The Truth about the Peace Treaties - Vol. 1

By David Lloyd George | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
THE PRESENTATION OF THE TREATY

THE Meeting with the German delegates took place at the Trianon Hôtel at Versailles, where the Allied Supreme Council had held its anxious meetings less than a year ago to the continuous sound of the throb and thud of the German guns at Château Thierry. The camouflage, which had given the lakes in the adjoining park the appearance of green meadows in order to mislead the German aeroplanes, had not yet been removed. The men who ruled Germany then had now either fled the country or were in retirement, dethroned and discredited. The German delegation which confronted us to-day was drawn from amongst the German workers who had no previous experience in Government. Every opportunity to acquire that experience had been denied them by the old régime. There was one exception -- the head of the delegation, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau. He was a civilian who belonged to the official classes. But none of them had the haughtiness of demeanour which characterised the men of the ancient régime. This first meeting between victor and vanquished offered the latter an excellent opportunity for softening the stern mood that still possessed the Allies without any grovelling inconsistent with the pride of a great people.

The setting and the Delegates

An unfortunate incident, however, which occurred in the delivery of the German reply, gave us the impression that Brockdorff-Rantzau not only belonged

BrockdorffRantzau's apparent rudeness

-675-

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