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British Delegation: Peace Conference Meeting Minutes

When the Allied powers arrived in Paris in January 1919, the first item on the agenda was the number of representatives allocated to each country. While all agreed that the five Great Powers (France, Britain, USA, Italy and Japan) should have the most representatives, the question of the overseas colonies were contested. David Lloyd George PM firmly believed that Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand should all be represented, based on their ‘enormous assistance which they rendered in men and material to the Allied Cause.' As these meeting minutes demonstrate, President Woodrow Wilson believed that these Dominions should be represented by the British delegation. In the end, a compromise was reached. Canada, South Africa, Australia and India all sent two representatives to meetings, while New Zealand sent one. However, the Dominions could not vote, instead, the British vote was seen to represent them.