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Many vessels have been sunk by submarines in the Mediterranean
the area in which Austrian submarines operate — by submarines which carried no flag or mark and the nationality of which was unknown. A great many of these undersea craft are believed to have been Austrian submarines or submarines commanded by Austrian officers, or supplied from Austrian bases or by Austrian means.
On April 4, 1917, the American four-masted schooner Marguerite was sunk by submarine 35 miles from the coast of Sardinia, while en route to Spain. The submarine carried no flag or marks to indicate its nationality. It is known, however, that Austrian was the language spoken by the officer of the submarine who came aboard the vessel with the boarding party, and it is believed that the submarine was Austrian.
On November 21, 1917, the Schuylkill was sunk off the coast of Algeria by an Austrian submarine; thus Austria is making, whenever opportunity affords, the same ruthless submarine warfare that Germany is making, in disregard of the promises made this government, in violation of the law of nations and the instincts of humanity, and is as much at war with this country as Germany was after her note of January 31, 1917, and the subsequent sinking of American ships and the drowning of American citizens.
Before war was declared to exist between the United States and the Imperial German Government, it was intimated to the United States Government that if war should be declared by the United States upon Germany, Austria-Hungary would be under obligation to break off diplomatic relations with the United States. Consequently after the declaration of war of April 6, 1917, the Austro-Hungarian Government informed the American charge at Vienna on April 8 that diplomatic relations between the United States and Austria-Hungary were broken and handed him passports for himself and members of the embassy. The following is a translation of the note handed to the American chargé by the Austrian minister for foreign affairs:
[Here follows the text of the note quoted supra, p. 166.] Until the present Austro-German drive in northern Italy, the Austrian forces were gradually being driven back by the forces of the Italian armies. With the assistance of German troops drawn from the Russian front, a very serious catastrophe was inflicted upon the Italian arms, which if it had not been stemmed might have resulted in the total collapse of Italy. Such a result would have been a great blow to those with whom we are associated in this war, and as much to the United States as to any of her cobelligerents.
As a result of this situation the Allies have rushed aid to Italy, and the United States is sending ships, money, and supplies, and will probably soon send troops, who will be facing and making war on Austrian soldiers, and before this takes place there should be a declaration of war, this country against Austria-Hungary.
The Italian situation is of the utmost importance in the present conduct of the war. A declaration of war by the United States against Austria-Hungary will hearten the people of Italy, who have been misled by the mischievous and deluding propaganda engineered by the Germans. It will st from a military point of view the whole allied cause. These are strong reasons for a declaration of war against Austria-Hungary.
These considerations, and the fact that Austria-Hungary is adhering to the illegal and inhumane policy of ruthless submarine warfare, and is, as the committee believes, making war upon American vessels and American citizens upon the high seas, and other reasons which are not deemed necessary to recapitulate here, induced the committee to report unanimously the accompanying resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government and the government and people of the United States and making provision to prosecute the same.
The action of the committee was unanimous, and it trusts that the resolution will be adopted unanimously by the House.
In a letter to Lafayette, his comrade in arms in the cause of political liberty, Washington thus wrote of a world in ferment then, and in terms applicable to this world again unfortunately at war:
There seems to be a great deal of bloody work cut out for this summer in the north of Europe. If war, want and plague are to desolate those huge armies that are assembled, who that has the feelings of a man can refrain from shedding a tear over the miserable victims of regal ambition? It is really a strange thing that there should not be room enough in the world for men to live without cutting one another's throats.
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
FOREIGN ENLISTMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES
President Washington found himself confronted with a great European War, in which the principal belligerents — Great Britain, on the one hand, and France, on the other — seemed equally desirous to force the United States to take a part. The President believed, however, that the safety of the young republic, perhaps its existence, depended upon keeping the country from taking part in a European quarrel in which the United States had, for the most part, but a sentimental interest. He issued a proclamation of neutrality, he caused the neutrality law of June 5, 1794, to be enacted, and by so doing he not only saved the country, for whose independence he was largely responsible, but at the same time laid broad and deep the foundations of neutrality. He was particularly annoyed by the actions of the French Minister, the notorious Citizen Génêt, who claimed the right to fit out and to equip privateers in American waters, to make of American ports bases of operations, and, in prize courts instituted by himself, to pass upon the legality of captures made by the privateers which he had himself fitted out. Then, again, the sovereignty of the United States was violated
i Sparks, Writings of George Washington, Vol. IX, p. 380.
by persons being enlisted and induced to enlist for foreign service. This latter point was covered in Section 2 of the Act of 1794, which was carried over in substance as Section 2 of the more elaborate Act of April 20, 1818, and formed Section 5282 of the Revised Statutes of 1878 and Section 10 of the Penal Code of March 4, 1909, in which codification it is thus worded:
Whoever, within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, enlists, or enters himself, or hires or retains another person to enlist or enter himself, or to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted or entered in the service of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people as a soldier, or as a marine or seaman, on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than three years.
A provision, consciously introduced and thus consciously retained in legislation extending over a century, is not in need of a defense, but if so it is to be found in the elaborate opinion of Attorney General Caleb Cushing, entitled Foreign Enlistments in the United States,– dated August 9, 1855, to be found in Opinions of Attorneys General, Volume VII, pages 367-390.
The enlistment of troops is a sovereign act. The enlistment of troops by one sovereign in the territory of another is the exercise of a sovereign power within a foreign country and can only be done with the consent of the sovereign. If done in time of war, it is in violation of the neutrality of the country permitting it and it is none the less in violation of neutrality if all the belligerents, no matter how many, should be allowed to do so, inasmuch as neutrality consists not merely in equality but in abstinence.
Such was the law, such the policy, such the practice of the United States until April 6, 1917, when the Congress, upon the recommendation of the President, declared a state of war to exist between the United States of America and the Imperial German Government. The situation was complicated. The United States was at war and so were many other countries at war with Germany, and there were large numbers of citizens or subjects of the enemies of Germany living in the United States, who could, in the opinion of their countries, be more profitably employed on the firing line. They therefore asked to enlist their subjects or citizens. This could properly be done, as the United States was no longer neutral, although it was not then an ally of those 1 Stat. L., 381.
2 35 Stat. L., 1089.
countries in the sense in which that term would be understood. It was doubtful whether permission could properly be given by the President to representatives of the allied countries to enlist their subjects or citizens in the United States. In any event, it was better to regularize the action, if it were to be done, by the permission of the law-making power which had originally denied the permission. Therefore, the following proviso was added by Congress, and approved by the President on May 7, 1917, to Section 10, Chapter 2 of the Penal Code of 1909, above quoted:
Provided, That this section shall not apply to citizens or subjects of any country engaged in war with a country with which the United States is at war, unless such citizen or subject of such foreign country shall hire or solicit a citizen of the United States to enlist or go beyond the jurisdiction of the United States with intent to enlist or enter the service of a foreign country. Enlistments under this proviso shall be under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War."
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
Through a slip it was stated, on page 493 of the July number, that Frederick II died in 1797. Frederick William II was, of course, referred to. Frederick II died in 1786.
In the same number it was stated, on page 628, that diplomatic relations between the United States and Bulgaria had ceased. The Department of State, on November 24, 1917, calls attention to the fact that diplomatic relations between the United States and Bulgaria have not been severed.