File No. 763.72119/762

The Minister in Belgium ( Whitlock ) to the Secretary of State


85. My telegram August 22, 7 p.m. The Belgian Government’s note to the Pope, of which I was shown a copy the other day by De Broqueville, was altered by the King personally before it was sent and in its final form is neither as long nor quite as cordial as it was originally. It goes to Rome to-day and the following is a translation of its French text:

The Government of the King has had the honor to receive the message by which the Holy Father has presented to the chiefs of the belligerent peoples his views as to the basis on which should repose the reorganization, the future relations between the nations now at war. It will study with the greatest deference the propositions which the pontifical document sets forth in such elevated terms. The Government of the King is pleased to find there a new testimony which it highly values of the especial interest which the Holy Father has for the Belgian nation so cruelly and so unjustly afflicted by the war that desolates the world; it is happy to be able to express to him its lively and profound gratitude.