Edward M. House Papers

The Special Representative ( House ) to President Wilson

Dear Governor: From the German acceptance of your terms which we received yesterday, it looks as if the Peace Conference might be close upon us.

Germany seems so nearly in collapse that I cannot believe that it will be necessary for a peace conference to continue more than two and a half to three months. It looks as if the Allies might be able to lay down their own terms, and if Clemenceau will cooperate with us as closely as he did last year at the Inter-Allied Conference, it will greatly shorten the life of the congress. It merely needs a little organization and some understanding amongst the principals to have matters expedited in a way that is quite unusual at such gatherings.

I am enclosing you a list of people which I hope you will think well to have come over to advise when these several subjects come before the congress. It will strengthen the American position and facilitate the work of the commissioners to have such a staff, and it will leave the commissioners free to discuss fundamentals.

I do not give the personnel of the Peace Inquiry as that is almost wholly composed of experts on technical subjects.

I am writing this on shipboard so it may return with this boat.

Affectionately yours,

[File copy not signed]

Proposed Staff of Advisers to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace


General Bliss. General Pershing.


Admiral Benson and another.

Finance (Treasury Department)

Benjamin Strong, Leffingwell, Albert Strauss.

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Samuel Gompers and another.

Editorial Director

* Frank Cobb.

Commerce (War Trade Board.)

Vance McCormick. Clarence Woolley.

Raw Materials

B. M. Baruch and another. (Summers)


Herbert Hoover and another.

Merchant Shipping

Hurley and another (Ask Benson) Whipple.


Garfield and another.


Ryan and another.

Alien Property

Mitchell Palmer. Bradley Palmer.

Railroad Transportation

Walker Hines. A. H. Smith (Consult McAdoo.)

Wire Communications

Walter Rogers. Chas. H. Dennis. (Chicago Daily News)

Peace Inquiry

Mezes, Miller, Bowman, etc. etc.

International Law

Prof. George Grafton Wilson (Brown University). (Naval)

  1. It seems to me that it will be absolutely necessary to have a man of the dimensions of Cobb to interpret to the newspaper people the policies you stand for. It is a difficult and delicate task. The men I have suggested for Wire Communications should be under Cobb’s direction. Their work should be to interpret to the world, outside of America, what Cobb interprets to the newspaper fraternity at the Conference itself. Creel, I take it, you will want to continue at home in the same capacity as now for he will never be more needed than then. [Footnote in the original.]