File No. 763.72/4497
The Minister in Denmark ( Egan ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 9, 7.40 a.m.]
653. Vossische Zeitung, May 4, reports the minutes of the meeting held May 3 by the general committee of the German Imperial Diet with reference to Belgium. It was there stated that the annexation of Belgium could be considered as an accomplished fact and that a half-sovereign Belgium would only be a constant war threat. Belgium must be divided for political administrative purposes into Flanders and Walloon with one governor general at the head. It was also stated that the order of the Kaiser relative to the return of the Belgian workers had in large measure been executed. Another speaker said that nothing had damaged Germany so much as the phrase “wrongs against Belgium.” He continued:
However, in this war of starvation any exaggerated regard for the inhabitants of occupied countries would be a hardship for our own people. Workers who are superfluous in Belgium must be employed elsewhere. The occupied territories which are not so much smaller than Germany have really done very little towards feeding our army.
A Social Democrat taking up the opposition said that Belgium must be left free to have the Government she wishes and that to proclaim a kingdom of Flanders when only a minority of the Flemish demanded it would be entirely wrong. He added that the recent deportation of Belgian workers had made all chance of reconciliation between Flanders and Germany hopeless.