File No. 763.72119/686

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


1274. From McNally:

The success of the recent Russian offensive which resulted in great Austro-Hungarian losses in the face of German assurance of separate treaty of peace with Russia, or at least of the military autocrats of Russia, together with the pleadings of his Empress has influenced the Emperor of Austria-Hungary to notify the Emperor of Germany of his earnest desire for peace. The Emperor of Germany, Hindenburg and others in turn went to Vienna to try to persuade him to continue the war. He, however, declared that Austria-Hungary was very tired of the war and their resources exhausted and that if he could not ask for peace terms jointly with the Central powers he would be compelled to sue for a separate peace. Emperors of Germany and Austria-Hungary have had a conference in Vienna regarding peace terms if the peace attitude of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary could not be changed. Details of the conference as yet are unknown to my informant.

[Page 149]

My subordinate position of Vice Consul barred me on the 18th from circles where I could have met a high German officer bearing important information for me. My inferior official status is a fatal barrier to my work by which, as United States Consul General, I might have been able to save thousands of American lives and millions of American dollars. Legation can inform you as to this.