3694 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
him to do so and thus back up his action.
He also asked for a grant of money to
be used "to provide adequate means of
protection where they are lacking, including adequate insurance against the
present war risks'' "It Is not of material
interest merely that we are thinking,"
said he. "It is, rather, of fundamental
human rights, chief of all the right of
life itself. I am thinking, not only of
the rights of Americans to go and come
about their proper business by way of
the sea, but also of something much deeper,
much more fundamental than that. I am
thinking of those rights of humanity without which there is no civilization."
While the President was on his way
to the capitol, word arrived of the torpedoing without warning off the Irish
coast of the British passenger steamer
Laconia. By this outrage a number of
persons lost their lives, among them being
two American women, Mrs. Mary E. Hoy
and her daughter Elizabeth, both of
Chicago. From England Austin Hoy, son
of Mrs. Hoy, cabled to President Wilson
"I am an American citizen, representing
the Sullivan Machinery Company of Chicago, living abroad, not as an expatriate,
but for the promotion of American trade.
I love the flag, believing in its significance.
My beloved mother and sister, passengers
on the Laconia, have been foully murdered
on the high seas.
"As an American citizen outraged, and
as such fully within my rights, and as
an American son and brother bereaved,
I call upon my Government to preserve its
citizen's self-respect and save others of
my countrymen from such deep grief as
I now feel. I am of military age, able
to fight. If my country can use me against
these brutal assassins, I am at its call.
"If it stultifies my manhood and my
Nation's by remaining passive under outrage, I shall seek a man's chance under
On March I, American feeling was
further roused by the publication of a
German dispatch which had come into
the hands of our secret service. It was
signed by Zimmermann, German Secretary
of Foreign Affairs, and was as follows:
"Berlin, Jan. 19,1917.
"On the 1st of February we intend
to begin submarine warfare unrestricted.
In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States
"If this attempt is not successful, we
propose an alliance on the following basis
with Mexico: That we shall make war
together and together make peace. We
shall give general financial support, and
it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer
the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas,
and Arizona. The details are left to you
"You are instructed to inform the
President of Mexico of the above in the
greatest confidence as soon as it is certain
that there will be an outbreak of war
with the United States, and suggest that
the President of Mexico, on his own
initiative, should communicate with Japan
suggesting adherence at once with this plan.
At the same time, offer to mediate between
Germany and Japan.
"Please call to the attention of Mexico
that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel
England to make peace in a few months."
Some pacifists and pro-Germans professed to believe that the dispatch was a
forgery, but Zimmermann admitted having
transmitted it. The most skeptical Americans were at last convinced that the
War Lords would stop at nothing, no
matter how treacherous or dastardly.
Mexico formally denied being implicated
in the matter, while the Prime Minister
of Japan announced that if such a proposal
ever came to hand, it would receive the
contemptuous refusal it deserved.
A great patriotic uprising occurred
in the United States. A bill empowering
the President to arm merchantmen and
appropriating $100,000,000 for this and
kindred purposes passed the House by
403 to 13. In the Senate a little knot
of "willful men," among them Stone of
Missouri and La Follette of Wisconsin,
filibustered against the measure, and the