Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference

Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference

Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference

Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference

Excerpt

Diplomacy as art and science -- The element of confusion -- The old diplomacy and the new -- Scope and purpose of this book -- Questions which it leaves unanswered -- The Coming of Peace -- November 11, 1918 -- The pre-armistice agreements -- President Wilson's Notes of October 23 and November 5 -- Was there a breach of contract? -- The 'Pactum de contrahendo' -- Colonel House's 'Interpretation' -- How the pre-armistice agreements were viewed at the time -- The Coupon election and Mr. Lloyd George's 'pledges' -- Nature of thes pledges -- Public hysteria -- The charge of ignorance -- Actual nature of preparatory labours -- The British preparations -- Colonel House's 'Inquiry' -- The American Mission to negotiate peace -- French preparations -- Lack of co-ordination.

OF all branches of human endeavour, diplomacy is the most protean. The historian and the jurist, relying upon the protocol and the procès verbal, may seek to confine its lineaments within the strict outlines of a science. The essayist may hope to capture its colours in the vignettes of an art. The experts -- and there have been many experts from Callières to Jusserand, from Machiavelli to Jules Cambon -- may endeavour to record their own experience in manuals for the guidance of those that come after. The journalist may give to the picture the flashes and interpretation of the picturesque. Yet always there is some element in such accounts which escapes reality, always there is some aspect which refuses to be recorded or defined.

This uncertainty of treatment arises from diverse causes. There is in the first place the discrepancy be-

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