763.72/12396: Telegram

The Minister in the Netherlands ( Garrett ) to the Secretary of State

5324. An interesting but not novel feature of the new German propaganda is the evident attempt to drive a wedge between the United States and the Allies. Practically all appeals for help from Germany have been addressed to the United States. Press articles now refer to United States and Germany as the sole champions of the freedom of the seas and intimate that the United States will be found in the minority at the Peace Conference on more than one issue. The presence of the American correspondents at Berlin is being vigorously exploited to strengthen the position of the present Government, and unofficial German agents claiming high German political connections are circulating stories of anti-American propaganda by Entente journalists in Munich, in connection with attempt to convince America that it is in her interest that a strong Government be established in Germany, for her support at the Peace Conference.

It is reliably reported that today a meeting of the party leaders is being held Frankfort, at which the question of Solf’s resignation [is] to be discussed. He has strong support but his resignation is believed imminent. It is believed a part of Solf’s supporters are [hoping?] to strengthen his position, attempting to create the belief in German political circles that the American Government desires his continuation in office.

On the other hand Eisner is reported to object to Solf, Erzberger, David and Taber[?] as being discredited in foreign countries because of their prominent connections with old regime. He is said to favor awaiting the return of all soldiers to their homes and until Socialism is more firmly fixed in public mind before convening constitutional assembly. He claims that the reactionary elements are the most anxious for its early convocation, but it now seems probable that the elections to the German Constitutional Assembly will not be held as early as February second. At present there are seven parties who will appeal to the voters: The German National Party, composed of the old Conservatives and pan-Germans; the German Peoples Party composed of the main body of the National Liberals and some sympathizers from the Progressives; the Christian Peoples Party composed [Page 106] the old center; the new Democratic Party consisting of the Progressives and the left wing of the National Liberals; the Social Democratic Party or the Majority Socialists; the Independent Socialist Party and the Spartacus League. The respective leaders are Westarp, Stresemann, Erzberger, Richthofen, Scheidemann, Haase, and Liebknecht. Published announcements of German Empress’ arrival state that wife of Rosen, German Minister at Hague, met her at Sevenaar. Some days before her arrival, a prominent German connected with the German regime was assured by Rosen that he and Legation were not in communication with German Emperor. Emperor’s abdication proclamation10 urging German people to support those now possessed of actual power until institution of new German Government, strongly reflects energetic methods of German Moderates in Holland to enlist all possible support for their efforts to maintain control of German Government.

  1. See telegram No. 5322, Nov. 30, 1918, from the Minister in the Netherlands, p. 77.