Edward M. House Papers: Telegram

Colonel E. M. House to President Wilson

20. The memorandum I received containing account of conversation between British Chief of Staff and Foch was sent Feb. 19 in regular cipher on account of its length. Clemenceau, Balfour and I were to have had a conference at ten o’clock this morning to discuss plans for speeding up work of Conference. Clemenceau was shot at nine o’clock so conference had to be abandoned. French have changed their position and now desire to hurry the signing of peace. I believe their change of position may be explained by realization that their own army is becoming demoralized. Amount of compensation mentioned by Foch is far less than sum contended for by French Treasury which is demanding that costs of war be assessed against Germany. I am doing everything possible to hasten work of Conference so that upon your return terms of preliminary peace will be ready for your consideration.

Edward House