Paris Peace Conf. 180.03101/16


Secretary’s Notes of a Conversation Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay on Friday, January 24, 1919, at 12:15 O’clock p.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • President Wilson
      • Mr. It. Lansing
      • Mr. A. H. Frazier
      • Mr. L. Harrison
      • Col. U. S. Grant
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
      • The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, M. P.
      • Lt. Col. Sir M. P. A. Hankey, K. C. B.
      • Major A.M. Caccia, M. V. O.
      • Mr. H. Norman
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
      • M. Pichon
      • M. Dutasta
      • M. Berthelot
      • Capt. Portier
    • Italy
      • M. Orlando
      • Baron Sonnino
      • Count Aldrovandi
      • Major Jones
    • Japan
      • Baron Makino
      • H. E. M. Matsui
      • M. Saburi

Interpreter: Professor P. J. Mantoux

1. Warning To Be Issued to Belligerents President Wilson read the following communication, which he suggested should be published and transmitted by wireless telegraphy to all parts of the world:—

“The Governments now associated in conference to effect a lasting peace among the nations are deeply disturbed by the news which comes to them of the many instances in which armed force is being made use of, in many parts of Europe and the East; to gain possession of territory, the rightful claim to which the Peace Conference is to be asked to determine. They deem it their duty to utter a solemn warning that possession gained by force will seriously prejudice the claims of those who use such means. It will create the presumption that those who employ force doubt the justice and validity of their claim and purpose to substitute possession for proof of right and set up sovereignty by coercion rather than by racial or national preference and natural historical association. They thus put a cloud upon every evidence of title they may afterwards allege and indicate their distrust of the Conference itself. Nothing but the most unfortunate results can ensue. If they expect justice, they must refrain from force and place their claims in unclouded good faith in the hands of the Conference of Peace.”

(This was agreed to.)

The meeting adjourned until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

24 January 1919.