File No. 763.72119/1649
The Vice Consul at Zürich ( McNally ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 9, 7.10 a.m.]
My son-in-law has had a long conversation with Count Hertling, German Chancellor, on the subject of peace, in which the latter expressed the belief that if he could communicate direct with the President of the United States, in whom he places the greatest confidence, an amicable understanding could be reached. My son-in-law has the memorandum of German peace terms signed by the German Chancellor himself. He declares that his Government can negotiate a peace over the objections of the Pan-Germans notwithstanding the offensive. He informed my son-in-law that he could go much further into German peace conditions in a confidential communication with the President of the United States than in a speech. He would guarantee the strictest secrecy on the part of his Government and would request the same guarantee in return. He emphatically declared himself to favor peace and as being opposed to the war and the manner in which it is being prosecuted.
My son-in-law, whose statements to me can be considered reliable, says that the old Chancellor was terribly in earnest and frequently during the conversation feelingly expressed the hope that the President of the United States would open negotiations for the exchange of peace ideas.