File No. 763.72119/728

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


1436. Peace talk received an impetus to-day by the announcement that the Swedish Government had invited the neutral countries, including the Swiss, to a conference, the object of which was to examine the conditions of a durable peace. Inquiry at the Swiss Foreign Office in Berne develops the fact that pourparlers are going on between Switzerland and Sweden through their Legations in Berlin. The Foreign Minister here says that these conversations are mainly about economic subjects. The President of the Swiss Confederation confirms this idea but incidentally it is believed that the conference will discuss peace also. Switzerland denies she has been formally invited to the conference but admits that conversations are progressing. Foreign Minister Ador expressed to me the belief that peace talk is not out of place at this time. The Italian Minister and French Ambassador in Berne this afternoon did not seem to attach much importance to the so-called Swedish conference nor even to the rumored intervention of the Pope. This is regarded rather as a sentimental than as a serious movement for peace.