Edward M. House Papers: Telegram

The Special Representative ( House ) to President Wilson

In my private conversation with Lloyd George yesterday he said that Great Britain desired the United States to become trustee for German East African colonies. That Great Britain was unwilling that they should be turned back to Germany for the reason that the Germans had used such inhuman methods in their treatment of the natives. He said Southwest Africa and the Asiatic islands belonging to Germany must go to the South African Federation and to Australia respectively; that unless this was done Great Britain would be confronted by a revolution in those dominions.

He thought Great Britain would have to assume a protectorate over Mesopotamia and perhaps Palestine. Arabia he thought should become autonomous. France might be given a sphere of influence in Syria.

My feeling as to his suggestion regarding German East Africa is that the British would like us to accept something so they might more freely take what they desire.

George also thought the Allies should get together before the Peace Conference and thresh out their differences. He believed the Peace Conference itself need not last longer than 1 week. The preliminary conference he thought could be finished in 3 or 4 weeks.

I strongly advise against this procedure and for reasons which will be obvious to you.

Edward House