Institutional Characteristics of the Supreme War Council
THE Supreme War Council was pre-eminently a political organization designed to concert inter-Allied strategy. Since it brought together the most important political and military leaders of the Allied and Associated Powers, it provided an unusual opportunity to resolve issues which required joint consultation.1 Hastily organized and hurriedly put to work, the Council developed its procedures under the impact of the great events of 1918. It was a unique institution designed to cope with the unprecedented problems of cooperation which challenged the Western coalition during the decisive phase of the war.2
The Council met eight times during the last year of the war at intervals of approximately a month.3 Only heads of government or their deputies and one other representative from each country sat on the Council, although the military representatives and other important soldiers and statesmen often attended and participated in debate.4 Ordinarily Prime Minister Lloyd George and Secretary of State for War Lord Milner represented Britain. Premier Clemenceau and Foreign Minister Stephen Pichon sat for France.