File No. 763.72119/24

The Ambassador in Germany ( Gerard ) to the Secretary of State 2


149. I transmit following verbal message from the Imperial Chancellor which seems an opening to mediation:

The Imperial Chancellor is much obliged for America’s offer. Germany did not want war. It was forced upon her. Even after we shall have defeated France, we shall still have to face England and Russia. England, France and Russia have signed a convention to make peace solely in mutual agreement with each other. England, that is, Mr. Asquith, the London Times, and English diplomatic officers, have on various occasions [stated] that England is determined to conduct the war to the utmost and that she expects success be from lasting [sic] a long time. It is therefore up to the United States to get our enemies to make peace proposals. Germany can only accept a peace which promises to be a real and lasting peace and will protect her against any new attacks from her enemies. If we accepted America’s offer of mediation now, our enemies would interpret it as a sign of weakness and the German people would not understand it. For the nation which has been willing to make such sacrifices has a right to demand that there shall be guaranties of rest and security.

  1. Repeated on September 21 to the Ambassadors in Great Britain and France.