This introductory chapter discusses the importance of studying the planning phase in order to understand better British actions at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. It suggests that though a third of the period between the armistice and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles was occupied solely with preparations, the histories of the peace settlement have neglected it because of a lack of information. It highlights the Foreign Office's creation of the Political Intelligence Department (PID) to coordinate and synthesize the materials that were to be used by British officials in the post-war negotiating table.
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