File No. 763.72/11341

The Chargé in the Netherlands ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State


4313. My 4310, 7th.1 Recent utterances of public men in Germany including even the Crown Prince’s contribution are of a considerably softened tone and now seem destined more to repair German morale than to influence Entente thought. The recent extraordinary campaign of home propaganda is now crushed by Governor General of [Brand] enburg’s appeal to people not to heed wild rumors. There could be no better evidence which indicates existence of unusual depression in Germany, well informed sources asserting [Page 302] that the Pan-Germans are now the most depressed of all groups, and Moderate circles are endeavoring to convey impression that the former have lost all influence. Legation’s 3641, July 23,1 reported that Kühlmann’s supporters would argue that his famous speech was only a wise and timely warning. Now Vorwärts compares it to Crown Prince’s interview and finds that the ideas expressed with regard to the means of terminating the war are practically identic but points out that Kühlmann had sagacity to choose moment of great military success for his statement. Moderate informant reports that Moderates’ disapproval of Crown Prince’s speech based on inconsistency revealed by it. Hertling shows appreciation of blackness of hour by repeating in address to Prussian Upper House committee that Government’s intention is to stand or fall on the question of fulfillment of royal proclamation on equal suffrage. He points out that matter not only concerns ministerial responsibility but also protection of crown and dynasty. He added the significant warning that while no previous accounts [special efforts?] would be exerted to have a compromise, yet any delay might result in upheavals. He encouragingly told them that by a compromise now, far-reaching changes in Government institutions could still be avoided. This committee formed to consider these questions represents in large majority the nobility. In this connection reference is made to Doctor Scheler’s statement transmitted in Legation’s despatch 1750, August 12,1 relative to Conservative opposition to crown because of conflict of interests between royal and imperial policies.

More than usual significance is attached to Crown Prince Rupprecht’s visit to Munich. The recent indications of bad feeling between Bavaria and Prussia over food questions are followed by reports that Bavaria is dissatisfied with manner in which her economic interests are being considered in the economic plans of the Empire. Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg have had special representatives at Salzburg where the future economic plans of Germany and Austria have been discussed. It is reported that Bavaria has flatly refused to agree to plan of the purchase of raw material under Berlin control. The recent announcement that Bavaria and Saxony propose to establish legations in Sofia is sharply condemned by Berlin press, Bavarian press retorting that such a measure is necessary for the protection of Bavaria’s own interests, especially in important matter of the Danube shipping, which have been neglected by the imperial authorities. The current rumors of disagreement in the Bavarian Army may be noted in this connection.

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