Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson

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Author: Woodrow Wilson

ADDRESS TO PEACE CONFERENCE. January 18, 1919

First Formal Session of Allied and Associated Nations, Paris, France, Proposing the Permanent Chairman of the Conference. qqq

[At First Formal Session of Allied and Associated Nations, Paris, France, January 18, 1919, Proposing Premier Georges Clemenceau of France as the Permanent Chairman of the Conference.]

Mr. Chairman-It gives me great pleasure to propose as permanent chairman of the conference M. Clemenceau, the President of the council.

I would do this as a matter of custom. I would do this as a tribute to the French Republic. But I wish to do it as something more than that. I wish to do it as a tribute to the man.

France deserves the precedence not only because we are meeting at her capital, and because she has undergone some of the most tragical suffering of the war, but also because her capital, her ancient and beautiful capital, has so often been the centre of conferences of this sort on which the fortunes of large parts of the world turned.

It is a very delightful thought that the history of the world, which has so often centred here, will now be crowned by the achievements of this conference-because there is a sense in which this is the supreme conference of the history of, mankind.

More nations are represented here than were ever represented in such a conference before. The fortunes of all peoples are involved. A great war is ended, which seemed about to bring a universal cataclysm. The danger is passed. A victory has been won for mankind, and it is delightful that we should be able to record these great results in this place.

But it is more delightful to honor France because we can honor her in the person of so distinguished a servant. We have all felt in our participation in the struggles of this war the fine steadfastness which characterized the leadership of the French in the hands of M. Clemenceau. We have learned to admire him, and those of us who have been associated with him have acquired a genuine affection for him.

Moreover, those of us who have been in these recent days in constant consultation with him know how warmly his purpose is set toward the goal of achievement to which all our faces are turned. He feels as we feel, as I have no doubt everybody in this room feels, that we are trusted to do a great thing, to do it in the highest spirit of friendship and accommodation, and to do it as promptly as possible in order that the hearts of men may have fear lifted from them, and that they may return to those purposes of life which will bring them happiness and contentment and prosperity.

Knowing his brotherhood of heart in these great matters, it affords me a personal pleasure to propose that M. Clemenceau shall be the permanent Chairman of this conference.

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Chicago: Woodrow Wilson, "ADDRESS TO PEACE CONFERENCE. January 18, 1919 First Formal Session of Allied and Associated Nations, Paris, France, Proposing the Permanent Chairman of the Conference. qqq," Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, ed. and trans. James D. Richardson in Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson Original Sources, accessed April 20, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9YKCTZLGMFFED8.

MLA: Wilson, Woodrow. "ADDRESS TO PEACE CONFERENCE. January 18, 1919 First Formal Session of Allied and Associated Nations, Paris, France, Proposing the Permanent Chairman of the Conference. qqq." Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, edited and translated by James D. Richardson, in Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, Original Sources. 20 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9YKCTZLGMFFED8.

Harvard: Wilson, W, 'ADDRESS TO PEACE CONFERENCE. January 18, 1919 First Formal Session of Allied and Associated Nations, Paris, France, Proposing the Permanent Chairman of the Conference. qqq' in Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, ed. and trans. . cited in , Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Woodrow Wilson. Original Sources, retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9YKCTZLGMFFED8.