Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, Volume I
Paris Peace Conf. 185.1/13
The Technical Advisers to the Commission to Negotiate Peace ( Miller , Scott ) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: We are sending you this morning the first instalment of the attempt on our part, in accordance with your instructions, to put flesh on the skeleton draft of a proposed Treaty, previously submitted, which had the good fortune to meet with your approval.
You will observe that the present articles deal with the Contracting Powers divided into the three classes of belligerents, those which have, and those which have not severed diplomatic relations with belligerents; a suggestion as to the nature and extent of a preamble, an Article A, which should probably be the first of the Treaty, ending the war, restoring peace, and reestablishing peaceful relations between contracting countries.
Under the caption of Article B you will note a draft of an Agreement for a League of Nations, closing with some articles on open diplomacy.
Other tentative drafts calculated to put flesh upon the skeleton draft, to use your own happy expression, will follow at short intervals, [Page 317] and we hope that both those submitted and those to follow will at least serve as a basis of discussion.
We are [etc.]
- David Hunter Miller
- James Brown Scott
The Contracting Powers
Belgium, Brazil, China, Cuba, France, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Roumania, Kingdom of the Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenes, Siam, and the United States of America,12 together with Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Salvador, Santo Domingo, Uruguay, and also the new States of Czecho-Slovakia, Finland, and Poland,13 on the one hand,
and Bulgaria, German Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Turkey14 on the other hand,
Having determined upon the restoration of peace and of peaceful relations between them, and being also desirous of establishing enduring bases for the peace of the future, have invited the participation in this common duty of the other Contracting Powers, Argentine Republic, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Holland, Luxemburg, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, Persia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela.15
Animated, as they all are, by the desire to conclude a just peace, which shall remove the differences which have hitherto divided the States and their peoples, and
Resolved to lay the foundations for a close, intimate, and enlightened cooperation of States and their peoples based upon the principles of justice common to all civilized States and peoples, and
Recognizing that the happiness of peoples and the security of States depend upon those principles of justice, among which the following are obvious and fundamental:
- That the government of every State derives all its just powers from the consent of the governed.
- That every State has the right to exist and to protect and to conserve its existence.
- That every State has the right to independence.
- That every State is in law and before the law the equal of every other State belonging to the League of Nations.16
- That every State has the right to territory within defined boundaries and to exercise jurisdiction over this territory.17
- That every State entitled to a right is entitled to have that right respected by all other States.
- That international law is at one and the same time both national and international: national in the sense that it is the law of the State and applicable as such to the decision of all questions involving its principles; international in the sense that it is the law of the society of nations and applicable as such to all questions between and among the members of the society of nations involving its principles.
- That international covenants and agreements are entered into and are to be observed according to standards of honor and good faith, not differing from those which should prevail among individuals.
Acknowledging an equal right to all States and special privileges to none, in accordance with those principles of justice and rules of law applicable to States and their peoples, to the end that armaments on land and sea and also the burden and expense of military budgets may be diminished, and
Substituting for the secret agreements of the past the open diplomacy of the future, which can only obtain in an atmosphere of justice, confidence and mutual good will,18 and
Pledging their good faith and their honor to the maintenance of the new order of things created by them,
The Contracting Powers have named as their Commissioners Plenipotentiary the following:
(Here names of all Contracting Parties arranged in alphabetical order of the countries in the language of the Agreement, and placing the names of the Commissioners under each country.)
The said Commissioners Plenipotentiary having assembled in Versailles and having deposited their full powers, found to be in good and due form,
Have therefore agreed upon the following Articles:
The Contracting Powers now at war with other Contracting Powers, and the Contracting Powers whose peaceful relations have been severed with other Contracting Powers because of the war, declare [Page 319] that immediately upon the date at which the present Agreement by its terms becomes effective, the status of peace is re-established between those Powers actually at war, that thereupon the peaceful relations are to be restored which have been broken by other Contracting Powers because of the war, and that that intercourse usual between all States and their peoples in time of peace is to be resumed from and after the said date and is to be conducted by all Contracting Powers in their mutual relations in accordance with the principles expressed in the preamble and in the specific provisions of this Agreement.
Article B.—Agreement for a League of Nations
- The Members of the League of Nations shall be the Powers signatory to this Agreement, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained.
- The Council of the League of Nations shall consist of the Diplomatic Representatives of the Member Powers accredited to the Government of Belgium, and of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, who shall be the presiding officer at the meetings of the Council.
- A quorum of the Council shall consist of nine tenths of the Members thereof.
- The Council by majority vote shall make their rules of procedure.
- The meetings of the Council shall be held at the seat of Government of Belgium, but the place of any meeting may be otherwise fixed by majority vote of the Council. The Council by similar vote shall fix the time of their meetings, but a regular meeting of the Council shall be held at least once in each calendar year, and a special meeting thereof shall be held when requested by any Member Power.
- The Council at their first meeting and every four years thereafter shall, by majority vote, choose from among their number a Standing Committee which shall consist of the representatives of seven Powers, whose representatives shall constitute the Standing Committee for the ensuing four years.
