File No. 763.72119/2313

The Swiss Chargé ( Oederlin) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith, upon instructions from my Government, the original text, received this morning, of a communication from the German Government to the President of the United States, in reply to his communication to the Imperial German Chancellor, transmitted to me by Your Excellency on October 8, 1918.

I beg herewith also to enclose the English translation of this communication, as transmitted by the German Legation in Berne to the Swiss Foreign Office.1

Accept [etc.]

F. Oederlin

The German Secretary of State of the Foreign Office ( Solf) to the Swiss Foreign Office for President Wilson

In reply to the question of the President of the United States of America the German Government hereby declares:

[The German Government has accepted the terms laid down by President Wilson in his address of January 8 and in his subsequent [Page 358] addresses as the foundations of a permanent peace of justice.] Consequently its object in entering into discussions would be only to agree upon practical details of the application of these terms.

The German Government believes that the Governments of the powers associated with the United States also accept the position taken by President Wilson in his addresses.

The German Government in accordance with the Austro-Hungarian Government for the purpose of bringing about an armistice declares itself ready to comply with the propositions of the President in regard to evacuation.

The German Government suggests that the President may occasion the meeting of a mixed commission for making the necessary arrangements concerning the evacuation.

The present German Government which has undertaken the responsibility for this step towards peace has been formed by conferences and in agreement with the great majority of the Reichstag. The Chancellor, supported in all of his actions by the will of this majority, speaks in the name of the German Government and of the German people.

  1. A translation of the German Government’s communication, differing from the one enclosed, was sent by the Chargé in the Netherlands, “as received by telegram from Berlin,” in his telegram No. 4775, Oct. 12, received Oct. 13, 8 a.m. A translation identical with the enclosed was sent by the Minister in Switzerland, in his telegram No. 5195, Oct. 12, midnight, received Oct. 13, 2.10 p.m., as given him by the President of Switzerland at 6 p.m. The Minister also sent another copy of the same translation in his telegram No. 5196, Oct. 13, 1 a.m., received 12.53 p.m., as forwarded for the Vice Consul at Zürich, who added: “In order to avoid further bloodshed German Government placed wireless station at Nauen at the disposal of Swiss Government for the transmission of this note but latter feared it might cause misunderstanding in America.” (File Nos. 763.72119/2133, 2150, 2144.)