File No. 862.00/252
The Minister in Sweden ( Morris) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 31, 4 a.m.]
1409. Referring my cables 5711 and 9652 in which I reported information given me by Leube, a member of the German Reichstag and prominent in the Socialist Party, I desire to state that Leube again saw me yesterday and gave the following information which I listened to without discussion or comment on my part. While I am confident the German Government is cognizant of his visit to me and all that he said, yet Leube stated, as on his previous visits to me, that he is acting in an entirely unofficial manner. He is unaware that I am cabling you this information, although I clearly inferred his object in seeing me was to get this information to President Wilson.
He stated he voiced the feelings of the Majority of the Reichstag for peace. He felt absolutely sure that peace could be brought about on the basis of status quo ante bellum and emphasized that Belgium would have their entire independence so far as Germany was concerned. That Scheidemann in addressing the Reichstag had seriously warned the Government against prolongation of the war, providing such a basis could be arrived at, inasmuch as the Majority of the Reichstag, my informant said, felt that eleven of the fourteen clauses contained in the President’s speech could easily be settled, the remaining clauses being debatable. He said that first seven clauses could easily be settled. Regarding clause number 8, Germany would evacuate all French Republic but it was useless to waste a single word on the question of the restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, inasmuch as all Germany were united in this. Clauses number 9, 10, and 14 would be easy to settle and number 11 also so far as evacuation was concerned. He said that Germany must also have a guarantee that that which belonged to her before the war would be restored, and particularly referred to the German colonies. The contention at present in the mind of Germany was the attitude of England with regard to this latter question.
- Not printed.↩
- Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. I, pp. 302–303.↩