File No. 763.72119/2263

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


4834. Activity of the military party is indicated by the much advertised presence in Berlin of Ludendorff and Scheer and accompanying wave of patriotic resolutions, telegrams to Hindenburg. It appears to be conviction of Conservative and National Liberal press that German reply will mean retardation of peace action and will probably be followed by great patriotic rally. Even organs of Majority reluctantly assume the tone of German reply will make it difficult for President to reject it. This view appears to be gaining ground despite recognition by a few Majority papers of justice of President’s demand that secret arbitrary power controlling Germany must be destroyed. Nothing could better justify that demand than present developments, which point to an unweakened if less prominent position of the military party. Reticence of Majority Socialist press on this point is only in line with the consistent policy of the party leaders to prevent developments of too radical a nature. It is openly admitted by Majority Socialist papers that the peace offer was instigated by the old Government.

Proceedings of congress of Bavarian Socialists in which speakers of opposition openly demanded Emperor’s abdication and punishment of all those responsible for Germany’s present state and freely spoke of revolution strongly indicates ferment. The increasing and apparently freer activity of Independent Socialists is also significant in this connection. Majority Socialist leaders have lost no time in issuing public appeal to laborers not to listen to revolutionary plans. It is believed clear that Majority Socialist leaders will have a difficult time if nothing results from the peace action.

Aside from Conservative papers only few sheets affect to believe that acceptance by Germany of Wilson’s peace program will necessarily imply loss of Alsace-Lorraine and Polish provinces. Tremendously [Page 373] stimulated activity of Poles is giving rise to great alarm; statistics are generally published showing that there is preponderating Polish population only in Posen. Polish Reichstag member Korfanty is reported to have marked on a map in lobby of Reichstag districts which Germany would have to surrender to Poland.