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to their activities in the war.” It had been the American view that it was preferable to give British colonies a direct voice, instead of one through the mother country, the interests of Canada and Newfoundland being regarded much the same as those of the United States. The five colonial members, with Brazil's three, gave to American countries an aggregate of eleven members of the Conference. The representation given to Jugo-Slavia was not at first decided upon, but it was expected that the Croats and Slovenes would be represented on about the same basis as the Serbians.
Brazil owed her special treatment largely to her historic position as a former empire combined with her population of more than 20,000,000. These facts worked strongly against placing her secondary to nations much less populous. Another explanation of the allowance of three delegates to Brazil was that, while Greece had two and Portugal one, Brazil had not only given valuable services in the war by affording naval protection against German raiders on South Atlantic trade routes and the east coast of South America, but that she virtually had represented the South American continent in the ranks of the belligerents. Support of Brazil's claims was a part of America's plan to cultivate the closest relations with South American countries. This large representation of Pan-Americans and British colonies robbed the conference of any preponderating European character it might otherwise have had. Thus international politics would not be dominated as in former years by Europe.
The voice of the New World was to have an important part in deciding the terms of peace, which in spirit and purpose were to be quite unlike any previous peace terms in the history of nations. Ten out of twenty-five representatives were from non-European States and five more represented States whose future largely lay elsewhere than in Europe. Two big factors in the conference were to be the British Empire and Pan-America. Assuming that the League of Nations would have a similar organization, with separate recognition of the British colonies, the British Empire and Pan-America would be the largest factors in it, the two forces, as British statesmen saw it, which, by cooperating, could keep the peace of the world. The strong representation of Powers free from traditionary European ideas of a "balance of power" promised at once a profound influence on the Conference. The number of sovereign States represented at the Conference in Paris was thirty-one. Germany, Austria, Turkey, and Bulgaria made the total number of belligerents concerned in the war thirty-five.
Standing between President Wilson and Mr. Balfour, Foreign
? Paris dispatch from Clinton W. Gilbert to The Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia).
Minister of Great Britain, and facing the delegates, President Poincaré opened the Conference, which was preliminary to the meeting in Versailles where the treaty would eventually be signed and bear the name of that historic city. In the name of France, as host, President Poincaré exprest a solemn hope that its labors would end in removing forever from the world the menace of aggression by armed force. He made a long and admirable address in the course of which he said:
"This very day forty-eight years ago, on the 18th of January, 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed by an army of invasion in the Château at Versailles. It was consecrated by the theft of two French provinces. It was thus a violation from its origin and, by the fault of its founders, it was born in injustice. It has ended in oblivion. You are assembled in order to repair the evil that has been done and to prevent a recurrence of it. You hold in your hands the future of the world. I leave you gentlemen to your grave deliberations and declare the Conference of Paris open.”
All eyes were then fixt on President Wilson who, in felicitous terms proposed, as the first business of the conference, that Premier Clémenceau be made permanent chairman. In his speech accepting the offer M. Clémenceau, having in mind the traditional difficulties
that attend negotiations of peace treaties, remarked that, as the members of the Conference had come together as friends, so as friends they should disperse after their labors. After other preliminary formalities the Conference adjourned. On January 28, when the first plenary session of the Conference was held, it was addrest by President Wilson who, with great earnestness declared: “We are not here alone as representatives of Governments, but as representatives of peoples, and in the settlement we make we need to satisfy, not the opinions of governments, but the opinion of mankind.” “Select classes of men no longer direct the affairs of the world,” said he; "the fortunes of the world are now in the hands of the plain people.” The war had swept away old foundations by which small coteries had “used mankind as pawns in a game.” Nothing but emancipation from the old system could now accomplish real peace. He had recently seen in the streets of Paris American soldiers who had come to France, not alone for war, but as "crusaders in a great cause." "I, like them," he added, “must be a crusader, whatever it costs to accomplish that end."
Resolutions were passed at this session providing that a League of Nations be created as an integral part of the general treaty of peace, that a commission be named to draft a complete plan and that the League “should be open to every civilized nation which can be relied on to promote its objects,” a provision under which it was to be a matter for future determination by the Great Powers to say when Germany had sufficiently retrieved herself in the eyes of the world to be entitled to admission. A commission composed of two representatives from each of the five Great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other Powers, was to be appointed to inquire and report upon the following questions:
First, “The responsibility of the authors of the war"; second, “The facts as to breaches of the laws and customs of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their allies on land, on sea and in the air during the present war"; third, “The degree of responsibility for these offenses attaching to particular members of the enemy's forces, including members of the general staffs and other individuals, however highly placed"; fourth, "The constitution and procedure of a tribunal appropriate to the trial of these offenses." The commission was also to examine and report: First, “On the amount of reparation which the enemy countries ought to pay"; second, “On what they are capable of paying," and third, “On the method, form and time within which payment should.be made.” Of the commission to draft the complete League of Nations plan President Wilson and Colonel House were made the representatives of the United States. The other delegates to the Conference from the
United States were Secretary of State Lansing, Henry White and Gen. Tasker H. Bliss. Special advisers to the delegation in large numbers went over with them, including Admiral Benson, who was Naval Adviser. Admiral Benson had been active during the war as Chief of Naval Operations. Before we declared war he had been occupied in putting the Navy in a fit condition for war. In 1917 he was in London with Colonel House, attending important conferences, and in October, 1918, acted as an adviser in the preparation of the armistice terms.
