It is with sincere regret that I have reached the conclusion that I should return to you the commission of Secretary of State, with which you honored me at the beginning of your Administration.
Obedient to your sense of duty and actuated by the highest motives, you have prepared for transmission to the German Government a note in which I cannot join without violating what I deem to be an obligation to my country, and the issue involved is of such moment that to remain a member of the Cabinet would be as unfair to you as it would be to the cause which is nearest my heart; namely, the prevention of war.
I, therefore, respectfully tender my resignation, to take effect when the note is sent, unless you prefer an earlier hour.
Alike desirous of reaching a peaceful solution of the problems, arising out of the use of submarines against merchantmen, we find ourselves differing irreconcilably as to the methods which should be employed.
It falls to your lot to speak officially for the