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Robert Lansing Papers

President Wilson to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have been thinking a great deal lately about the contact of the Commission with the public through the press and particularly about the way in which the Commission should deal with the newspaper men who have come over from the United States. I have come to the conclusion that much the best way to handle this matter is for you and the other Commissioners to hold a brief meeting each day and invite the representatives of the press to come in at each meeting for such interchange of information or suggestions as may be thought necessary. This I am sure is preferable to any formal plan or to any less definite arrangement.

I am also convinced that the preparation of all the press matter that is to be issued from the Commission is a task calling for a particular sort of experienced ability. I beg, therefore, that you and your fellow Commissioners will agree to the appointment of Mr. Ray Stannard Baker as your representative in the performance of this duty. Mr. Baker enjoys my confidence in a very high degree and I have no hesitation in commending him to you as a man of ability, vision and ideals. He has been over here for the better part of a year, has established relationships which will be of the highest value, and is particularly esteemed by the very class of persons to whom it will be most advantageous to us to be properly interpreted in the news that we have to issue. If you see no conclusive objection to this, I would suggest that you request Mr. Baker to do us the very great service of acting in this capacity.

I am writing in the same terms to the other members of the Commission.

Sincerely yours,

Woodrow Wilson