One of the many problems facing the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 was the future of the conquered German and Turkish territories in Africa, the Pacific, and the Middle East. Widespread anti-imperialist sentiment in Europe and the United States opposed direct annexation of the possessions, but wartime agreements and the security interests of the Allies prevented returning the conquered areas to their former rulers. In particular, many British leaders wanted to ensure that Germany could never again attempt world domination and were convinced that the restoration to Germany of its overseas possessions would pose a “grave political and military menace” to Britain's vital maritime connections with South Africa and India. After a long, often acrimonious debate, the Conference agreed on a compromise that placed the former German colonies and Ottoman provinces under the supervision of the League of Nations. This solution gave the Allies control of their acquisitions as “mandates” within a framework of international accountability. Great Britain received the most mandates, including Germany's largest colony of German East Africa. For the British leaders who had always advocated transforming German East Africa into a British colony, the new system seemed to make little practical difference. For the colonial officials in London and at the highest levels of colonial administration within the conquered possession, however, the mandates system presented serious problems and was not simply a disguise for annexation.