The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary:

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I and the staff are much obliged for your telegram permitting us to take vacations & allowing me to go home—I am afraid that unless the President or you wish particularly to see me that I had better stick here—we have very heavy work & the English would not understand it if I left. I am having a hard fight now to get the British prisoners clothed for the winter.

I think before the winter is out that we shall be on meat & butter cards as well as bread—already on two days a week meat cannot be sold and on three days pork cannot be sold.

However the effort to starve Germany out will fail. Unbroken military successes are reported: the Greek Minister (who is a son of Theotokis one of the Greek Cabinet) [said?] that Greece will never join the allies.

They are not yet taking men over 45 here & claim that they have plenty of men left. The actual losses to date are about 850,000 killed & three hundred and fifty thousand crippled. I have known cases of men being wounded & going back four and even five times. There is still absolute confidence in the result & I cannot see, myself, how Germany can be beaten.

I thought for a time that Bernstorff might be repudiated on the Arabic note,5 but finally the matter was settled & a note sent me by von Jagow last week which I cabled you.6 The trouble was that the Germans thought Bernstorff’s note stated too boldly that in a conflict of evidence between the crews of the Arabic & the German submarine, he found for the Arabic.

I am afraid that after this war the Navy party will be all for attacking the U. S. A. in order to show the Navy is worth something—get revenge for the loans & export of arms, a slice of Mexico or S. America & money. And if Germany is successful in the war the country & army will agree to this raid.

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The Germans are incensed at Brand Whitlock re the Cavell case & are looking for an excuse to attack him & demand his recall. So if he is attacked you will know the reason.

The Foreign Office, particularly von Jagow & Zimmermann seem now much stronger with the Emperor, a good thing for peaceful relations: as both are reasonable men who do not let personal feelings or mob clamors run away with them.

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Some German-Americans, including one Viereck either the editor of the Vaterland or a relation are talking of starting a club here which will be American (?) & declare against President etc.

This project will fail.

No great news this week.

Said that Germany gave 2 or 5 milliards & promises to Bulgaria.

Yours ever

J. W. Gerard

Just talked to a man who has talked yesterday to Tisza (Hungarian Premier).

Serbs wished for peace if they could keep their territorial integrity.

This was refused.

Italians rumored here to have asked peace. Answered that Austria is to have a free hand in dealing with them. Austria will not include Italy in any peace negotiations.

Austria is to get Tripoli & Malta if things go German way.