763.72119 Military Clauses/135: Telegram

The Ambassador in Germany (Sackett) to the Secretary of State

198. The Chancellor68 asked me to call upon him today and although he did not have any specific point which he attempted to emphasize the conversation developed points of interest.

He said that he deplored the exchange of speeches between Herriot and himself69 but that if Herriot started he felt he was forced to answer. In view of the present state of public opinion in Germany he said that he did not see his way out of the impasse with regard to Germany’s claim for equality of armament and her non-attendance at the Disarmament Conference. The course of the conversation enabled me to expound to him (as outlined by you in your 115, September 22) our genuine concern at the position taken by Germany and I must say that he took it in a far more calm and diplomatic manner than did Bülow (see my 194, September 24, 2 p.m.). In fact my distinct impression is that he would welcome any face saving formula that would allow Germany to go back to Geneva.

He stated to me unequivocably that his Government intended to and would remain in power for a long time though he mentioned no definite plan. He amplified this by saying that he had a mission to perform which in effect was to transform the status of German democracy as it now existed. I rather gathered that he also had in mind an attempt to transform the mental attitude of the German electorate though he spoke specifically of measures such as administrative reform in the relationship between the Reich and Prussia and general reforms of a direct nature which he said he intended to bring about by emergency decrees followed by referendum.

  1. Franz von Papen.
  2. Speech by the French Premier at Gramat, September 25; reply by Von Papen on September 27 in an interview through the Wolff Telegraph Agency.