File No. 763.72119/39
The Ambassador in Spain (Willard) to the Secretary of State
Madrid, December 7, 1914, 5 p.m.
[Received 11:45 p.m.]
13. In a recent conversation with Minister for Foreign Affairs he informed me confidentially that some days ago he received information that suggestions of peace negotiations had been made to our Government through Holland.1 He instructed Spanish Ambassador at Washington to inquire if the United States Government felt that the time was ripe for action. He stated that the Department’s reported response was somewhat cold and lacked the cordiality he had anticipated. He disclaimed any intent to influence our Government and desired only to suggest and cooperate in any movement looking toward peace when the right moment should present itself, adding that the cordial cooperation of our respective diplomatic representatives in the belligerent countries, as already demonstrated, would be able to secure information essential to the success of future peace developments. I again mention His Majesty’s earnest desire, often expressed, that the United States and Spain should work together with this end in view.[Page 147]
Will Department instruct me to give assurance in the above sense but without committing our Government to any understanding of joint action?