Indications soon came to the surface that the assembled statesmen had somewhat definite opinions——that each group, in fact, had formed plans of its own. Naturally, all did not hold the same views; they had not formed the same plans. But it had always been the business of statesmen to reach international agreements through wellconsidered conciliation. Peace conferences notoriously had led to differences. Czar Alexander in 1815 was continually threatening to withdraw from the Congress of Vienna; he scolded the Emperor of Austria and as to Metternich demanded that he be reproved and curbed. The course of Castlereagh who represented England was often objected to, and some titled personages were glad when he went home, while upon Hardenberg, Stein, and Humboldt who came from Prussia, many dark glances were cast because of the arrogance shown in their demands for the annexation of the greater part of Saxony. Vials of wrath were continually poured upon the head of Talleyrand, but Talleyrand at last triumphed over all his associates.
It was recalled again that during the Conference in Paris, 1898, which was to end our war with Spain, the Spanish Commissioners at one time packed their trunks, declaring they would return to Madrid, but the United States soothed their agitation by agreeing to give Spain $20,000,000—not, however, in payment for the Philippines, but to oil the creaking machinery of the negotiations. Count Witte at Portsmouth, in 1905, after the Russo-Japanese War, knowing that Japan could not long continue the war, and that she must have peace, as a part of his tactics made the familiar threats of “I won't play," and thereby won such points for Russia that the final treaty was looked upon as a triumph for Russia rather than for Japan.
On February 14 President Wilson laid before a plenary session of the Conference the completed plan for the League of Nations, and on behalf of the Conference invited the fullest criticism of the work he had been so largely instrumental in devising. He read the draft of the constitution, over which he and his associate committeemen had worked for three weeks, and in submitting it to the session said it came with the unanimous indorsement of fourteen nations en
gaged in its compilation. He was followed by seven speakers, all collaborators in the task, and all pledging their Governments to earnest support of the undertaking. Mr. Wilson made the longest speech he had delivered since his arrival in France, being on his feet forty-five minutes. He confined himself to an elucidation of specific subjects, instead of entering into further arguments as to general principles, and left that night at 10 o'clock for Brest to sail next day for home, but soon to return, several thousand American soldiers going with him to America on the same ship, the George Washington. He carried with him the League plan which was regarded as the greatest triumph of his career and an epochal development in world history.
Another "lucky thirteen” had turned up for Mr. Wilson. The final touches of the draft of the constitution for the League were made on February 13. There were twenty-six articles in the League constitution, or twice thirteen. "Lucky thirteen” had long been running through Mr. Wilson's life. There are thirteen letters in his name; he landed in Brest to attend the Peace Conference on December 13; thirteen played an important part in the inaugural plans of 1913, thirteen Governors being in line in the procession to the Capitol, militias from thirteen States being represented, and thirteen educational institutions. The marriage of one of his daughters was the thirteenth such ceremony that had taken place in the White House, and the names of both bride and bridegroom contained thirteen letters. President Wilson had observed early in his life that thirteen even then had been his lucky number, pointing out several instances where the number had figured in what to him was an important event.
Late in February the world was horrified by news that three shots had been fired at Premier Clémenceau as he was leaving his home in the morning to attend a committee meeting. One of them entered a lung but within a few days he was able to be out, after much international anxiety. His own story of the attack as he told it afterward was as follows:
“Yesterday, when I was passing that spot in the corner of the Boule. vard Delessert, I remarked a strange silhouetted figure upon the pavement, showing that some one examining me attentively. The silhouette was that of a rather evil-looking man. I said to myself, “Hello, that fellow is up to no good.' This morning at the same spot I perceived the same silhouette and immediately thought, “Why, that's my friend of yesterday.' I hadn't time to continue the reflection, for the individual's arm was raised, revolver in hand, and he fired at the door of the automobile and hit the window. I didn't reflect that there were perhaps other bullets in the revolver, and as soon as the first shot