Tasker Bliss letter to Nellie Bliss
April 28, 1919
 
Source:  Bliss, Personal Correspondence, Box 244, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
 
Brown Divider Bar
 
My last letter told you that before it reached you, you would know whether a smash-up would occur in the Peace Conference. You now know all about the withdrawal of the Italians. Mr. Orlando has gone back to Italy and is scheduled to address the Parliament in Rome. It is to be hoped that he will now try to calm the Italian mind and bring them to reason. Like the French, they have gone mad on militarism and conquest. But I fear that Mr. Orlando will find that having let the Devil loose it is going to be a hard matter to chain him up again.

The next thing to find out is Japan's attitude. Their head delegate, Chinda, says that if we do not recognize all her rights of conquest in China, she will refuse to sign the treaty and decline to enter the League of Nations. This makes some of us afraid that some concession will be made to Japan that will be irreconcilable with our attitude towards the Italian claims. My advice is let them both go, if they want to go. It is time to clear the air - to draw a line on one side of which will stand the robbers and on the other side the honest men.

Last week Mde Jusserrand came to ask me, in the name of her husband to go with a party on a special train given by the French government, to visit the devastated area. We left at 11 P.M. Saturday night (Apr. 26) and came back at 10 P.M. last night. I send you herewith everything that they gave us to illustrate the trip. It was interesting to note how grudgingly the French members of the party admitted that all of the destruction at Lens was done by the British Army, which also did a good deal of damage elsewhere.

We are going to have a session of the Peace Conference (Plenary Session) at 3 P.M. today. I hope that we may then have at least a partial "show-down" of the Japanese position.

 
 

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