Primary Documents - Sidney Sonnino's Opening Address at the Paris Peace Conference, 18 January 1919

Italian Prime Minister Sidney Sonnino With Germany's decision to seek an armistice - or face domestic as well as military collapse - arrangements were set in place to convene a peace conference in Paris; the city was unanimously selected by the Allied powers.

The conference began somewhat belatedly in mid-January with opening addresses from many of the key Allies.

Reproduced below is Italian Prime Minister Sidney Sonnino's opening address.

Click here to read the welcoming address given to delegates by French President Raymond Poincare; click here to read the opening address by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson; click here to read British Prime Minister David Lloyd George's address; click here to read French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau's address.  Click here to read an account of the run up to the opening session by the official British observer Sisley Huddleston.

Click here to read the text of the eventual peace treaty.

Sidney Sonnino's Opening Address Seconding Woodrow Wilson's Nomination of Georges Clemenceau as Conference President, 18 January 1919

Gentlemen, on behalf of the Italian Delegation, I associate myself cordially with the proposal of President Wilson, supported by Mr. Lloyd George, and I ask you to give the presidency of the Peace Conference to M. Clemenceau.

I am happy to be able in these circumstances to testify to my good will and admiration for France and for the eminent statesman who is at the head of her Government.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VII, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

A 'Tracer' was a phosphorescent machine-gun bullet which glowed in flight, indicating course as an aid to artillery.

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Primary Docs