THE DARKEST HOURS OF THE PEACE CONFER-
ENCE: THE PRESIDENT UNDER FIERCE ATTACK:
HE ISSUES A STATEMENT GIVING REASONS FOR
THE DELAY IN THE NEGOTIATIONS
IT WAS in the month following his return from America on March 14th that the President had his fiercest ordeal. This was the darkest hour of the entire Peace Conference, when a break-up seemed most imminent. It was in this month that the President, worn out with the strain of the conflict and by the unremitting attacks upon him, fell ill--the forerunner of the later breakdown in America. And it was in this month, his patience utterly worn out, that he finally ordered the George Washington to sail immediately from New York, and American withdrawal from the Conference became one of the generally considered possibilities.
In the latter half of March the conditions throughout Europe reached the lowest ebb of