File No. 763.72119/8965

The Diplomatic Liaison Officer with the Supreme War Council ( Frazier) to the Secretary of State


147. Referring to my telegram No. 146. The following is the English text of joint note, original having been drafted in French:

The Allied Governments have taken cognizance of the reply addressed by; President Wilson to the Chancellor of the German Empire, with the greatest interest.

They recognize the elevated sentiments which have inspired this reply. Limiting themselves to most urgent question, that of the armistice, they agree with the President of the United States that the preliminary condition of all discussion of this question is the evacuation of all invaded territory. But they think for the conclusion of an armistice itself this condition, while necessary, would not be sufficient. It would not prevent the enemy from profiting by a suspension of hostilities to install himself, after the expiration of an armistice not followed by peace, in a better military position than at the moment of the expiration of hostilities. He would be left the facility of retiring from a critical situation to save his war material, reconstitute his units, shorten his front and retire without loss of men to new positions which he would have the time to choose and fortify.

The conditions of an armistice cannot be fixed until after consultation with military experts and in accordance with the military situation at the moment of engaging in negotiations. These considerations have been forcibly exposed by the military experts of the Allied Powers and especially by Marshal Foch. They are of equal interest to the armies of the Governments associated in the battle against the Central Empires.

To these considerations the Allied Governments draw the entire attention of President Wilson.