House-Grey Memorandum

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HOUSE-GREY MEMORANDUM. In 1916, as U.S. relations with both Germany and Great Britain became more tense, President Woodrow Wilson sought to mediate an end to the conflict in Europe. The first effort was the House-Grey Memorandum negotiated by Wilson's trusted adviser, Colonel Edward M. House, and the British foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey. The memorandum, issued on 22 February 1916, called for the United States to invite the warring powers to a peace conference, and if the Allied Powers accepted and the Central Powers rejected this invitation, the United States "would probably enter the war against Germany." Nothing came of this initial effort. Wilson toned down the guarantee of American physical force, while the belligerents still had hopes of victory.


Williams, Joyce G. Colonel House and Sir Edward Grey: A Study in Anglo-American Diplomacy. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1984.

Charles M.Dobbs