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Germany signs Treaty of Versailles, war is over

VERSAILLES, June 28, 1919 (UP) - The greatest war in history formally ended today with the signing of the Peace Treaty.

The ceremony took place in the historic palace of Versailles, proceeding with clock-like regularity.

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The German delegates, Foreign Minister Mueller and Colonial Minister Bell, were ushered into the Hall of Mirrors at 3:08 o'clock. Premier Clemenceau immediately opened the meeting by assuring the Germans the treaty text was identical with the one presented to them.

Mueller was the first to sign. Placing his signature on the document at 3:12 p.m. Bell followed him.

President Wilson, the first of the allied delegates to sign, wrote his name on the treaty at 3:14. Premier Lloyd George signed two minutes later.

The Chinese delegates were not present. They were reported to have sent to Peking for instructions.

General Smuts, representing South Africa, signed under protest, issuing a statement setting forth his objections to the treaty.

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The signing was by delegations, in the following order:

Germans, Americans, British (including colonials), French, Italians, Japanese, and smaller nations.

Cllemenceau declared the proceedings closed at 3:50 p.m., the entire ceremony occupying 41 minutes.

"The conditions of peace are now an accomplished fact; the proceedings are closed," Clemenceau said.

The allied delegates remained seated as the Germans departed, at 3:52 p.m.

Dr. Mueller ordered a special train to be ready to start for Berlin at 9 p.m.

The program was changed today so the Germans could sign earlier than under the original schedule, which provide for start of the ceremony at 3 p.m.

The protocol of the Rhine convention was signed by the delegates at their own seats.

Next all documents were taken to the center table, where the other delegates affixed their signatures.

Two white quill pens and three amber-handled gold pens lay on the main signing table. Quill pens were on two smaller tables nearby and two gold pens and ivory paper cutters were at each delegate's place.

The pen with which Clemenceau signed was presented by the people of Alsace-Lorraine. It was gold-plated bronze, ending in an arrowhead. In the center were two medallions, one bearing the image of a poilu in a field uniform and equipment, the other the image of an Alsatian church tower.

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As the allied peace delegates descended the terrace at the conclusion, they were showered with flowers. Many of the spectators wept with emotion.

A portion of the crowd swept over the police barriers and for a moment the delegates were imprisoned by shouting, gesticulating civilians.

Wilson tried to turn back, but the people surged forward and pushed him and the others the full length of the terrace, where troops succeeded in opening a way for them to their automobile.

In the Hall of Mirrors at the palace were places for representatives of nearly every race and creed in the world.

The big horseshoe table was on a platform elevated about a foot above the floor. In the center of the horseshoe space was a smaller table topped with brown leather, on which rested the treaty. One chair stood before this table, to be used by the delegates in signing.

An ancient and valuable brown tapestry carpet was on the floor, and the delegates sat at brown tapestry-covered tables.

At the eastern end of the hall were salons - the Salon de Paix and the Salon de Guerre. The Salon de Paix was reserved for distinguished visitors, seating about 300.

The Salon de Guerre was for the press, and had seats for 60 Americans, 50 British, 60 French, 40 Italians, 25 Japanese, 15 Germans, 70 from smaller powers, and 20 from neutral nations.

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In this salon special American telephone and telegraph lines were installed, over which news of the signing could be flashed to the cable office.

Prominent seats in the visitors' section were reserved for Mrs. Wilson and Miss Margaret Wilson.

The courtyard was a blaze of military splendor, detachments of all the allied armies, with flags unfurled, coming sharply to attention as the delegates arrived in automobiles.

As China refused to participate, 26 allied nations were represented at the historic gathering.

They were:

Serbia, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Japan, Portugal, Italy, Greece, United States, Panama, Cuba, Siam, Liberia, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia, Ecuador, The Hedjaz, Peru, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Uruguay.

Russia, the other entente ally, negotiated peace with Germany in March, 1918.

Colonel House, Lord Milner, Sir John Simon, Signor Crespi and Viscount Chinda have been appointed a special committee to draw up model mandatories.

The Big Four have answered the German threats not to live up to the terms by instructing the Supreme War Council to take up the problem of getting munitions and war supplies to the Polish army.

The clauses relative to Austrian reparation have been completed and it is expected the Austrians will be given the remainder of their treaty Monday.

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