The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State

No. 5285

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication addressed by Dr. Edgar Jaffe, Minister of Finance of the Bavarian Government, to Dr. George D. Herron of Geneva.

I have [etc.]

Pleasant A. Stovall

The Bavarian Minister of Finance ( Jaffe ) to Dr. George D. Herron

Many thanks for your telegram of the 14th whose contents I have communicated immediately to the president of ministry. We know [Page 22] well what a great difference there is between the conditions of armistice that have been communicated to us and the conditions of peace which we do not know yet. But on the other hand we must refer most energetically to the fact that just the immense heaviness of the original conditions of the armistice contains in itself the great danger to cause just the thing which the Allies as well as ourselves must consider the greatest evil, that is, the dissolution of all ordered state of things and their change into complete anarchy. The alleviations of the conditions of armistice that have been communicated have already dispelled part of the danger, but further consideration, especially with regard to the demanded consignment of locomotives, railway-cars and automobiles would be necessary, because otherwise our whole system of transportation would be disorganized and therefore the demobilization of the army as well as the food and coal supply in the interior could not be done in an orderly way. All obstruction of this kind may cause the breaking down of the whole traffic. An early publication of the conditions of peace would be the best means of giving back quiet and confidence to our people. You can be assured that the old powers of militarism have been destroyed so thoroughly here that there is no danger of their returning. The new democratic governments in the realm (Reich) as well as in the confederate states have the power firmly in their hands, and the danger of a reaction either from the right or from the left seems to me completely overcome. We shall go on our way firmly and steadfastly. The new Germany will cooperate in all those great tasks that have been put to civilized humanity, and she hopes to begin this work hand in hand with the other great world-democracies. I can assure you that the position which the President of the United States has taken until now in the question of armistice and the conditions of peace has already created a complete change in the whole of public opinion in Germany. I beg you most heartily to do all you can that the President continues to go on this way.

In old friendship and with fraternal greetings,


Dr. Edgar Jaffe