The Papers of Woodrow Wilson by Arthur Link, Princeton University Press, 1989, include a report of the Paris Peace Conference. The Peace Conference had started in January of 1919 and conducted its business in the form of the “Council of Ten”, attempting to agree on the terms of peace with Germany and Austria. Progress was very slow. Consequently, upon a suggestion by Woodrow Wilson, the “Council of Ten” agreed on March 24 that only the heads of state of the most important allies should meet as the “Council of Four”, officially named the “Supreme Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers”. This council included:

Woodrow Wilson

Lloyd George




Sir Maurice Hankey

Count Aldrovandi


Professor P. J. Mantoux


C. F. Swan

Since Clémenceau was fluent in English, most of the discussions were in English. For reasons of confidentiality, the meetings began without a secretary and without official minutes. However, on April 19, Orlando began to bring along a secretary to keep notes (Count Aldrovandi Marescotti). The next day, on April 20, Sir Maurice Hankey (later Lord Hankey) was established as the official secretary of the Council.

Hankey did not know shorthand and produced minutes for all meetings after April 20, 1919. He had his notes transcribed every evening by a secretary. Mantoux was present as an interpreter and produced notes for all meetings but two, which he did not attend. He also had his notes transcribed every evening by a secretary. It is important to note that Mantoux did not know shorthand. However, he was said to possess a “photographic” memory. His preferred reporting style was the verbatim recording of what was said by each participant throughout the long days of meetings. This leads one to believe that he either did not report all that was said or recomposed speeches in the Thucydides manner. Consequently, and on account of the different interests and focus of the two reporters, there are interesting and sometimes significant differences between the two sets of records.

For reasons that are not explained and could not be understood, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson use Mantoux notes for the reporting on some of the meetings and Hankey notes for most others. They completely miss two meetings, possibly not attended by Mantoux – namely, those on June 4 at 11:00 a.m. and June 5 at 11:00 at a.m.