Paris Peace Conf. 184.00101/4

Minutes of the Daily Meetings of the Commissioners Plenipotentiary, Tuesday, February 4, 1919

  • Present:
    • Mr. Lansing
    • Mr. White
    • Mr. Herter
The information contained in a note regarding Mr. Baruch, Mr. McCormick and Mr. Davis receiving the minutes of the secret meetings [Page 15] at the Quai d’Orsay was discussed. Mr. Lansing stated that he could not understand what Mr. Baruch meant. Both Mr. White and Mr. Lansing referred to their decision made a few days ago that Mr. Baruch, Mr. McCormick and Mr. Davis should not have all the minutes of the secret meetings at the Quai d’Orsay but should certainly receive all those in which they could possibly have any interest. It was observed that there would most likely be considerable complications if Mr. Baruch went to the French for their secret minutes.
Memorandum No. 31 was read. It was decided that Mr. Grew should pass finally upon the question of Colonel Williams requesting to be allowed to resign from the army. However, both Mr. White and Mr. Lansing felt that if it would in any way facilitate Colonel Williams’ work here to be acting in the capacity of a civilian, he should certainly be allowed to resign. General Bliss, who had been consulted earlier in the day regarding this matter, was quite convinced that his application for resignation should be approved.
Memorandum No. 32 was read. It was decided that none of the officers or men of the President’s staff should be paid the allowance of 40 francs per day to which persons attached to the Commission are entitled.
Memorandum No. 26 of February 2nd was again brought up and the Commissioners present agreed that Dr. Lord’s proposal was of such importance that a letter should be drafted to the President asking his opinion in the matter. They observed however, that in drafting this letter it be stated that the proposal came from Dr. Lord and that no opinion should be expressed as to the attitude of the Commissioners in the premises.
Memorandum No. 30 of February 2nd was re-read and the Commissioners decided that the expense for meals furnished to official guests at the hotel should not be borne by the Commission except in the case of those guests who are invited by the Commissioners themselves or by Dr. Mezes or Mr. Bowman.
Memorandum No. 33 was read. The Commissioners present agreed that it would be advisable for Mr. Southard15 to make the proposed investigation in Abyssinia, and that a telegram be dispatched to the Department of State that authorization for the trip be telegraphed to Aden. It was also agreed that Mr. Southard’s mission should not be extended to Arabia provided a separate commission were being sent to that country.
Information Memorandum No. 1 of February 3, 1919 was read and the Commissioners expressed the opinion that inasmuch as they were not familiar with the details of the situation in China they would [Page 16] very gladly accept the opinion of Mr. E. T. Williams in the premises. The Commissioners expressed complete confidence in Mr. Williams’ judgement on all matters connected with China.
Information Memorandum No. 2 was read and the Commissioners agreed absolutely that something ought to be done if possible, to assist both Mr. Tredwell16 and Mr. Kalamatiano.17 They had no idea however, how either of these gentlemen could be helped. It was therefore requested that the memorandum be returned to the Secretariat to prepare a Supplementary memorandum embodying any suggestions that anybody had to make as to how to assist these two gentlemen. Dr. Lord was suggested as a possible source for suggestions. Mr. Lansing observed that Mr. Polk’s suggestions had come a little bit too late and that some new way out must be found.
  1. Addison Southard, Consul; Mr. Southard had been on a mission in Abyssinia in 1917.
  2. Roger Tredwell, Consul at Tashkent, detained in Russia. See Foreign Relations, 1919, Russia, pp. 167 ff.
  3. Xenophon Kalamatiano, American citizen, detained in Russia. See ibid.