File No. 763.72119/808

The Minister in Denmark ( Egan ) to the Secretary of State


1141. A neutral diplomat not unfriendly to the Entente and the United States recently returned from a long residence in Germany, speaking informally and confidentially to a member of this Legation, stated it as his belief that Germany would “consent to discuss” the question of a cession of part of Alsace and Lorraine to France if it were thought that peace might be obtained as a result of such cession and in return for possible compensation in the Baltic provinces or in the way of colonies. In further explanation he stated that if it were a direct question of choosing between a diplomatic peace including the cession of the parts of Alsace-Lorraine sympathizing with France and the continuation of the war that the choice would fall for the former and that popular feeling would demand such a choice even were the Government averse to it. He had, however, encountered a widespread opinion in Germany that there was no use in opening the Alsace-Lorraine question because the French would be satisfied with nothing short of the whole south bank of the Rhine, and furthermore that even the common people were convinced that the continuance of the war by Germany was necessitated by the determination of the Allies to dictate a humiliating peace.