President on some points in his note, we repose the fullest confidence in his patriotism as well as his deliberate judgment as giving assurance that, whatever the outcome, the case of the American people rests in trustworthy hands.