370 The Case of the "Lusitania." This is quite true. This warnijtg, after the actions of the British Government, its starving-out tactics, the declaring of the North Sea as a closed war zone, the treatment accorded German grain imports and similar things, might well be conceived as a most extraordinary act of German mildness and consideration. England would never have thought of attacking it in principle had she herself been forced to wage war by means of the submarine through the action of her enemy. It must also be acknowledged that a heavy burden of guilt rests upon the American Government which, in a manner inexcusably criminal, permitted passengers to be embarked upon a vessel carrying absolute contraband of war and explosives in violation of its own laws. These passengers were used simply for the purpose of protecting the dangerous and death-dealing cargo. But all this cannot obscure the fact that not only is the German Government free of all blame in the light of international law, but that, compared to the sorry experiences the world has had of British brutality and arrogance, it acted in the most magnanimous manner and even exceeded its duty in this respect. The chief responsibility lodges upon the head of English unscrupulousness which in this case dared to juggle with the lives of many hundreds of human beings. Despite this fact it did not consider it worth while to have a warship convoy the liner, although both the British Government and the steamship line had received due warning, and both in addition were well aware that the "Lusitania" had put to sea on February 26th as well as April 4th, 1915, and the beginning of May, laden with vast quantities of war supplies of all sorts. Inasmuch as the poor, deluded victims of British cold-bloodedness and calculation were lured aboard by means of false representations regarding the "absolute safety" of this vessel and imbecile sneers at a so-called "German bluff," the Cunard Line, as 1 The "Times," "Daily Telegraph," e tutti quanti, talked in the same mocking fashion. The General Manager of the Cunard Line, Charles Sumner, declared: "It is a fact that the "Lusitania" is the safest ship on the seas. She is too fast for any submarine. No German warship -will have a chance at her." And further, the braggart tone of the "Daily Mail" of the 3rd of May, 1915: "This demonstration affords a number of American citizens an opportunity of showing their contempt for Germany's submarine threats."
The Case of the "Lusitania." 371 well as the English Government which tolerated these things, must be branded with infamy for all time. They alone must be held accountable for all claims of damages for the lives of their victims—who were first of all their dupes. 1 It would naturally have been the duty of the United States to issue this warning officially and to do all in its power to call attention to the danger. The question must still be cleared up as to how far, if at all, the American Government took steps to fulfil its duty in this respect. The unusual method taken by the German Ambassador to warn the people of the United States justifies the conjecture of a grave neglect of duty on the part of the United States Government, strenuously as it may at present dispute this. II. One of the best things so far written upon the subject is published in an objective and neutral paper, the "Basler Anzeiger." The article concludes its summary thus: "It must be granted that the warning as given on the German side was so express that corresponding precautions on the part of the British fleet might very possibly have prevented the torpedoing. The warning was in fact so explicit, that the German Navy thereby put the success of the whole enterprise in jeopardy. Further, it must be pointed out that it was precisely the Cunard Line which particularly proclaimed the 1 The English Magistrate's Court in Kinsale has once more done honor to the furious demand of Lord Beresford that our submarine crews be declared murderers. That is to say, it "solemnly" brought in a verdict of murder against the officers of the submarine that sank the "Lusitania." It made no "solemn" accusation against the crew of the submarine, for this worthy Court of Justice kept itself free of this one absurdity, when it extended its accusation to the German Government, which had issued orders for committing this deed to the officers. One recognizes in this insane conduct of a royal English court of law, what devastation a state of -Impotent fury can wreak upon the sense of justice of a so-called civilized people. The verdict of the Magistrate's Court of Kinsale is, however, also a monument of the most disgusting English hypocrisy. If the Court of Kinsale was seeking the "murderers" of the "Lusitania," it should have turned its attention to the English Government, which allowed an auxiliary cruiser of the English fleet to take passengers aboard, in spite of the fact that she was laden with contraband, without troubling about the German declaration of a war zone and the warning of the Ambassador, Count Bernstorff. The real "murderers" of the "Lusitania" sit in the English Cabinet. (See Chapter XLI.) 24*