File No. 763.72/9469

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp) to the Secretary of State


3547. The President’s Baltimore speech is given great prominence in all of today’s papers, for lack of time since its receipt for publication except in some of the afternoon papers. Comments on the speech are chiefly confined to the headlines and introductory references to it. It is unanimously commended for its clarity of exposition of the situation brought on by the Germans and particularly for its vigor.

No message could have been more opportune than the words coming from the President in the midst of a crisis on the front calling [Page 205] for every word of sustaining encouragement. The news from the front, however, of a much more encouraging nature during the past few days, will be given an impetus of good cheer by his words which will permeate not only the civil population, but the soldiery as well.

Sometimes without exactly knowing why, there comes a feeling of confidence in the assurance and certainty that all is going well. While the situation is still serious and full of doubt, yet it is this kind of a feeling which seems to pervade the minds of almost everyone here as to the conviction that the German Army, in so far as accomplishing real results is concerned, has been thoroughly checked. This feeling, so far as I am able to learn, has taken possession of men versed in knowledge of military affairs as well as the man in the street. The President’s reference to the military situation so clearly senses the outlook existing on the front at this moment that it fortifies the public mind and leads to belief.

Mr. Pichon, Minister for Foreign Affairs, told me today that he greatly admired the speech for its firmness of tone as well as its beauty of expression. He said that it had impressed the French Government most favorably in every respect and would exert a very good influence. He charged me to convey to the President his personal thanks for the message contained in his speech.

In the following brief quotations from the Paris press, commenting on the speech, one observes the particular emphasis given to that portion of the speech which refers to the necessity of using military force. …