Tasker Howard Bliss to Henry P. McCain
Washington, DC November 3rd, 1918.10.19 P.M.25 CO
From VersaillesTo The Adjutant General4 T.H.B. Secret
For Secretary of War
Your N D B One received. In accordance with March's 96 I reported to Colonel House and under my understanding of his instructions I ceased making reports except as to the Purely military questions. The Armistices that have been and are under discussion should be purely military questions but they are not. They should in my judgment contain nothing but the military conditions which the associated powers believe will make it perfectly safe for themselves to cease hostilities without fear of their resumption while these powers confer on the terms of Peace. The powers can then safely allow their differences to be known and can discuss and adjust them without danger of resumption of war. The difficulty is to avoid writing approximate Peace Terms in the Armistice. Mr.Clemenceau claimed in conference yesterday that if some concessions were not made on this point it meant the downfall of his Government. He did not use those (words) in the open conference but his meaning was clear. The Council accepted Marshal Foch's conditions for Armistice with Germany on land but did not agree about naval Armistice. Mr. Lloyd George secured postponement of action till Monday saying that if Austria accepts Armistice proposed to her the British and French demand in the Armistice for delivery of German naval ships to Allies will be much more severe. From personal interview and their statements in open Council I think that Mr. Balfour, Mr. Bonar Law, Lords Reading and Milner are of opinion that the Armistice should be military and other terms left to Peace conference. Marshal Foch has proposed plans for the occupation of positions in Austria threatening Munich and Bavaria. Understand that it will be considered by the Council tomorrow. This plan is also intended to put Allies in position to meet possible revolution in Austria. In view of its possible political bearing and its possible use of the American regiments now in Italy I shall ask Mr. House to cable it as soon as it is presented.