In mid-December 1918 the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, arrived at the French port of Brest on board the ship George Washington. He was bound for the Paris Peace Conference where the victorious powers of the Great War, Britain, France, the United States and Italy, were to sit together to produce a lasting settlement of the international order. His role, as he saw it, was to knock the heads of the European great powers together to get them to collaborate over keeping the peace. He was a messenger of good neighbourliness sent from the New World to rescue the Old.