The Acting Secretary of State to the British Chargé ( Barclay )


The Acting Secretary of State presents his compliments to the British Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the latter’s memorandum of December 23, 1918,9 [Page 75] stating that the British Government has received through the Swiss Legation a German proposal that a neutral commission be appointed to inquire into the responsibility for the war, and that a similar communication has been made to the French Government.

Mr. Barclay added that the British and French Governments had informed the Swiss Legations at London and Paris, respectively, that they did not consider that the German note required any reply as the responsibility for the war had long ago been incontestably proved.

Mr. Barclay further expressed the desire of the British Government to be informed whether the United States Government had received a similar communication and what reply it proposed to return.

In reply Mr. Polk begs to inform Mr. Barclay that a similar communication has been received from the Swiss Minister and that the Department of State has informed the Swiss Minister in return10 that the Government of the United States does not consider that the. German note requires a reply, as the responsibility of Germany for the war has already been established.

  1. See telegram No. 119, Jan. 6, 1919, 9 p.m., from the Acting Secretary of State to the Commission to Negotiate Peace, p. 73.
  2. Supra.