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High Seas fleet. r I High…


 High Seas fleet. r I High Seas Fleet, I i I i Kaiser's Admiral Interviewed. S ) i-I Always Ready for a Big Naval isattle." Berlin news circulated by German Government radio stations, and issued in London through the Wireless Press, included the following message, super- scribed as ''from Karl Ackerman, Ber- lin, to Howard United Press, New Y^rk" :■— Admiral von Hol tzendorff, Chief of the Admiral Staff, has declared that an effective blockade of Germany is impossible. "England (he said) could under no circumstances stop commerce in the Baltic between Sweden, Den- mark and Germany. For weeks no British submarine has had any suc- cess in the Baltic. The Russian fleet is frozen up in Russian harbours. "The only effect of such a declara- tion by the Allies (the Admiral stated) would be upon neutrals and the women and children of Germany." GERMANY PREPARED. II He hinted strongly that Germany is prepared for any British action. "When I say that the new blockade of Germany would be a bluff, do not misunderstand me. Germany looks earnestly, but fearlessly, upon enemy plans to cause her women and child- ren to suffer; but because such a blockade js impossible, I say it is a bluff. Ask any Swedish merchant, .any Swede in Berlin. Ask anyone knowing the Balkan situation. They all tell you that commerce between the two countries is absolutely normal. For four weeks no English submarine has had anv successes in the Baltic. "We intend to make this more im- possible, because an English blockade of our Baltic ports is out of the ques- tion. I "If a blockade were declared now, that would be contrary to internation- al law. It will not only be a blockade of Germany, but also of the neutral countries around her. England's pur- pose is to make differences, for our families, thinking that this will affect the men in the trenches. And it will; for when the men learn that their families are made to suffer by the enemy opposite they will be more de- termined, and fight the harder. Eng- land's purpose in this war (as her statesmen have repeatedly said) is to cripple Germany and destroy her com- merce. After 18 months of war she is not successful. Her effective block- ade will have absolutely no effect up- on our military determination. We prepared long ago for any emergency." SUBMARINES AND AIR RAIDERS The Admiral is a small, energtic man, with thick white whiskers and a hearty handshake. He greets you with a smile, a military bow, and a firm grip. His word of greeting comes so suddenly that you forget you are in the presence of one of the Kaiser's most trusted officials, who, for five months has held an important post at the Admiralty, and who has watched the official relations between the United States and Germany grow more friendly. During his direction of the Admiralty Staff submarine activity has, with great success, been centred in the Mediterranean. Most successful air raids have been planned on London, and the Baltic has been freed from English submarines. The Admiral is a man of action not a talker. Asked "What effect will the stricter blockade have on Germany's military plans?'' the Admiral answered "ab- solutely no military advantage; we have all things necessary for war for years. I suggested that perhaps the Allies believed that. bv stopping all imports Germany may be forced to sue for peace. The Admiral replied: "We have all we need to clothe our soldiers. We have everything necessary for our campaign. Stopping one box or a thousand boxes from entering Germany will not interfere with our military plans." "WHEN WILL THE WAR END?" When the Admiral spoke of Ger- many's military supplies, I asked how long the war was going to last. "Until we are victorious," came the immediate reply. "The Allies have said repeatedly that the war will last I until Germany has been defeated, her business ruine d for ever, and her in- ternational influence destroyed. The war will last until the Allies learn that they cannot accomplish their pur- pose. "That may be a long time, I sug- gested. "a year or two." "A long time," said the Admiral. It was pointed out that in the House of Commons a member recently spoke about the secret construction of Ger- many's naval ships, and spoke of the danger such an increase would be for England. The Admiral said: "The increase of our Navy during the war and that. of England is about the I same; but Germany's navy will never be a danger to England. It is our merchant marine which England fears. The fact that to-day this fleet is undestroyed and ready at any moment peace is declared to resume its peace- ful trading is the one thing which causes the English anxiety. England does not fear the Germany navy. She fears America and the growing Ameri- can navy." "THE NEW BLOCKADE." I To my question. "What steps will Germany -take against the new block- ade?" the Admiral replied, "Germany never tells beforehand what she will do: she waits till after it is done. We made every preparation long ago for such an emergency, and we view the planned blockade earnestly but fear- lessly. We shall be victorious; that is the chief thing." I asked his Excellency about Ger- many's submarines, especially if it were true that more than 50 had been lost. Von Holtzendorff's quick response was: "Not one-half of that number: not nearly one-half. The English think that because they lay nets and mines our submarines are being trapped. Nothing could be further from the truth. More than onesubmarine has gone through these nets undamaged. The fact that in less than a year more than 1,300,000 tons of enemy merchant ships have been destroyed by our sub- marines is sufficient evidence of what they have done to destroy the com- merce of England and her Allies. I said: "There are many reports that a big naval battle may be ex- pected: what can your Excellency say about that?" The Admiral answered: "Only that' the decision does not rest with us. We are always prepared."