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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919

The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919,   pp. [V]-917 ff. PDF (305.7 MB)

Page 5

The economy which Great Britain would achieve by this plan would
have amounted to 10 divisions of infantry and 4 divisions of cavalry.
The plan of the Military Representatives had been placed on the
Agenda Paper of the Conference, but at Lord Milner's request the
subject had been adjourned and had never been discussed.
About this time a conversation had taken place between M.
Clemenceau and M. Pichon and Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Balfour,
as a result of which Sir Maurice Hankey had handed M. Pichon a
map containing a British counter proposal to the French proposal
of February 15. This scheme provided for a great limitation of the
territory to come under French influence, both on the east and on
the south as regards the Jebel Druse. The French Government was
quite unable to take this project into consideration. Recently Lord
Milner had left a map with M. Clemenceau containing yet another
project, which M. Pichon proceeded to explain, and which, he added,
greatly circumscribed the French area. It was evident that the
French Government could not look at this scheme either, even though
they had the greatest desire to reach an agreement. No one felt
more deeply than he what Great Britain and France owed to each
other, and no one had a greater desire to reach an agreement. It
was, however, quite impossible to accept a proposal such as that put
forward by Lord Milner. It would be absolutely indefensible in the
Chamber. It was enough for the Chamber to know that the Govern-
ment were in negotiation with Great Britain for the handing over
of Mosul to create a movement that had resulted in a proposal in
the Budget Committee for a diminution of credits for Syria. This
had not been a mere budget trick, but represented a real movement
of public opinion. French opinion would not admit that France
could be even partly excluded after the sacrifices she had made in
the War, even if she had not been able to play a great part in the
Syrian campaign. In consequence, the minimum that France could
accept was what had been put forward in the French Government's
Note to Mr. Lloyd George, the object of which had been to give
satisfaction to his desire for the inclusion of Mosul in the British
MR. LOYD GEORGE said that M. Pichon had opened as though the
question of the mandate for Syria was one between Great Britain
and France. There was, in fact, no such question so far as Great
Britain was concerned. He wished to say at once that just as we
had disinterested ourselves in 1912, so we now disinterested ourselves
in 1919. If the Conference asked us to take Syria, we should reply
in the negative. The British Government had definitely decided this
because otherwise it would be said afterwards in France that they
had created disturbances in order to keep the French out. Hence, the
British Government definitely intended to have nothing to do with

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