- Any decision or vote of the Standing Committee may be made only by four or more votes.
- The Standing Committee shall make its own rules of procedure and shall name a Secretariat.
- The Secretariat shall have charge of the archives and of the correspondence of the Council and of the Standing Committee.
- The archives and correspondence of the Council and of the Standing Committee shall be open at all times to every Member Power.
- All expenses of the Council, of the Standing Committee, and of the Secretariat shall be borne equally by the Member Powers.
- No determination or vote of the Council shall be effective if disapproved within ten calendar days after the date thereof by vote of the Standing Committee.
- Each Member Power severally covenants and guarantees that it will not violate the territorial integrity or impair the political independence of any other Member Power.
- Any interference with a vessel on the high seas or with aircraft proceeding over the high seas, which interference is not affirmatively sanctioned by the law of nations, shall be deemed an impairment of political independence within the terms of Article 13.
- No act of a Member Power shall be deemed a breach of the covenant and guaranty contained in Article 13 unless determined to be such a breach by majority vote of the Council after an opportunity has been given for a hearing upon the question. Upon such hearing, the Council shall endeavor to bring the Parties to a friendly arrangement and otherwise shall determine by majority vote both as to the fact and as to the time of such breach, if any, and any such determination, subject to the provisions of Article 12 shall be conclusive upon all Member Powers.
- In the event that any Member Power shall breach the covenant and guaranty contained in Article 13, such breach of covenant and guaranty shall ipso facto operate as a suspension of this Agreement in so far as it applies in favor of the offending Power and furthermore as a suspension of the obligation of all covenants and guaranties in favor of the offending Power, contained in all treaties, conventions, and other agreements heretofore entered into between the offending Power and all other Member Powers.
- A breach of the covenant and guaranty contained in Article 13 shall constitute an act unfriendly to all other Member Powers and they shall forthwith sever all diplomatic, consular, and other official relations with the offending Power, and shall through the Council exchange views as to the measures necessary to restore the Power, whose sovereignty has been violated, to the rights and liberties which it possessed prior to such violation and to prevent further violation thereof.
- The Member Powers recognize as a binding principle that the American Continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any extrinsic Powers.
- The Member Powers severally covenant that the terms of any award or decision in a dispute to which they are Parties, made by any Arbitral or Judicial Tribunal to which the same has been referred, shall be faithfully and honorably performed.
- The Member Powers severally covenant to submit to a Permanent International Commission, for investigation and report, all disputes between them, of every nature whatsoever, which cannot be solved by direct diplomatic negotiation, other than disputes, the settlement of which is in fact achieved upon reference thereof to an arbitral or judicial tribunal; and they likewise covenant not to resort to any act of force or to begin hostilities or to declare war pending the investigation and report of said Commission.
- Each Member Power shall, by appointment made within one month after ratification by it of this Agreement, designate one Commissioner as a Member of the Commission mentioned in the preceding Article. Each Member Power may remove at any time, before investigation begins, the Commissioner appointed by it, appointing his successor upon the same occasion. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
- The Commission sitting in the investigation of a dispute and reporting thereon, shall consist of those Commissioners appointed by the Parties to the dispute, together with a like number of Commissioners chosen, one by each Party, and together with one Commissioner chosen by agreement of the Parties.
- Failing any designation, appointment or choice under Article 21 or Article 22, such designation, appointment or choice as the case may be shall be made by vote of the Standing Committee.
- The expenses of the Commission in any investigation and report shall be paid by the Parties to the dispute, in equal proportions.
- The Commission, in any investigation and report, shall make their own rules of procedure.
- In case of failure to agree upon the diplomatic solution of a dispute the Member Powers, Parties to the dispute, shall submit it to said Commission for investigation and report. The convocation of the Commission may be made by any Party. The Commission shall by preference sit in the country in which there are the greater facilities for the investigation, and the Member Powers shall furnish all the means and facilities required for the investigation and report. The report of the Commission shall be presented within a year counted from the date at which the Commission shall declare, by a declaration filed with the Secretariat of the League of Nations, that its work is begun, unless a prolongation of the time shall be accorded by the Parties. This report, which is purely advisory and does not bind the Parties as to any question at issue, shall be prepared in various originals, one of which shall be presented to each of the Parties and the other shall be presented to the Standing Committee.
- After presentation of the report mentioned in the preceding Article, six months time will be given to renewed negotiations in [Page 322] order to bring about a solution of the question in view of the findings of said report; and if after this new term the Parties should be unable to reach a friendly arrangement, they will proceed to submit the dispute to arbitration under the terms of any convention in force between them which they agree covers the question or questions investigated; if not so submitted to arbitration, and thereby amicably adjusted, any Party may proceed to submit the dispute to the Standing Committee for consideration during a period of three months.
