University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History > British Intelligence and the 1916 Mediation Mission of Colonel Edward House

British Intelligence and the 1916 Mediation Mission of Colonel Edward House

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In early 1916, American President Woodrow Wilson dispatched across the Atlantic his close personal confidant, Colonel Edward House, in a bid to bring the Great War to a close. House successfully negotiated a secret pact with Great Britain known as the House-Grey Memorandum, that, if it had been activated, would have ultimately led to the convening of a peace conference under the auspices of American mediation. As House did so, however, the head of British naval intelligence, Captain Reginald Hall, who had a history of misusing intelligence to serve his own political ends, was working hard to uncover House’s intentions and obtained decrypts of his telegrams. This paper will examine the British response to the House-Grey Memorandum and identifies the role that Hall may have played in the ultimate decision not to activate the agreement.

This talk is part of the Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History series.

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