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Allied War Commissions to the United States

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ALLIED WAR COMMISSIONS TO THE UNITED STATES. Beginning in April 1917, a succession of conferences took place in the United States, the main objects of which were to co-ordinate the efforts of the Entente Allies and of the United States and to discuss the conduct of the war in Europe. The chief commissioners entrusted by their re spective governments with such important du ties were men of high distinction and ability; the conferences at Washington were supple mented by visits to many other cities; every where the commissioners were received with cordial demonstrations of enthusiasm; during the long voyages and land journeys no serious mishap occurred; and, finally, the results at tained were pronounced both satisfactory in their immediate effect and of far-reaching importance for the future.

The first commissions to reach the United States were those from. Great Britain and France. The British mission was composed of the Rt. Hon. Arthur James Balfour, foreign minister; Sir Eric Drummond; Ian Malcom, member of Parliament; C. F. Dormer and G. Butler, personal staff; Rear-Admiral Sir Dudley R. S. de Chair; Fleet Paymaster Vincent Law fort ; Major-General Bridges ; Capt. H. H. Spen der-Clay and Lord Cunliffe, governor of the Bank of England. In addition to the foregoing, James H. Thomas and Charles W. Bowerman, members of the House of Commons, were selected by Premier Lloyd-George to explain in detail the measures taken in Great Britain to solidify the labor resources. The personnel of the French mission was announced 18 April as follows: M. Viviani (Rene Viviani), former premier and minister of justice; Marshal Joffre; Vice-Admiral Chocheprat; Marquis de Cham brun, member of the Chamber of Deputies. Attached to the French mission were: M. Si mon, inspector of finances; M. Hovelacque, in spector-general of public instruction. Members of Marshal Joffre's staff were: Lieutenant Colonel Fabry, Lieutenant-Colonel Remond, Commandant Requin, Lieutenant de Tessan and Major Dreyfus. The British commissioners left England 11 April on a fast cruiser; arrived at Halifax 20 April; at the Canadian town of McAdams were welcomed by the American reception committee, headed by Sec retary of State Long, Rear-Admiral Fletcher and Major-General Wood; and on 22 April arrived in Washington. The French mission crossed on a steamship of the French Line which was convoyed across the Atlantic. The safe arrival of the commissioners was an nounced 24 April. A permanent technical French commission to the United States which arrived in Washington 16 May had as its chief Capt. Andre Tardieu, French deputy and publi cist, and its membership included several of the most eminent scholars of France. Six members of the Italian war commission reached New York 9 May, the other members arriving later in the month. The Italian envoys were: Prince Ferdinand of Savoy (Prince of Udine, cousin of King Victor Emmanuel) ; Senator Guglielmo Marconi inventor of wireless telegraphy; Mar quis Luigi Borsarelli di Rio Freddo, under sec retary of foreign affairs; Deputy Ciufelli, mem ber of the Council of State and former min ister of public instruction; Deputy Nitti, former minister of agriculture; Enrico Arlotta, finan cier and minister of maritime and railway trans portation in the Italian cabinet; General Gughe motti, representing the army; Commander Vannutelh, representing the navy; Aloise Bra gadoni, of the transportation department; Cavalier G. Pardo, of the department of in dustry and commerce; and Cavalier G. Pietra, of the agricultural department. The departure of the French envoys was kept secret. They sailed from New York 15 May on the same steamer which brought them over; were con voyed by a French warship and reached Brest 23 May. The British envoys, after six weeks of conferences, crossed into Canada 25 May; and on 11 June Lord Northcliffe arrived in the United States, having been appointed as Mr.

Balfour's successor in the American phase of war measures initiated by the British mission. On 16 June the Belgian war commission ar rived. Its members were: Bason Moncheur, formerly Belgian minister to Washington; Maj.-Gen. Mathieu G. A. Leclerq; Count Louis D'Ursel; Maj. Leon Osterrieth, formerly mili tary attache of the Belgian legation at Petro grad; and Hector Carher, a bank expert of international reputation. When greeting this mission, 18 June, President Wilson expressed America's *solemn determination that on the inevitable day of victory Belgium shall be restored to the place she has so richly won among the self-respecting and respected nations of the earth.° On 19 June the Russian mission reached Washington. The members of this special embassy, in the order of their rank, were: Ambassador Boris A. Bakhmetieff ; Lieutenant-General Roop, representative of the Russian army; Professor Lomonosoff, member of the Council of Engineers and representative of the ministry; Professor Borodine, represen tative of the ministry of agriculture; M. No-. vitzky, representative of the ministry of fi nance; M. Soukine, first secretary of legation, ministry of foreign affairs; Captain Dubassoff of the guard, aide-de-camp; and Captain Less than one month afterward the Japanese commission reached the Pacific coast of•the United States. The chief envoy was Viscount Kikujiro Ishii, formerly the foreign minister of the Japanese empire. Other members of the commission were : Vice-Admiral Isam Take shita, formerly naval attaché of the Japanese embassy at Washington; Maj.-Gen. Shoichi Sugano; Matsuzo Nagai, secretary to the for eign department; Capt. Shokyo Ando; Maj. Seiji Tamakawa and Tadanao Imai, the sec retary. Viscount Ishii's first formal and com prehensive statement concluded with the words : •Let us see together with a clearer vision the pitfalls dug by a cunning enemy in our path; let us [the United States and Japan] together fix our eyes upon the star of principle which shall lead us together most surely to a participation in the triumph of the right, to a certain victory in the greatest and, let us hope, the last great war in human history. And when that victory shall have been won, let us together help in the upbuilding of a new world, which shall rise, fair and strong and beautiful, from the ashes of .the old." With the arrival of the Japanese commission in Washington, 22 August, and its subsequent visits to New York and other cities of the eastern seaboard, the series of conferences which we are recording reached the point at «hirh int, al gains in the international arrangements for o-ordination of the efforts of the principal Entente Allies may be .noted. The measures actually adopted or tentative' decided upon included: The grant ing of huge loans to the Allies; the sending of troops of the United States (in the first in stance a with a regiment of marines and nine regiments of engineers, under command of Major-General Pershing) for in France ; adherence to and full co operation ,% ith the British blockade system; the expediting of the American ship-building pro gram, and the turning over of seized German ships to France, Italy and Russia ; the provision made for a system of joint food-control with the Allies the diplomatic arrangements for the granting to the Allies of preferential treatment in commerce and for harmonious action in many specified matters of international im portance, including ultimately policies and de velopments relating to the Pacific as well as to the Atlantic summer and autumn of 1917 the es also received visits from the neutral na tions, Norway, Switzerland, Holland, as well as those representing belligerent nations identi fied with the cause of the Entente Allies, rather as participants than as leaders. In January 1918 the Serbian commission visited Washing ton and other cities, and was well received.