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thought ought to go into the Treaty. He answered that he did not care to discuss them at that time, which, as he was about to depart from Paris, meant that everything must rest until he had returned from his visit to Washington.

Since I was the head of the American Commission when the President was absent and became the spokesman for the United States on the Council of Ten, this refusal to disclose his views even in a general way placed me in a very awkward position. Without instructions and without knowledge of the President's wishes or purposes the conduct of the negotiations was difficult and progress toward actual settlements practically impossible. As a matter of fact the Council did accomplish a great amount of work, while the President was away, in the collection of data and preparing questions for final settlement. But so far as deciding questions was concerned, which ought to have been the principal duty of the Council of Ten, it simply “marked time," as I had no power to decide or even to express an authoritative opinion on any subject. It showed very clearly that the President intended to do everything himself and to allow no one to act for him unless it was upon some highly technical matter. All actual decisions in regard to the terms of peace which involved policy were thus forced to await his time and pleasure.

Even after Mr. Wilson returned to Paris and resumed his place as head of the American delegation he was apparently without a programme. On March 20, six days after his return, I made a note that “the President, so far as I can judge, has yet no definite programme,” and that I was unable to “find that he has talked over a plan of a treaty even with Colonel House.” It is needless to quote the thoughts, which I recorded at the time, in regard to the method in which the President was handling a great international negotiation, a method as unusual as it was unwise. I referred to Colonel House's lack of information concerning the President's purposes because he was then and had been from the beginning on more intimate terms with the President than any other American. If he did not know the President's mind, it was safe to assume that no one knew it.

I had, as has been stated, expressed to Mr. Wilson my views as to what the procedure should be and had obtained no action. With the responsibility resting on him for the conduct and success of the negotiations and with his constitutional authority to exercise his own judgment in regard to every matter pertaining to the treaty, there was nothing further to be done in relieving the situation of the American Commissioners from embarrassment or in inducing the President to adopt a better course than the haphazard one that he was pursuing.

It is apparent that we differed radically as to the necessity for a clearly defined programme and equally so as to the advantages to be gained by having a draft-treaty made or a full statement prepared embodying the provisions to be sought by the United States in the negotiations. I did not attempt to hide my disapproval of the vagueness and uncertainty of the President's method, and there is no doubt in my own mind that Mr. Wilson was fully cognizant of my opinion. How far this lack of system in the work of the Commission and the failure to provide a plan for a treaty affected the results written into the Treaty of Versailles is speculative, but my belief is that they impaired in many particulars the character of the settlements by frequent abandonment of principle for the sake of expediency.

The want of a programme or even of an unwritten plan as to the negotiations was further evidenced by the fact that the President, certainly as late as March 19, had not made up his mind whether the treaty which was being negotiated should be preliminary or final. He had up to that time the peculiar idea that a preliminary treaty was in the nature of a modus vivendi which could be entered into independently by the Executive and which would restore peace without going through the formalities of senatorial consent to ratification.

The purpose of Mr. Wilson, so far as one could judge, was to include in a preliminary treaty of the sort that he intended to negotiate, the entire Covenant of the League of Nations and other principal settlements, binding the signatories to repeat these provisions in the final and definitive treaty when that was later negotiated. By this method peace would be at once restored, the United States and other nations associated with it in the war would be obligated to renew diplomatic and consular rela


tions with Germany, and commercial intercourse would follow as a matter of course. All this was to be done without going through the American constitutional process of obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate to the Covenant and to the principal settlements. The intent seemed to be to respond to the popular demand for an immediate peace and at the same time to checkmate the opponents of the Covenant in the Senate by having the League of Nations organized and functioning before the definitive treaty was laid before that body.

When the President advanced this extraordinary theory of the nature of a preliminary treaty during a conversation, of which I made a full memorandum, I told him that it was entirely wrong, that by whatever name the document was called, whether it was “armistice,” “ agreement,” “protocol,” or “modus,” it would be a treaty and would have to be sent by him to the Senate for its approval. I said, “If we change the status from war to peace, it has to be by a ratified treaty. There is no other way save by a joint resolution of Congress.” At this statement the President was evidently much perturbed. He did not accept it as conclusive, for he asked me to obtain the opinion of others on the subject. He was evidently loath to abandon the plan that he had presumably worked out as a means of preventing the Senate from rejecting or modifying the Covenant before it came into actual operation. It seems almost needless to say that all the legal experts, among them Thomas W. Gregory, the retiring Attorney

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General of the United States, who chanced to be in Paris at the time, agreed with my opinion, and upon being so informed the President abandoned his purpose.

It is probable that the conviction, which was forced upon Mr. Wilson, that he could not independently of the Senate put into operation a preliminary treaty, determined him to abandon that type of treaty and to proceed with the negotiation of a definitive one. At least I had by March 30 reached the conclusion that there would be no preliminary treaty as is disclosed by the following memorandum written on that day:

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"I am sure now that there will be no preliminary treaty of peace, but that the treaty will be complete and definitive. This is a serious mistake. Time should be given for passions to cool. The operations of a preliminary treaty should be tested and studied. It would hasten a restoration of peace. Certainly this is the wise course as to territorial settlements and the financial and economic burdens to be imposed upon Germany. The same comment applies to the organization of a League of Nations. Unfortunately the President insists on a full-blown Covenant and not a declaration of principles. This has much to do with preventing a preliminary treaty, since he wishes to make the League an agent for enforcement of definite terms.

“When the President departed for the United States in February, I assumed and I am certain that he had in mind that there would be a preliminary treaty. With that in view I drafted at the time a memorandum setting forth what the preliminary treaty of peace should contain. Here are the subjects I then set down:

“I. Restoration of Peace and official relations.

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