File No. 763.72112/4858

The British Embassy to the Department of State


H. M. Minister at The Hague reports the substance of a long interview which took place there recently between Herr Guttman, [Page 871] formerly London correspondent and now editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung, and Mr. Tower, formerly Berlin correspondent of the Daily Mail. The former paper is the German Chancellor’s organ and H. M. Minister is of opinion that Guttman came to The Hague at the Chancellor’s desire and that the conversation was intended to reach his own ears as a feeler since Tower was not allowed to use it for journalistic purposes.

Guttman said that the prospect of an after-war trade boycott of German houses and goods by the Allies and the U. S. was causing the liveliest alarm in Germany. He added that German trade strings with Hongkong, Singapore and Australia are completely severed and that British, Americans, Japanese and Chinese have already taken the place of Germans.

The Chancellor is seeking guarantees that this trade war will not continue after the conclusion of peace. The only powers [pawns] with which he can bargain for such guarantees are Antwerp, Briey and Longwy.

This admission, although it has no direct relation with the statutory list, nevertheless proves that commercial pressure makes a very strong impression on influential opinion in Germany, confirms the contention of H. M. G. that measures inflicting progressive economic damage constitute a direct and forcible weapon of offence, and should serve to convince the U. S. Government of the inadvisability of refraining from the use of a powerful and humane weapon which lies ready to their hand, both by means of action within the U. S. and by means of the statutory list outside, for the purpose of hastening peace.