The Minister in the Netherlands ( Garrett ) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received December 22—5:23 a.m.]
5549. The Berlin Congress of Workmen and Soldiers’ Councils has contributed to the clarification of the political atmosphere, despite the stormy nature of its debates. The executive and legislative powers of the Provincial [Provisional?] Government have been placed entirely in the hands of the Council of People’s Delegates, while the radical parliamentary control is exercised by a committee of 27 elected by the Congress. Thus the predominant influence of the Berlin Workmen and Soldiers’ Council, which was productive of so much friction has been eliminated. An important feature is the repudiation of the tactics of the Spartacus group by the Independent Socialists, seemingly under pressure of the Majority Socialists. This completely isolates the exceedingly active if not numerous following of Liebknecht. The domination of the situation by the Majority Socialist party seems due principally to the attitude of the troops returned from the front, who announce that they support Ebert’s government unconditionally and will have nothing to do with Liebknecht. The demeanor of the front troops since their return is not, however, calculated to contribute to the serenity of the political atmosphere in Germany, and the radical socialist press is perhaps correct in surmising that the Ebert-Scheidemann party is led by the army instead of vice versa. It is significant at any rate that the efforts of the radical socialists to have officers excluded from all Soldiers’ Councils and to have the military command and Hindenburg kept under sharper surveillance have been entirely in vain. The asseverations of the reactionary press that a counter revolution from the Right is out of the question are interesting in this connection. The secessionist movement in the Rhineland and South Germany appears to me reduced to a negligible point. Paris informed.