File No. 763.72119/1372
The Minister in the Netherlands ( Garrett) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 23, 3.35 a.m.]
2058. Following views expressed by person in touch with German Moderates’ attitude of German [on Belgium?].
I am informed that Meinecke who is one of Kühlmann’s advisers may be taken as typical of important group in Germany opposed to a direct statement about Belgium. Meinecke has maintained ever since August 1914 that Belgium should be restored but up to very recently he has urged German Government against the making of a statement to that effect inasmuch as he feared it would be taken as a sign of weakness and would encourage Allies to make further demands after this point had been conceded. However as Austria is now exerting all possible influence against the Pan-Germans, as the impression created by President Wilson’s message is more favorable than appears in the press, as Payer is holding office and as Prince Max of Baden’s prestige is growing, it is reasonable to expect a more conciliatory attitude regarding a statement concerning Belgium.
An indication along this line may be seen in an editorial appearing in the Germania, Hertling’s paper, in which it is said that if the Allies will make a statement regarding the integrity of the German Empire, the Germans will make a statement regarding the restoration of Belgium. In this connection the attitude of the President regarding Poland is said to be an obstacle as he is believed to mean that certain [parts] of Prussia should become a [part] of the Polish state.