File No. 763.72119/1617

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State


3153. Atmosphere in Switzerland is charged with rumors of probable peace offensive by Germany. Several Germans of prominence are now in Switzerland and Professor Quidde, famous pacifist of University of Munich, called on George D. Herron, and the summary of his conversation which follows is a probable indication of [Page 218] the trend of this offensive. Other Germans have endeavored to get in touch with him and other Americans, but a discouraging attitude has been consistently adopted towards them. Quidde let it be understood that he had recently talked with Berlin Foreign Office and in a sense represented their views, although more particularly he represents views of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. He maintains that within a month, no matter what results are obtained in France, peace party in Germany will assert itself, and German Government will be ready to begin negotiations. He wished the President to be prepared for such a moment and urged him to take quick advantage of it.

Herron inquired concerning kind of peace desired: Question of Alsace-Lorraine must not be discussed, Germany must not be asked to renounce anything in advance concerning Brest-Litovsk arrangements, although they do not exclude discussion of these arrangements in the conference. Quidde states that offensive in France is final movement for peace.

It is unnecessary to report by telegraph Herron’s vigorous and indignant denunciation of such an effort. Copy of his report will be sent by mail.1

  1. Not printed.