File No. 865.857An2/142

Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a conversation with the Austro-Hungarian Chargé ( Zwiedinek )

The Chargé called upon me, having made an appointment by telephone, to discuss the Ancona note. He asked me in the first place whether I had read the despatch which he had sent to his Government on Saturday night. I told him that I had and I thought it fairly represented the substance of our conversation. I said to him that while I realized the spirit of Austria in the conduct of the war that I did not wish his Government to think for a moment that our position was less firm than it was; that there could be only one thing for Austria to do and that was to comply with our demands.

He said to me: “But suppose the facts are not as you stated them on the information which you had.” I said: “That, of course, may make some difference in the matter, although I do not conceive they could vary enough to change our position. Nevertheless, if Austria should suggest that there was a possible inaccuracy in our statement we might receive that as affecting our position.”

He said to me if the Austrian Government then should say that they would investigate the matter and that if they found the facts substantially as stated they would comply with our three demands would that be acceptable to this Government? I replied to him that that seemed a reasonable proposition, if it was a full and frank acceptance of the demands.

He then said it was very difficult for him to communicate with his Government. I said I appreciated that and in order that he might advise his Government fully in the matter that I would be willing to forward through our Ambassador at Vienna a cipher message for him.

Robert Lansing