The Secretary of State to the President

My Dear Mr. President: I am enclosing a copy of my letter to Ambassador Dumba and also a copy of a note which I have just received from him in reply.1 You will notice that he endorses the correctness of my report of the interview and gives the substance of his note to the Austrian Government which went through Berlin. He thinks that Von Jagow must have tried to bluff Gerard—that is the way he expresses it—but I suppose he would not want to be so quoted. The only thing in his telegram is what he says about the wave of public sentiment. He explained to me that by that he meant that the difference between our note to Germany and the one [Page 408] to England was that our note to Germany dealt with the loss of human lives while our note to Great Britain dealt with the loss of property. I made that distinction to him when he spoke of the difference between the two notes. You will notice that he makes reference in his note to the possibility of your sending a note to Great Britain. He explained to me that he did not get that information from me but that after he left the State Department he was told by someone that such a note was going to be sent. That may have come from Villard, who, as you remember, made the statement in the Evening Post. Ambassador Dumba is telegraphing the German Government, correcting the interpretation which they placed upon his note, and he will telegraph Gerard that part of my note to Dumba which sets forth his conversation and that portion of his reply to me which admits the correctness of this conversation. I shall also inform Gerard that Ambassador Dumba is telegraphing the German Government a denial of the statement which Von Jagow attributed to me.

With assurances [etc.]

W. J. Bryan

P. S. I enclose a copy of the English translation of a cipher telegram which Ambassador Dumba is sending to the German Government.1 At his suggestion I am sending it to Gerard in our cipher to be delivered to the German Government—this precaution being taken for fear that his cipher despatch may be delayed.

  1. Not printed
  2. Infra.