Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Will Rogers (18791935)
I have always said that a conference was held for one reason only, to give everybody a chance to get sore at everybody else. Sometimes it takes two or three conferences to scare up a war, but generally one will do it.
WILL ROGERS, syndicated column, July 5, 1933.The New York Times, July 6, 1933, p. 23.
Disraeli is another who had an unsanguine view of conferences: The Conference lasted six weeks. It wasted six weeks. It lasted as long as a Carnival, and, like a Carnival, it was an affair of masks and mystification. Our Ministers went to it as men in distressed circumstances go to a place of amusementto while away the time, with a consciousness of impending failure.Speech in the House of Commons on Denmark and Germany, vote of censure, July 4, 1864, Hansards Parliamentary Debates, 3d series, vol. 176, col. 743.