File No. 763.72119/8735

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page ) to the Secretary of State


9268. My 8910, March 6.1 In the absence from England of Admiral Hall I have only just received a copy of King Alfonso’s message of March 5 to the Emperor Charles, transmitting the President’s reply as handed to Riaño, and also of the Emperor’s rejoinder to the President dated March 23, which I do not telegraph as I assume it has now been received in Washington.2

In the message of the 5th instant, after communicating the text of the President’s reply to the Emperor, the King of Spain added:

The President received the Ambassador with the usual cordiality. He told him that in order to maintain secrecy he had himself typed on the typewriter the message which he handed him. My Ambassador [Page 183] gave expression to his delight that the President had found in your message something that might form a basis for future understanding, and which might in some way open the possibility of negotiation, a statement to which the President assented. At the same time he remarked that in spite of his (wireless groups jammed) he was of opinion that after direct conversations had taken place he would (further undecipherable group) inform his allies. The Ambassador’s impression is if not optimistic nevertheless fairly favorable for he thinks that if you are willing to answer the peace questions in detail the goal of all our proposals will be brought nearer. It is my private impression that the delegate proposed by you should have as chief task to clear up those points which Wilson regards critical. This would not (imply?) complicated and formal negotiations and in this manner you could avoid pledging yourself by the direct reply desired of you. In all these matters my services are ever at your disposal.

With royal greetings,


  1. Ante, p. 149.
  2. No copy of the President’s reply to the Emperor has been found in the files of the Department of State or among Mr. Wilson’s personal papers. The copies of the Emperor’s messages which were communicated to the President by the Spanish Ambassador are likewise missing. Accordingly, the intercepted versions received by the Ambassador in Great Britain, which were later transmitted to the Department, are inserted following this telegram.