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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919
(1919)

Netherlands,   pp. 650-658 PDF (2.8 MB)


Page 655

NETHERLANDS
655
only a German officer who has escaped into neutral territory, he was
also the potentate whom the whole world, with the exception of
Germany, holds to be guilty of having unchained the war and having
conducted it according to methods of studied barbarism.
According to the stipulations of the peace treaty which is on the
point of being signed with Germany, his conduct will be made the
object of judicial prosecution. But he still represents the military
party the influence of which has brought about the ruin of his coun-
try and has been for humanity the cause of infinite suffering. His
escape would react to the credit of this military party and revive de-
clining hopes as [it] would threaten a peace acquired with great
difficulty and which even now is not definitely assured. To allow
this escape would be an international crime which could not be par-
doned to those who would have contributed to it through their negli-
gence or their complicity.
The Allied and Associated Powers are convinced that these con-
siderations will spontaneously commend themselves to the Govern-
ment of the Netherlands, but they desire to add that in case the latter
felt that in the present circumstances the safekeeping of the ex-
Emperor carries with it responsibilities more irksome than it is in a
position to assume the Allied and Associated Powers are disposed to
assume this burden and thereby relieve a neutral state of an un-
grateful task which it has not sought but the execution of whi h con-
stitutes a most weighty obligation.['] Signed, Clemenceau.["]
The communication reached the French Charge d'Affaires in the
form of a telegram signed Clemenceau and as originally worded,
he informs me. referred to the escape of the Crown Prince as an ac-
complished fact. The sentence containing that statement Monsieur
Prevost altered as above.
May I request that I be informed whether this communication was
sent with your knowledge and approval and if so what attitude
you wish me to take in the premises. I cannot but feel that this
step was ill advised at the present juncture and fear that the tone of
the communication will only serve to make our position in the mat-
ter more difficult later on. In its form and choice of expression it
certainly does not betray allowance made for the psychology of the
Dutch.                                             GUNTHER
862.001W64/75: Telegram
The Charge' in the Netherlands (Gunther) to the Acting Secretary
of State
THE HAGUE, July 10, 1919, 6 p.m.
[Received July 11, 1.36 a.m.]
6557. American Mission 311. Confidential. My 6521, July 1, 6 p.m.
I herewith [transmit] a translation of the reply 7 of the Minister for
7Dated July 7.
102569-34-  17


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