Paris Peace Conf. 184.82/13

The Chief of the Press Bureau ( Baker ) to the Secretary of State

Subject: Resolutions of the American Press Correspondents.

1. At the request of the officers of the Newspaper Correspondents’ Association, I am enclosing herewith a copy of the resolutions adopted at the recent meeting relative to publicity of the Peace Conference. It is a response to the statement of the Peace Conference on the same subject issued last Thursday [Friday].7

Ray Stannard Baker
[Enclosure]

Resolutions of American Press Representatives

The American press delegation acknowledges receipt of the reply of the Peace Conference to the resolutions addressed to them.

[Page 491]

The delegation notes that the decision that “representatives of the press shall be admitted to the meetings of the full Conference” is an acceptance of the principle of direct press representation for which the press of America, Great Britain, Italy and the smaller nations contended.

The value of this principle, however, turns upon the extent and frequency of its limitations in practice. The Peace Conference announces its intention to limit it to the extent that “upon necessary occasions the deliberations of the Conference may be held in camera”. Without assent on our part to this limitation, we trust that if ever it is applied the public will be advised through the press at the outset of each session in camera of the subject to be discussed and the name of the delegate or delegation making the motion to go into camera; and at the close of the session the conclusions or agreements reached.

In view of the fact that we have not been advised to the contrary, we necessarily assume that any rule designed to prohibit communication between individual delegates and the press on the subjects of the Conference has now been abrogated; and that the press is to have access to verbatim records of the proceedings.

We call the attention of the Peace Conference to our request for not fewer than five direct press representatives at each session of the Conference and we submit that, because of the manner in which the several press associations serve the newspapers of America and because of the attendance upon the Conference of numerous individual press representatives, American newspapers cannot carry on their business of informing their vast public with fewer than five.

Committee:
Mark Sullivan
, Chairman.
Arthur B. Krock
, Secretary.
R. V. Oulahan,

Herbert Bayard Swope
,
John Edwin Nevin
,
Paul Scott Mowrer
,
David Lawrence.
  1. See BC–4A, minute 3, vol iii, p. 609.