763.72/2796½

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

My Dear Mr. Secretary:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The debates in the Reichstag have been quite interesting yesterday and the day before. The Chancellor irritated by the anonymous attacks on him in pamphlets etc. made a fine defense. In the course of the debate allusions were made to President Wilson and the U boat question. Summaries enclosed.29 The U boat question may break loose again any day.

I do not think that either Austria or Germany wishes President Wilson to lay down any peace conditions, there may possibly be a Congress after the Peace Congress but meanwhile all parties here feel that America has nothing to do with peace conditions. America can bring the parties together but that is all. The speech about the rights of small peoples has, I hear, made the Austrians furious as Austria is made up of many Nationalities and the Germans say that if the rights of small peoples and peoples choosing their own Sovereignty is to be discussed that the Irish question, the Indian question and the Boer question, the Egyptian question and many others involving the Allies must be discussed. I think that generally there is a big change in public opinion and the Germans are beginning to realize that the President is for peace with Germany.

The Germans expect that by September preparations will be finished and that the Suez Canal will be cannonaded, bombed and mined so that it will dry up, and then the Indian-Afghan troubles will begin. The crops are fine and the food question will soon be solved.

Yours ever

J. W. G[erard]
  1. Not printed.