File No. 763.72119/1203

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page )2

[Telegram]

6403. Your secret 84333 and Department’s 6383.4 Endeavor to ascertain confidentially whether British Government entertains any apprehension that this Government might have communications or even enter into conversations about peace with one or other of the Central Empires without the knowledge of the Allies. If so, you should informally express the distress felt by this Government that such a thing should be thought possible by editors and others.5

For your confidential information. Anderson upon reaching Berne telegraphed full report to the Department.6 Copies were at that time communicated to the British and French Ambassadors here for the confidential information of their Governments.

Lansing
  1. The first paragraph, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, also to the Ambassadors in France (No. 3130) and Italy (No. 1056), with the introductory clause: “Referring to press reports purporting to be of Vienna origin suggesting that the President was fully informed of the contents of the recent speech delivered by Count Czernin and to the denial by this Government of any foreknowledge of what he was going to say.”
  2. Ante, p. 52.
  3. Ante, p. 51.
  4. Answered by the Ambassador in telegram No. 8494, Feb. 4: “Mr. Balfour perfectly understands and feels no apprehension.” (File No. 763.72119/1232.)
  5. See telegram No. 2261, Dec. 19, 1917, from the Chargé in Switzerland, Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. I, pp. 478482.