Mr. Bancroft to Mr. Fish.
Berlin , January 9, 1874. (Received January 26.)
Sir: In my No. 5 to Mr. Seward of’ September 12, 1867, and No. 519 to yourself, September 15, 1873, I have carefully stated the condition of the negotiation between Denmark and Germany on their boundary in Jutland. Roth those dispatches were written with the very best information, and you will not be misled if you give to them your entire confidence. There is no reserve here on the part of the government in speaking with me on the subject. The assurances made to me are—
Nothing has passed between the two governments on the subject of the North Schleswig boundary for several years. We were glad that the Crown Prince on his return from Sweden was well received by the royal family in Denmark. We desire in return to take every opportunity to manifest our respect and regard for that royal family. We shall do everything to cultivate with them the most friendly relations, having common interests. The produce of Jutland seeks its market in Hamburg, and its business relations are with Germany. A better disposition is gradually manifesting itself. It would have been well if, in 1866, immediately after the peace, the question of boundary had been settled. But the Danes demanded too much. The military officers say that Alsen must on no account be given up, for strategical reasons. The Emperor cannot bear the idea of parting with a place which was purchased so dearly. Nothing has since been done, nothing is now doing, on the boundary question.
This information you will receive as perfectly trustworthy from an unquestionable and authoritative source.
As to Saint Thomas, Germany does not want it, would not accept it as a gift; has no hankering after that or any other West India colony; from principle avoids them; wishes at most a coaling station in Asiatic seas, and that only in case it can be enjoyed in security without being made a military post. This statement I have had often from every member of the government that could by any possibility have charge of any negotiation made for the acquisition of territory. They have said it to me over and over again. This much in answer to a telegram received night before last through General Schenck.
I remain, &c.,