Learning Curve, The Great War
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Transcript: Source5
Foreign Office report on reactions in the USA to the Treaty, 29 July 1919
(Catalogue ref: FO 608/175)


French public opinion seems to be somewhat uneasy at the opposition which is being shown by the American Senate to the Treaty of Versailles, and more than ever inclined to appreciate the prompt action of the British Parliament in the matter.

Monsieur Saint Brice, who writes on foreign affairs for the "Journal" comments on the difference between the executive powers of European Parliaments and those of the Senate of America, where an opposition of one-third of the members suffice to nullify a treaty, and where the Senate has moreover the right to modify the texts submitted for its approval. He quotes as an example what happened to the first Hay-Pauncefort Treaty of 1900.

While it is hardly conceivable, continues Monsieur Saint Brice, that any spirit of party or internal rivalry should outweigh the importance of the mighty international problems settled at Versailles, and while it is impossible to believe, until the contrary be proved, that America is prepared alone to assume the responsibility of making such an incredible muddle of things, he expresses the opinion that it is nevertheless desirable that the European Powers, if they do not wish to see their signatures dishonoured by the American Senate, should watch what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic.

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