chapter  5
More Momentum And New Directions
Pages 17

The women’s three personal contacts with President Wilson in the summer months of 1915 appear in retrospect rather sterile. All three repeated their desire for Wilson’s mediation, and on each occasion the President insisted that the time was inopportune. He was sure on this point, much as his polite demeanor in these interviews and his vacillation on other foreign policy issues might have suggested an indecisive and pliable chief executive. Wilson confirmed his skeptical attitude toward peace talks in an interview with Benjamin F. Battin, who met with him only five days after he had seen Dr Jacobs. Persuaded by Macmillan and Jacobs at their August meeting, Dutch Foreign Minister Loudon had sent the Swarthmore College professor to Paris to try to obtain France’s views on neutral mediation. Battin hoped to see the French political leaders and then convey this information to the German and Swiss Governments. He was unsuccessful, however, in seeing any high-level officials, because of “a combination of illness, cabinet crises, and absence from Paris,” as Battin put it, and without first-hand information from that government he decided it was inadvisable to proceed to Berlin and Berne.