Primary Documents - U.S. Demand for Austrian Recall of Ambassador Dumba, 9 September 1915

Constantin Dumba Reproduced below is the formal letter sent by the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, to the Austro-Hungarian government in which he demanded the recall of Austrian Ambassador Constantin Dumba.  Lansing stated that Dumba had admitted to writing a letter in which he outlined his support for industrial espionage in the U.S. as a means of crippling America's munitions industry.

In concluding his letter Lansing requested that Dumba be recalled and a replacement Ambassador sent.

Click here to read German Ambassador to the U.S. Count Bernstorff's account of the so-called 'Dumba Affair.

Letter from U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing Demanding the Recall of Austro-Hungarian Ambassador Constantin Dumba

9 September 1915

Mr. Constantin Dumba, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Washington, has admitted that he proposed to his Government plans to instigate strikes in American manufacturing plants engaged in the production of munitions of war.

The information reached this Government through a copy of a letter of the Ambassador to his Government.  The bearer was an American citizen named Archibald, who was travelling tinder an American passport.  The Ambassador has admitted that he employed Archibald to bear official dispatches from him to his Government.

By reason of the admitted purpose and intent of Mr. Dumba to conspire to cripple legitimate industries of the people of the United States and to interrupt their legitimate trade and by reason of the flagrant violation of diplomatic propriety in employing an American citizen protected by an American passport as a secret bearer of official dispatches through the lines of the enemy of Austria-Hungary, the President directs me to inform your Excellency that Mr. Dumba is no longer acceptable to the Government of the United States as the Ambassador of his Imperial Majesty at Washington.

Believing that the Imperial and Royal Government will realize that the Government of the United States has no alternative but to request the recall of Mr. Dumba on account of his improper conduct, the Government of the United States expresses its deep regret that this course has become necessary and assures the Imperial and Royal Government that it sincerely desires to continue the cordial and friendly relations which exist between the United States and Austria-Hungary.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

A "red cap" was a British military policeman.

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