File No. 763.72/3399

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall) to the Secretary of State


589. Press reports: After Chancellor’s speech in Reichstag yesterday, Deputy Spahn, of the Center, praised submarine warfare and strict neutrality of Sweden, Holland, the Swiss, and Vatican; demanded war indemnities. Deputy Scheidemann, Socialist, condemns annexationist policy; Germans must be in accord on purposes of war; regrets rupture with America. Deputy Weimer, Progressive, must demand new sacrifice of German people but will, be recompensed by more advantageous peace terms; also regrets rupture with America but believes a retreat now impossible. Deputy Westarp, Conservative, states conditions of peace offered by Germany dangerous to nation; approves submarine warfare without restrictions; demands, unless country received war indemnity, the annexation of Courland, Lithuania, Briey and Longwy, also port of Antwerp; rupture diplomatic relations with America abolishes Mr. Wilson as mediator in conflict. Zimmermann, answering interpellation, stated Foreign Office received note Swiss Minister, Washington, stating general feeling in America favorable to renewal of negotiations and avoidance war and offered his services for this purpose. German Government desirous of maintaining relations with America acceded but under conditions that negotiations should not touch on question of unrestricted submarine war, such, retreat is impossible.