File No. 763.72119/2274

The Ambassador in Italy ( Page ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

2196. Press publishes to-day President’s reply to Austria with brief official comment that—

It is perfectly clear in thought and spirit and is equivalent to refusal to recognize to-day in the Austro-Hungarian Government the legitimate representatives of the peoples through which they can carry forward negotiations for an armistice and peace. The promises made in the manifesto of Charles of simple autonomy of the various nationalities comprised in one or the other of the two Monarchies are not sufficient to change the situation. This declaration of President Wilson confirming the legitimacy of the aspirations of the peoples who are fighting for their independence cannot [Page 379] but confer on them a new force and hasten in this way the complex movement which drives towards the dissolution of that state.

The press generally announces the demise of Austria-Hungary.

Nelson Page