File No. 763.72119/819

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


1578. My 1569, September 3, 8 p.m.1 I learn from authoritative Italian source that Pope’s peace note was initiated by overstatements [overtures?] from Erzberger submitted in June showing pourparlers of negotiations for peace between statesmen of Central powers and more or less official persons in Entente. This was backed by autograph letter from Emperor of Austria to Pope begging for intercession. Principal persons interested were Erzberger, Marchetti, Hertling and Czernin. Pope’s original idea was to propose complete re-establishment of independence Belgium, return occupied France and concession of a portion of Alsace-Lorraine to France, concession of a portion of Austria to satisfy Italian claims and reparation to Belgium, autonomous Poland and Balkan question to be settled in conference. These terms were peremptorily refused by Germany and after long negotiations note was issued all terms of which had been previously agreed to not only by Austria and Prussia but by the small states of Germany.

  1. Not printed.