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Remembered Today:

The Treaty of Versailles - who printed it?

Neil Mackenzie

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Findley Parminter McLeod was the relative of a friend of mine. He was a compositor and was evidently sent to France in January 1919 aged 62.

The endorsements on his passport (see the pictures) show he was on 'Government service' and 'proceeding to the Peace Conference' where he was to stay 'until recalled by the Government'.

His first passport endorsement on 17 January 1919 is the day before the Conference started and the last endorsement seems to suggest he left France at the end of June (hard to read the exact date) when the Treaty was signed. So everything ties up date wise.

The family believe he was involved in the actual printing of the Treaty of Versailles but a group picture suggests he was with the British Delegation press.

So a few questions:

 - was the Treaty printed in multiple languages (if so I assume that English would be one such language)?

 - what was the role of the British Delegation press and would they have been directly involved in printing the actual Treaty?

 - does anyone have any information on Findley - I cannot find him on the 1911 census?


Many thanks










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The Treaty was published in English and French.  The language used in the protocols was the subject of some conflict and debate as to process set out at the beginning of Treaty 'negotiations".

The publication of the English Version, or a least a facsimile, was attributed to HMSO.

Margaret Macmillan notes that, "on Sunday May 4 1919 the Council of Four, after dictating some last minute changes, gave orders that the German treaty should go to the printers." (Paris 1919)

They were handed to the Germans on May 7th.  The process is not defined.

Macmillan also discusses the fractured relationship between the delegates and the the hundreds of journalists who descended upon Paris. There was a concern on one hand for secrecy and on the other for what we would noew call 'public interest'.  It appears the press were briefed but kept at arm's length.


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Thanks Ken.

This is the British Delegation Press photograph - I am not sure which one is Findley.



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19 hours ago, Neil Mackenzie said:

 - does anyone have any information on Findley - I cannot find him on the 1911 census?

I can't either but  have found the following:-

The 1939 Register shows he was born on the 7th January 1856 (as per the passport). A printer (retired) living at 83 South Street Exeter.

Daughter Annie Mcleod b.14.11.1891 also at the address

They appear to be living with Charles Callaway, presumably the brother of his late wife Kitty (Kate) Callaway.

In 1901 he was living at 20 Tilia Road Hackney with his wife K.E (b.1861) and three children William H McLeod; Angus; Annica and Nellie

He and his wife born in Exeter and all the children in London.

The Probate Register shows Kate Edith Mcleod of 28 Rectory Road Walthamstow Essex (wife of Findlay Parminter McLeod died on 9th February 1938 Administration to Findlay Parminter McLeod  retired compositor.

Effects £138 17s.3d

Findley died in 1950 his obituary in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette March 3 1950 (courtesy of BNA) does not mention Versailles

Screenshot 2023-05-26 at 11.48.53.png

Don't know how much of this you already have.

13 hours ago, Neil Mackenzie said:

There is a summary of the British Empire delegation on this webpage

I see printers are mentioned under security staff and other occupations.  There does appear to have been great need for printers during the toing and frying in the months of negotiations.



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Many thanks again Ken.



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