File No. 701.6311/270

The Ambassador in Austria-Hungary ( Penfield) to the Secretary of State


1781. Department’s 1606, March 17 [18], 6 p.m. Continuing to do my best to temporize with Minister for Foreign Affairs. Endeavored to make Minister understand difficulties confronting situation at Washington which he generally admits while stating that Austro-Hungarian Government is confronted by increasing difficulties. He means pride of Emperor whose first ambassadorial applicant was Tarnowski and the pressure of the newspapers which can not much longer be controlled. Czernin had hoped his last note might clear the way for Tarnowski. It is unofficially conveyed to me that Austro-Hungarian Government is doing little with submarine warfare and will never molest American vessels. Informally I learn from high sources that Austria-Hungary wants America to continue in charge their interests in Russia and that change to another Government would be blow to humanity.

Superficially the attitude Austria-Hungary to us is all that could be desired but I fear Tarnowski affair can not be held in check much longer. Three times recently Emperor has spoken agreeably of our helpfulness to his people knowing that the statements would be brought to me. It is obvious that Austro-Hungarian Government can not break with Germany. If so the enemies of the Dual Monarchy would crush it in few weeks.

Foreign Office to-day sends Tarnowski through you long telegram dealing with his position, If you could cause him to see over [our?] difficulties as they exist, and so inform Vienna, the Foreign Office might longer hold matter in abeyance. As case now stands I foresee trouble for us.