File No. 763.72/6805

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


1184. The continued volume of comment in German press on Wilson’s reply to Pope is further indication of deep impression which note has made. Discussion is along same lines as already reported, a characteristic expression being that Germany intends to have democratic institutions in spite of Wilson. Bernhard has article in Vossische 9th, entitled “Deutscher Parlamentarismus,” which urges co-responsibility of people’s representatives with Government. He says:

The control of the government by the people and the participation of the people in the government lies in the line of development in every state. We have been developing in Prussia along these lines ever since 1848 and from an earlier period in other German states. Further development is not to be arrested, nor does the manner and speed thereof depend on these who wish to force things.

Vorwärts prints interview with Scheidemann:

I find that American Government would seem as though peace program of Reichstag had served as basis (of note). Reichstag in its program demanded peace by negotiation and permanent reconciliation of peoples. It declares that lands conquered by force and political, industrial and financial violence is incompatible with such peace. It renounces all plans for industrial boycott and enmity after the war. It demands international courts. With all this, American Government is in accord. Why then do they wage war against us? They answer this by saying that the present German Government does not appear suited as guarantee in the coming peace. I reply that Reichstag is ready to assume the guarantees for coming peace on basis of general, equal, direct and secret suffrage in election of representatives of German people. Peace after this war will continue for long time from mere fact of exhaustion. During this time the cause of democracy and socialism will make rapid progress in all lands and then it will be possible to secure more firmly than ever a contract for world’s peace. I believe, therefore, that this war will actually be the last between great civilized nations. Peace will imply at once a democratic peace and assure peace for the whole world.

German papers report that Chancellor asserts that new Prussian election laws will take effect soon and that German Government will in near future formulate its peace conditions.

Tageszeitung, September 9, reports formation of new political party called German Fatherland Party. At head are Johann Albrecht, Duke Mecklenburg, Admiral von Tirpitz and Doctor Kapp, [Page 200] former general Landschaft director. General object of party seems to be create reaction against Reichstag peace resolution and give further expression to [demand] for German annexation and indemnity, “A Hindenburg peace and not starvation one.” Its watchword is save Germany, her honor and future.

Norddeutsche Allgemeine reports that agreement has been reached between Chancellor and Count Czernin regarding Poland and particularly in connection with proclamation of 5th November, 1916. Announcement will be made in a few days. Kaiser in Riga speech says Riga free. Saxony has reduced meat allowance from 250 to 150 grams weekly, not however to include city population.

Norddeutsche Allgemeine, September 7, prints President’s note in English and German in parallel columns and also French translation, as it alleges it was printed in France which shows a considerable variation and cites this as evidence of German virtue and French perfidy. Whatever may have been German press practices in the past, President’s last note has had wide and correct textual publicity although to what degree papers containing such matter reach the men in the trenches is questionable. The only alteration charged against the French which seems worthy of note is an addition to third paragraph from the end reading, “Ce projet, nous l’avons mûrement etudié avec nos alliés, et nous sommes décidés à en poursuivre jusqu’au bout l’application,” although alleged French translation has many minor changes, is more highly colored and omits practically all of first two paragraphs beginning “every heart.”