The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Secretary of State
[Received November 6, 9.35 p.m.]
5040. Strictly confidential and urgent. For Secretary of State from Polk:
Your 3675 November 5th, 3 p.m. Am most anxious to get home for personal and business reasons, but after careful consideration and discussing matter with my colleagues, I feel it will be impossible for me to leave next Wednesday. They feel it would make an extremely bad impression to leave on such short notice when there are several matters that require a settlement. The Bulgarian treaty will be signed next week. That of course is merely formal. We are carrying on active negotiations in regard to Hungary and are not [sic] hopeful of getting a government with which we can treat. The Galician question is merely awaiting decision of Lloyd George before being disposed of. Tanker case still unsettled. The negotiations in connection with putting the treaty in effect could not be postponed and Harrison and others feel that our position would be jeopardized if I should leave.[Page 18]
In using two weeks more I can have the matters, now pending, either settled or transferred to the Department. In other words, it is my idea that when we leave here the Department and Ambassador will already be handling the unfinished business. As it is now there are too many loose ends to leave without creating hopeless confusion.
Under the circumstances, unless there are other reasons which I do not appreciate, I feel I should stay on until the end of the month. General Bliss, Mr. White and myself are most anxious to leave here as near the 1st of December as possible. Could you let me know if the George Washington can come back at that time? We have some personnel and many records which should be kept together. The other transports would not be large enough to accommodate our party. If the George Washington cannot come back, I will arrange to sail about the 1st of December on some English ship but we would much prefer to leave on that boat. In view of the fact that this Commission does represent Government and in view of consideration other governments show their representatives, it would seem that War and Navy Departments would not hesitate to grant request of Department.
Please let me know immediately your views and wishes. Polk.