|Washington Evening Star.|
100 years ago today, on 01-September-1915, the German Empire promised the United States that it would no longer practice unrestricted submarine warfare.
On 04-February-1915, the Germans had announced their policy of unrestricted submarine warfare because the British blockade was threatening their war effort. Neutral ships, including American ships, would be sunk without warning:
On 07-May-1915, submarine U-20 torpedoed and sank RMS Lusitania near the coast of Ireland. A number of Americans died and this nearly drove the country into the war on the side of the Allies, Britain, France and Russia:
On 19-August-1915, submarine U-24 sank the SS Arabic, a White Star liner. 44 passengers died, including three Americans.
This article, from the 01-September-1915 Washington Evening Star, tells of the German promise to stop sinking neutral ships without warning.
Letter From Ambassador Von Bernstorff Regarded as Full Acceptance of American Contention.
My Dear Mr. Secretary: With reference to our conversation of this morning, I beg to inform you that my instructions concering our answer to your last Lusitania note contain the following passage:
"Liners will not be sunk by our submarines without warning and without safety of the lives of non-combatants, provided that the liners do not try to escape or offer resistance."
Although I know that you do not wish to discuss the Lusitania question till the Arabic incident has been definitely and satisfactorily settled, I desire to inform you of the above because this policy of my government was decided on before the Arabic incident occurred.
I have no objection to your making any use you may please of the above information.
I remain, my dear Mr. Lansing,
Very sincerely yours,
Today's declaration, it is said in German quarters, stands without amendment or restriction, and is felt to be complete compliance with the demands of the United States. It was freely admitted, however, that the German government will avail itself of President Wilson's offer of co-operation in a discussion of the question of the freedom pf the seas.