File No. 763.72119/9043

The Special Representative ( House ) to the Secretary of State


23. For the President:

The three Prime Ministers, Marshal Foch, and myself met this morning and practically agreed upon terms for the armistice with Austria, in order that we might facilitate matters when we met at Versailles this afternoon. At conference this afternoon at Versailles terms of naval and military armistice to be proposed to Austria were formally agreed upon. Views of military and naval authorities were somewhat modified. Full text of proposed armistice is being cabled.

Following resolution was adopted by Supreme War Council:

The Supreme War Council decided—

To approve attached terms of an armistice with Austria-Hungary;
That General Diaz on behalf of the Associated Governments shall on the arrival of accredited representatives of Austrian Supreme Command communicate to them approved terms of an armistice;
That the Italian Government on behalf of the Supreme War Council shall be responsible for communicating this decision to General Diaz;
To invite Colonel House on behalf of the Supreme War Council to communicate this decision to President Wilson.

Versailles, October 31, 1918.

Fortunately I was able [to prevent] discussion of political questions. I regard this feature as most favorable. It is not [?] very probable that the submission of terms of armistice to Austria under the circumstances and without any express qualifications may be construed as acceptance on the part of the Allies of the President’s proposals. I thought it best not to bring on a discussion of this matter at this time.

Clemenceau, George, Orlando, Foch and myself are to meet again tomorrow at my headquarters and the Supreme War Council is to meet again tomorrow at 10 o’clock at Versailles. At these meetings terms of the military and naval armistice to be offered Germany are to be discussed. It is my understanding that when the terms of armistice to be offered Germany have been agreed upon, they will be cabled to the President. The Allies will at the same time formally agree to the President’s fourteen points with the reservations cabled you in our No. 12.1 If the President accepts this they then propose to send word to Germany that Foch is prepared to receive their military authorities and to transmit to them the terms of armistice agreed upon by the Allies and the United States. The plan is not to publish the terms of the armistice until Germany has accepted them. They insist that publication should not be made because if published, public opinion would not permit modification.

  1. Ante, p. 425.