German Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 26, 1916

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WWI Document Archive > 1916 Documents > Official Communications and Speeches Relating to Peace Proposals 1916-1917 > German Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 26, 1916


German Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, December 26, 19161

          Ambassador Gerard to the Secretary of State

                    [TELEGRAM — PARAPHRASE]

                                                            AMERICAN EMBASSY,
                                                       Berlin, December 26, 1916.
     Mr. Gerard reports receipt of a note from the German Foreign
Office, dated December 26. 1916, as follows:
                                                                 "FOREIGN OFFICE,
                                                       "Berlin, December 26, 1916.
     "With reference to the esteemed communication of December 21,
Foreign Office No. 15118, the undersigned has the honor to reply as
follows: To His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of
America, Mr. James W. Gerard.
     "The Imperial Government has accepted and considered in the
friendly spirit which is apparent in the communication of the Presi-
dent, noble initiative of the President looking to the creation of bases
for the foundation of a lasting peace. The President discloses the
aim which lies next to his heart and leaves the choice of the way open.
A direct exchange of views appears to the Imperial Government as
the most suitable way of arriving at the desired result. The Imperial
Government has the honor, therefore, in the sense of its declaration of
the 12th instant, which offered the hand for peace negotiations, to
propose the speedy assembly, on neutral ground, of delegates of the
warring States.
     "It is also the view of the Imperial Government that the great work
for the prevention of future wars can first be taken up only after the
ending of the present conflict of exhaustion. The Imperial Govern-
ment is ready, when this point has been reached, to cooperate with
the United States at this sublime task.
     "The undersigned, while permitting himself to have recourse to
good offices of His Excellency the Ambassador in connection with
the transmission of the above reply to the President of the United
States, avails himself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of
his highest consideration.

                                                                      "ZIMMERMAN."