February 16, 1915
An American newspaper man, a Mr. Morgan, has been to see me this afternoon: he left Berlin on Friday for Berne and Zurich and reached Parise on Sunday. He say’s that some of the German hate of England has passed on to the United States: he came away because there was no good work to be done in such an atmosphere. He had some conversation with Jagow about the submarine blockade: Jagow said it was not a blockade: it was a notice that certain zones would be dangerous after February 18, like the walking of neutrals between two opposing and opposite trenches. There is, Mr. Morgan says no talk at present of German it’s throwing up the sponge. When he pointed out to Jagow the danger of provoking American feeling, and endangering American lives and property, the answer that he received was that Germany is not afraid of anybody and that she is resolved to resort to all measures that she may consider adapted to injure England, without regard to the consequences of neutrals. Mr. Morgan thinks that the German point of view is that America is doing all the injury possible to Germany, and that the state of war would not make matters worse, for America cannot get at Germany, and she is supplying France and England with arms and ammunitions of war, and does not insist on sending food to Germany. The whole attention of Germany is at present directed to the eastern frontier: the Germans expect to smash the Russians, and after that they mean to attack so French – British lines. Mr. Morgan thinks they are beginning to feel the pinch of being cut off from supplies of food, which they have brought on themselves by their foolish notice of submarine blockade. Mr. M. is a correspondent of the Metropolitan Magazine of New York.
February 21, 1915
everybody from the Front says, that the German soldier, except the pick of the lot, it’s not as in the early part of the war. French ought to know what is possible: however, beating the Germans in three months from now by military assault: want of ammunitions of all kinds may have more effect. If they were not feeling our blockade, they would not howl so much, and resort to such desperate measures as a declaration of submarine destruction of all ships, neutral or enemy, entering the seas surroundings the British Isles, thereby endangering said relations with the United States.
February 26, 1915
Mr. McCormack, son of the former American ambassador, come to luncheon yesterday: he’s the chief editor and part owner of the Chicago tribune. McCormack has explained to Grey and Asquith that the American public do not trouble themselves with white, yellow, red, blue, green or orange books! They from their views from what they see in the newspapers. The Germans, by their organization, and with money, has captured a great part of the newspapers in America, which give the Germans version of war events. The pacifists have joined hands with the Germanophils on the supposition that they can together put an end to the war by stopping the supply from America of arms to England, France and Russia. A special law would be required to prohibit the expectation of arms and ammunitions of war the president, if England and France will not careful in the treatment of the question of food supplies from America for the civilian population of Belgium and Germany, for humanitarian agitation may be got up in America by the German subsidized press.
March 1, 1915
The statistician of the Ministry of war, a very able and learned man, paid me a visit yesterday. He thinks that the war will be ended, and of course the gloriously for the Entente, in October. I questioned him on the practicality of getting the Germans out of the North of France and Belgium by frontal attacks-whether the attackers would be not find endless series of German trenches to capture. Which would cause an incalculable loss of life. He said there might be a few trenches, and the loss of might be great, but the whole country was not entrenched and will not be: there would not be time to make a fresh entrenchment’s behind the existing ones, and then there would be open country in which to maneuver. He did not seem to have considered whether attack on the Dardanelles, if successful, might not change the venue of the campaign, by bringing into line, to an attack of Austria and Germany, the Balkan states, and an advance by them and by us on Vienna and on to Berlin, Romania joining with Russia.
As to the terms of peace, he considers a Rhine frontier necessary for the protection of France: that Essen and the German fleet must be ceased to exist, and that conscription for the German armies – for he hopes that Germany will break up – must be abolished. He promises a further visit. It was in order to congratulate me on our declaration of blockade that he came to see me.
March 9, 1915
A messenger in one of his journeys crossed from England to Bergen, and through Norway and Sweden, with Sir Roger casement and an Irish Canadian doing spy work for Germany: he did not have any conversation with either of them. Casement had come from Ireland: he had shaved his beard and it was not known that he was on the journey to Berlin until after his arrival in Norway. This journey was early in the war, when Sweden was very anti-British; since Germany declared wood contraband, the feelings of the Swedes are less German than formerly. The feeling in Denmark is very pro-British. The messenger dined with the British minister at the smart restaurant: the band stopped the air it was playing when the minister came in and started “A long way to Tipperary” admidst applause.
Lloyd chose has made a foolish admission to a newspaperman that we should not have gone to war, so far as he was concerned, if Germany had not invaded Belgium: that he and some majority of the cabinet would have accepted the German offer not to take French territory in Europe. This would, as it has since been proved, has a very parochial view to take. France would have been crushed, notwithstanding any German abstention from attacking the French coast, and we should have had to fight Germany without France aid. What does it the statistic in of the ministry for wall, a very able and learned man, paid me was it yesterday.
March 16, 1915
Tonight I dined with some American ambassador and meet Colonel House (intimate friend of Pres. Wilson, a later delegate at the peace conference). He has had conversations in London with Grey, he has seen Declasse and goes tomorrow to Berlin, and he will be back here in a fortnight. He is, I understand, looking around to see what opportunity the president may find for proposing peace, and so securing the German vote for a second presidential election. I had some conversation with him, but nothing worth noting
March 28, 1915
It was thought, that when the President of the Republic was at Sankt Petersburg in July, hopes, and perhaps more than hopes, were held out to the Russian Government that the French Government would not make objection to Russia having Constantinople. Many French public men hope that England will object, that the British and French forces will get to Constantinople before the Russians, and so hold a security for Russia’s behavior. A reliable opinion here is that, with Russia in the Caucasus and on the Bosporus and commanding the northern terminus of the Bagdad Railway, England would be at the beck and call of Russia in Mesopotamia.
April 2, 1915
I have been reading accounts given by French restored prisoners of the treatment in Germany of British prisoners: the German brutalities and bullying’s of our unfortunate fellow countrymen are shocking, and show an almost inconceivable meanness: they varied slightly in the several prisons and encampments, but only so little that they were evidently the outcome of superior orders, perhaps of the supreme Lord. That invariably dignity and attitude of our countryman, under their ill-treatment, excited the wonder and admiration of the French fellow prisoners. At St. Quentin, there were a large number of unwounded English hiding in the town: the Germans have night- hunts, and shoot all whom they find and also those who have sheltered them.
April 8, 1915
Here and there and everywhere Winston Churchill rushes in: he is disastrously impulsive. I hear that he was so much impressed by the early doings of the ships guns against the Dardanelles forts that he wished at once to order the bombardment of Heligoland and Cuxhaven, entirely leave oblivious of the fact that there are German ships to aid there defense, whereas the Turks not having of any consequences expends except the lame ducks “Breslau” and “Göben”.
April 27, 1915
I, who have not seen the horrors of war, am even becoming bloodthirsty and revengeful, and am beginning to think that we must make reprisals for the German in humanities which will not be stop by neutral censure. …
To talk was of the war, so eventual result, and the terms of peace: the necessity for certain dismemberment of the Prussian German Empire, which might be reconstituted as a Roman Catholic Empire, leaving out Prussia and putting in German Austria. The loss of the Leon Gambetta” 12,000 tons, is a serious one; people ask what the French admiral has been doing all this month. The young officers and the French Navy make great complaint of his inactivity.