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following meeting. In any case, the protocol must be read out in full at the request of any Plenipotentiary.
XV. A committee shall be formed for drafting the resolutions adopted. This committee shall concern itself only with questions which have been decided. Its sole duty shall be to draw up the text of the decisions adopted and to present it for the approval of the Conference. It shall be composed of five members not forming part of the Plenipotentiary Delegates, and composed of one representative of the United States of America, one of the British Empire, one of France, one of Italy, and one of Japan.
The first General Session of the Peace Conference met at the Quai d'Orsay, on the 18th of January, and after the initial speech by President Poincar6 in which, speaking in the name of France, he formally convoked the Conference, President Wilson nominated Premier Clemenceau as President of the Conference. Mr. Lloyd George and Baron Sonnino seconded the nomination.
M. Clemenceau wasted little time in getting down to business, and after a few words of appreciation stated that the rules of procedure of the Conference would be distributed to all delegates through the Bureau. He then came rapidly to the program immediately before the Conference, and announced that the questions on the order of the day were, first: responsibility of the authors of the war; second: penalties for crimes committed during the war; third: international legislation in regard to labor.
The Powers were invited to send in memoranda with regard to any question or claim affecting any of them in particular. These memoranda were to be addressed to the Secretariat of the Conference, and the implication was already clear that Commissions would be brought into existence to deal with them.
Having hurriedly stated this method of routine, the President then announced that the order of the day for the next sitting would begin with the question of the Society of Nations and declared the Session closed, with a final request that all questions and expressions of opinion should be addressed to the Bureau.
The inaugural speech of President Poincare, the nomination of Clemenceau as president of the Conference, and M. Clemenceau's opening address to the Peace Conference will be found on pages 21-32.
The Session of January 25 was devoted to the question of the introduction of the League of Nations by President Wilson, Mr. Lloyd George, and M. Leon Bourgeois, the latter, as the Chairman of the French Commission on this subject, speaking for France.
The Conference accepted the proposals for the creation of the League of Nations in a three-fold resolution and appointed a Committee representative of the associated governments to work out the details of the Constitution and functions of the League.
The speeches delivered at this session by President Wilson, Mr. Lloyd George, Signor Orlando and M. Bourgeois, the conclusion of the debate and the resolution adopted on the League of Nations will be found on pages 32-42.
The third General Session was held on February 14, and was called to receive the report of the Commission on the League of Nations, of which President Wilson was Chairman. President Wilson's speech was delivered on this occasion, as in other instances, extemporaneously, excepting for the reading of the text of the Covenant. There was also a short speech by Lord Robert Cecil in explanation of some points, and a more lengthy speech by the Chairman of the French section of the Commission, M. Leon Bourgeois.
After these introductory speeches the President, M. Clemenceau, declared the document laid on the table of the Conference, and the meeting adjourned —not, however, without an inquiry from one member as to whether it would be placed before the Conference again for discussion at a later date, to which the President replied in the affirmative.
Meanwhile, the need of proceeding to the peace settlement itself upon lines commonly understood tends to make what was presented as a tentative document more and more like a final statement to which subsequent settlements must be adjusted. On the other hand, it is of great value to the special Commissions to have this constitution at hand in order to test up their work by it; and, reciprocally, it is of value to the proposed League of Nations itself that the Constitution should be presented in outline, and yet left subject to possible modification while being tested up by the subsequent practical business of negotiation.
The text of the original draft of the Covenant, as well as the speeches delivered at this session by the members of the Commission on the League of Nations, were printed in International Conciliation, March, 1919, Special Bulletin.
I. OPENING SESSION OF THE PEACE CONFERENCE
President Poincare's inaugural speech:
Gentlemen—France greets and welcomes you and thanks you for having unanimously chosen as the seat of your labors the city which, for over four years, the enemy has made his principal military objective and which the valor of the Allied armies has victoriously defended against unceasingly renewed offensives.
Allow me to see in your decision the homage of all the nations that you represent towards a country which, still more than any others, has endured the sufferings of war, of whichentireprovinces, transformed into vast battlefields, have been systematically wasted by the invader, and which has paid the heaviest tribute to death.
France has borne these enormous sacrifices without having incurred the slightest responsibility for the frightful cataclysm which has overwhelmed the universe, and at the moment when this cycle of horror is ending, all the Powers whose delegates are assembled here may acquit themselves of any share in the crime which has resulted in so unprecedented a disaster. What gives you authority to establish a peace of justice is the fact that none of the peoples of whom you are the de'egates has had any part in injustice. Humanity can place confidence in you because you are not among those who have outraged the rights of humanity.
There is no need of further information or for special inquiries into the origin of the drama which has just shaken the world. The truth, bathed in blood, has already escaped from the Imperial archives. The premeditated character of the trap is today clearly proved. In the hope of conquering, first, the hegemony of Eurcpe and next the mastery of the world, the Central Empires, bound together by a secret plot, found the most abominable pretexts for trying to crush Serbia and force their way to the East. At the same time they disowned the most solemn undertakings in order to crush Belgium and force their way into the heart of France. Thesfc are the two unforgetable outrages which opened the way to aggression. The combined efforts of Great Britain, France, and Russia broke themselves against that mad arrogance.
If, after long vicissitudes, those who wished to reign by the sword have perished by the sword, they have but themselves to blame; they have been destroyed by their own blindness. What could be more significant than the shameful bargains they attempted to offer to Great Britain and France at the end of July, 1914, when to Great Britain they suggested: "Allow us to attack France on land and we will not enter the Channel"; and when they instructed their Ambassador to say to France: "We will only accept a declaration of neutrality on your part if you surrender to us Briey, Toul, and Verdun"? It is in the light of these memories, gentlemen, that all the conclusions you will have to draw from the war will take shape.