711.62119/26: Telegram

The Commissioner at Berlin (Dresel) to the Secretary of State

650. In extended conversation today with Rosen he assured me that the Government was not opposed to the proposed treaty and was in entire accord in desiring to bring about peace without delay. The Cabinet was however very anxious to arrange slight modifications partly of substance and partly of form so as to make the treaty acceptable to Parliament and to the people generally and to make prompt ratification easier.

He continued to press strongly for some explicit recognition in the proposed treaty of rights in favor of Germany connected with the rights claimed by us. He considered the assurances given by me [Page 13] in accordance with Department’s 1315 July 28, 8 p.m., first sentence, as in substance satisfactory but he asked that in order to convince the German people that they were not giving up everything without return some language implying reciprocity should be used. After a prolonged discussion Rosen agreed at my suggestion to submit a draft of an appropriate clause for my criticism and possible transmission to Washington.
He inquired as to reason of omission of part 137 which omission he said was not likely [was likely?] to create difficulties in the Cabinet with the Socialist members and afterwards in the Reichstag as there was a strong feeling in labor circles that part 13 was favorable to Germany. I said that though I would report his inquiry I was convinced that an insertion of part 13 was impossible.
He objected to no interpretation being given to certain clauses of the treaty as to which doubt had already arisen. I answered that I felt sure my Government would be unwilling to attempt at this juncture to make interpretations of language as such interpretations would lead to endless discussions and should not be taken up until the necessity arose.
He asked for specific statements in the proposed treaty that negotiations will be later initiated on points not now covered and also that diplomatic and consular relations would be resumed at once on ratification of the proposed treaty. I discouraged any possibility of declarations on these subjects.
Rosen made objection to section 5 of article no. 2 of the proposed treaty. He claimed that it was obscure since some acts had been already accomplished under the Versailles Treaty and in others there were fixed periods of time provided by the terms of the treaty which made a delay of an additional two years impracticable and unreasonable. He therefore asked that this article be redrafted. He cited as an especial example article 4287 and asked whether the United States would not be at liberty to claim a longer occupation than the Allied Powers.

Rosen laid most weight on the points raised by paragraphs 1 and 5.8

  1. Of the Treaty of Versailles.
  2. Of the Treaty of Versailles.
  3. Of this telegram.