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nevertheless, I am of opinion that in this case the explanation which I gave above is the correct one. The telegram in question, like many others, was presumably deciphered by the English. From the experience gained during the war, we have learned that the diplomacy of the future will never be allowed to rely, for important matters, upon the secret of a cipher; for skilful experts are now able to discover the most complicated code, provided that they are able to intercept a sufficient number of telegrams. Over and above this, owing to our isolation in Washington, we were able to alter the cipher but very seldom. As to the suggestion of treachery on the part of any member of my staff-I never believed in this at the time, nor do I believe in it now. In very hard times they all proved themselves to be thoroughly loyal and efficient.
We had to remain in Christiania longer than we expected, because the route across the Sound to Copenhagen was entirely ice-bound. Finally, with the help of ice-breakers, even this obstacle was overcome, and after a day's halt at Copenhagen, we at last reached Berlin via Warnemünde. We had received an extremely hospitable and cordial welcome at Christiania and Copenhagen, at the hands of the Ambassadors, Michaelis and Count Brockdorff-Rantzau-we also had an opportunity of convincing ourselves that the feeling in Denmark and Norway had turned against us just as sharply as in America. The balance of power was, however, different. If our neutral neighbors had not been living in fear of German power, they would at this time have responded to Mr. Wilson's call, and would have broken off all diplomatic relations with us. I believe that the President was hoping that events might take this turn, and that he would thus be spared the need of waging war. If all the countries in the world were to declare war against Germany and her Allies—this is what was assumed in Washington -the economic pressure would alone suffice to compel the Central Powers to yield. The policy proposed was
. similar to the one which, in the future, the League of Nations would pursue against any refractory member of its body, and which the Entente proposes to adopt to-day against Bolshevist Russia. The great length of time which it took the United States to enter the war is, in my opinion, to be explained in this way. The idea was to wait and see how things would develop. Meanwhile, thanks to the Mexico telegram, war-propaganda in America was being worked with great success, and the military preparations made such steady progress, that even if economic measures did not prove sufficient to end the war, the United States would have obtained the army they had longed for for so many years, as also the fleet of war and merchant ships, for which in times of peace Congress would never have voted the necessary funds.
On the evening of the day after our arrival in Berlin, I was received by the Imperial Chancellor, with whom I had a long interview. It was on this occasion that Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg informed me that he could not help consenting to the U-boat war, as the German people would never have understood it if we had concluded an unsatisfactory peace, without attempting to bring about a happy decision by means of the last and most effective weapon in which the nation felt any confidence. He also said that he would have been unable to go before the Reichstag with an offer of mediation from Mr. Wilson, because such intervention would not have been popular, public opinion would not have liked it, and it would only have been accepted by the Social Democrats. Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg declared that the Reichstag would have "thrown him out." This was the very expression
“ he used. But this did not explain why, a few weeks previously, Mr. Wilson's mediation had seemed desirable, if,
as a matter of fact, it was impossible to get the Reichstag to agree to it. Meanwhile, the political situation at that time has been completely elucidated by the evidence which Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg gave before the Examination Committee of the National Assembly. In his account of the interview he had with me, he spoke as follows:
“As regards my interview with Count Bernstorff, on his return from America, I should like to make the following remarks: I cannot recall all the details of the conversation I had with Count Bernstorff. Count Bernstorff has revealed in his evidence what I said to him, and I have no doubt that he has accurately reproduced my actual words. My duty was—and this is an idea I already touched upon earlier in the day-once the policy of an unrestricted U-boat war was resolved upon, never to reveal to anyone any doubts as to the efficacy of the scheme. In this case, too, I had to say, we shall achieve something by means of it. And that is why in my conversation with Count Bernstorff, I did not reveal my inmost feelings on the subject—there was no need for me to do so--but simply referred to the reasons which could be adduced in favor of the U-boat war."
The reception which I was given in Berlin, certainly at first left nothing to be desired. The Imperial Chancellor, on the occasion of our first meeting, had thanked me in a very hearty manner for my work in Washington, and a few days later, proposed that I should go on an extraordinary mission to Stockholm. On principle I was quite prepared to do this, seeing that the recent outbreak of revolution in Russia, and the prospective international Socialist conference in Stockholm, would offer fresh possibilities of peace, and an opportunity for useful work. From various things I had noticed in Berlin, I gathered that-as the evidence before the Examination Committee proved—the Imperial Chancellor would have preferred to give up the idea of the U-boat war, and to accept American intervention in favor of peace, but that he was compelled to give in, owing to the overwhelming advocacy of the U-boat campaign. It was to be hoped, therefore, that with the expected speedy failure of U-boat tactics, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg would snatch at the next opportunity of making peace. As he remained in Office, in spite of the U-boat war, his chief motive for so doing must certainly have been that “after his departure the whole of the power, both of external and internal politics, would have gone over without resistance to the machinery of war-fever.” I regarded any policy as the right one, which arrived at a prompt conclusion of peace, provided that we did not make any confession of weakness by ourselves initiating fresh offers of peace. We had already erred once in this way. But in Stockholm it seemed likely that opportunities might occur of winning either the Russians or the foreign Socialists over to a movement in favor of peace.
As I heard nothing, either about the Stockholm Mission, or about an audience with the Kaiser, which I was led to expect in connection with it, I went at the end of a few days to find out what had happened, and I was told that the Kaiser had declined to sanction my mission to Stockholm. Although I had a second interview with the Imperial Chancellor, I was never able to ascertain definitely the reason of the Kaiser's anger against me. Since, however, General Ludendorff, simply on the grounds of my particular views, made his "impassioned" attack on me before the Examination Committee of the National Assembly, I have no longer been in any doubt whatsoever as to the nature of the influence that was at work at General Headquarters. At the time, I only suspected the prevalence of some such feelings in that quarter, because I had heard it whispered that the Monarch did not like my “democratic views." The reasons for the Kaiser's anger, which were given me officially, were of too trivial a nature to be even plausible.
I must next refer to the dispatch box of the Swedish Legation in Washington. At New York Herr Ekengren had put on board the steamer Friedrich VIII. a box con
a taining Swedish telegrams, which was to be forwarded to its destination.
This box, the very existence of which we Germans knew nothing about, was taken possession of by the British authorities in Halifax, and dispatched to England. The London newspapers then reported that a dispatch box, belonging to Count Bernstorff, and containing documents of the German Embassy, had been opened there. Although the mistake, whether intentional or the reverse, was very soon elucidated, someone had laid the matter before the Kaiser in a distorted light. Apparently the Kaiser was allowed to form the suspicion that the opening of the box had betrayed the secret of the Mexico telegram.
A further reason for his displeasure, at the time, was told me subsequently at Constantinople by the Kaiser himself. He said that I had “let him down most dreadfully," when I had recommended Mr. Gerard as American Ambassador to Berlin. I ought never to have supported the nomination of such a "Tammany Hall” creature. If he—the Kaiser-had only known at the time who Gerard was, and what Tammany Hall could be, he would never have accepted this Ambassador. In Constantinople I was able to reply to the Kaiser pretty fully, as the interview took place during a somewhat long journey on the Bosphorus. I certainly did recommend