2nd December 1914.
You will understand that in the stress of war it is natural that questions should be raised concerning those members of the enemy nations who are living in this country, and you are probably aware that your own status has been one of such subjects of public and private discussion.
With the concurrence of Mr Allen, who is Minister both of Defence and Education, I write this. I am aware that you are of German birth and race, and that you have retained your national character and sympathies, which are at this present time as widely different as possible from the sympathies and aspirations of England and of New Zealand. But in our view, and I hope in yours, you are a guest of this country and indirectly in its service, and therefore not free directly or indirectly to give Information or assistance of any kind to our enemies. It is just possible that that may not be your view - that you may hold your patriotism to define your duty, in which case the whole matter must be reconsidered. For that reason I invite you to satisfy the Government by your written assurance that you will hold no communication direct or indirect with any of your nation, or of any enemy nation, whether within or beyond New Zealand, except with the express consent in writing in each case of the Government of New Zealand; and that, under no circumstances, will you give, or be a party to giving, information of any nature whatever to the enemy.
I should be glad also if you would give the like assurance with respect to the past, as I propose to you with respect to the future - this not for my personal satisfaction, for my knowledge of your sense of honour and duty is sufficient, but I desire to be able to refer to your own word of honour as well as to my confident belief.page break
This is only semi-official, though you are free to use it as you please. I shall be disappointed if you resent my earnest effort to clear the atmosphere.
(Signed) H.D. Bell.
Professor von Zedlitz., WELLINGTON.