File No. 763.72119/1215
The Minister in the Netherlands ( Garrett) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 31, 10.41 a.m.]
1974. Your 949, January 25, 7 p.m.1 Person mentioned in my 1880, January 13, 4 p.m. [a.m.],2 in commenting on Hertling’s [Page 60] speech stated that Hertling was unable to make a more definite declaration as to Belgium. Although Reichstag Majority is convinced of necessity of restoring Belgium as an independent state, it does not feel that a declaration would be advisable at the present time as it might be taken as an indication of weakness and as it might merely pave the way to further demands from the side of the Entente. He says that such a declaration regarding Belgium, [notwithstanding] healing process which would ensue, could only be made by a great leader such as Germany does not possess at the present moment.
He again emphasizes what he pretends to consider the futility of public statements and says that if the United States really wishes to know if peace is possible it should designate some American who enjoys the confidence of both Governments to converse informally and secretly with a corresponding German so that each Government may receive first hand information as to the bona fides of the other. He claims that a willingness on Germany’s part to appoint such an individual has been shown many times so that now a response from the opposite side is in order.