gitimate commerce and legitimate shipping of neutrals, but represents solely a measure of self-defense, imposed on Germany by her vital interests, against England's method of warfare, which is contrary to international law, and which so far no protest by neutrals has succeeded in bringing back to the generally recognized principles of law as existing before the outbreak of war.
In order to exclude all doubt regarding these cardinal points, the German Government once more begs leave to state how things stand. Until now Germany has scrupulously observed valid international rules regarding naval warfare. At the very beginning of the war Germany immediately agreed to the proposal of the American Government to ratify the new Declaration of London, and took over its contents unaltered, and without formal obligation, into her prize law.
The German Government has obeyed these rules, even when they were diametrically opposed to her military interests. For instance, Germany allowed the transportation of p