Paris Peace Conf. 851.00/2
Mr. Warrington Dawson 22 to the Chargé in France ( Bliss )
Yesterday afternoon I went by appointment to call on Marshal Joffre,23 and I repeated to him a remark the Secretary of State had made in conversation with me concerning the Marshal’s popularity in America and America’s opinion of his services in the war. I told him that I had asked the Secretary’s permission to repeat this.
The Marshal’s eyes filled with tears, and he asked me to express to the Secretary of State his deep gratitude and to say that such a tribute from America, conveyed by the lips of the Secretary, atoned to him for the hours during which he had seemed to be overlooked and forgotten.
He then spoke to me at length on conditions in France and in Germany. At the end of this conversation, which lasted more than an hour, I asked his permission to inform the Secretary of all he had said. He replied that he would be happy to have me do so. He asked me to present his respects to the Secretary and say he would be much honored if he could have a personal interview with him; but that in any event he begged permission to remain in contact with the Secretary through me.
Appended is a report of the Marshal’s conversation, as written out by me from memory immediately after leaving him. A long intimacy having made me familiar with the Marshal’s opinions, train of thought, and usual phraseology, I can say that this is an accurate rendering in condensed form of his words on this occasion.
- Confidential adviser and special assistant to the American Embassy in France.↩
- Joseph J. C. Joffre, Marshal of France; Commander in Chief of the French Armies, 1914–16.↩
- Aristide Briand, French President of the Council, Oct. 29, 1915–Mar. 20, 1917.↩
- Phillippe Berthelot, Director ad interim of Political and Commercial Affairs in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.↩
- Léon Bourgeois, French President of the Council, 1895–96; Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1896, 1906.↩
- Friedrich Ebert, chairman of the German Socialist Party; Chancellor of the German Provisional Government from Nov. 9, 1918.↩
- Karl Liebknecht, leader of the German Spartacist Movement.↩