- The Member Powers severally covenant that while Parties to a dispute which is pending, and during the periods mentioned in Articles 26 and 27, they will not do or omit any act the commission or omission of which would tend to prejudice the position or final rights of any other Party to the dispute, and that the terms of a modus vivendi shall be agreed upon, preserving the rights of the Parties, pending and until the final determination of the dispute. In any case where the Parties are unable to agree upon the terms of such a modus vivendi, the terms thereof shall be formulated by the Commission and a modus vivendi embodying these terms shall be executed by the Parties and carried out by them in good faith.
- Any decision or conclusion of the Commission and the terms of its report shall be adopted by a majority thereof.
- When a dispute is submitted to the Standing Committee for
consideration under the terms of Article 27 the Member Powers
severally covenant that the Standing Committee may:
- Name and direct one or more Powers to mediate between the Parties to the dispute.
- Name and direct one or more Powers to use good offices in bringing about a friendly adjustment of the dispute.
- When a dispute has been submitted to the Standing Committee for consideration under the terms of Article 27, any Party thereto may offer to submit the dispute under a compromis to be settled by the Standing Committee, to be heard and finally determined by Arbitrators to be named by the Standing Committee.
- The Member Powers severally covenant that while Parties to a dispute which is pending or which is under consideration of the Standing Committee, they will not declare war or commence hostilities, or commit any hostile act, against any other Party thereto; and further severally covenant that in no such case will they declare war or commence hostilities, or commit any hostile act against a Power which offers to submit the dispute for arbitration under the terms of Article 31.
- In the event that any Member Power shall breach any covenant or provision of this Agreement, such breach shall ipso facto operate [Page 323] as a suspension of this Agreement in so far as it applies in favor of the offending Power, and furthermore, as a suspension of the obligation of all covenants and guaranties in favor of the offending Power, contained in all treaties, conventions, and other agreements theretofore entered into between the offending Power and all other Member Powers.
- A breach of any covenant or provision of this Agreement shall constitute an act unfriendly to all other Member Powers, and they shall forthwith sever all diplomatic, consular, and other official relations with the offending Power, and shall, through the Council, exchange views as to any measures necessary to be taken.
- No act of a Member Power shall be deemed a breach of a covenant or provision of this Agreement unless determined to be such a breach by majority vote of the Council after an opportunity has been given for a hearing upon the question. Upon such hearing the Council shall endeavor to bring about a friendly arrangement, and otherwise shall determine by majority vote both as to the fact and as to the time of such breach, if any, and any such determination, subject to the provisions of Article 12, shall be conclusive upon all Member Powers.
- Any war or menace of war is a matter of interest to the Member Powers, which the Council shall by offer of good offices or of mediation or otherwise attempt to terminate or avert.
- In the case of a dispute in which both a Member Power and a non-Member Power are Parties, if each non-Member Power concerned shall consent by a declaration in writing, delivered to the Standing Committee, to be deemed ad hoc a Power signatory to this Agreement, all the provisions in this Agreement regarding disputes between or among Member Powers shall be applicable.
- In case of hostilities threatened or commenced between a Member Power and a non-Member Power, the Member Power concerned may entrust its interests to the Council; in such case the course of action of that Member Power shall be determined by majority vote of the Council, subject to the provisions of Article 12, and the Member Powers agree, through the Council to exchange views as to the measures necessary to support and protect that course of action.
- The Council shall from time to time consider and recommend to the respective Member Powers for approval, declarations of rules and principles of the law of nations.
- Every Treaty and every other International Agreement to which a Member Power is a Party, and which is in force at the date of the signature of this Agreement, and which has not heretofore been made public in its entirety, shall within six months after the date of signature of this Agreement be made public in its entirety, or shall otherwise be and be deemed abrogated.
- Every Treaty and every other International Agreement hereafter made, to which any Member Power shall be a Party, shall be made public in its entirety within not more than thirty days after the same shall become binding, or shall otherwise be and be deemed abrogated.
- The provisions of the foregoing Articles shall not apply to a Treaty or other International Agreement made by a Member Power while engaged in war, in which case the Treaty or other International Agreement shall be made public in its entirety within not more than thirty days after the conclusion of peace or shall otherwise be and be deemed abrogated.
- Within the terms of the three foregoing Articles a Treaty or other International Agreement shall be deemed to have been made public in its entirety only when a true and complete copy thereof shall have been filed with the Secretariat of the League of Nations.
- Any non-signatory Power desiring to adhere to this Agreement, may deposit a declaration of adherence with the Council; such declaration shall become effective and such Power shall for all purposes be deemed a signatory Power hereto from ninety days after the deposit thereof, unless within such period of ninety days, more than three Member Powers shall dissent therefrom by depositing with the Council a notice of such dissent, in which case neither the declaration nor its deposit shall be effective.
- Any Member Power may withdraw from this Agreement by depositing a notice of such withdrawal with the Council. The withdrawal shall have effect only in regard to the notifying Power.
- Any provisions in Treaties or other Agreements between or among the signatory Powers which may be inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement are and shall be deemed abrogated.
- A marginal note reads, “Omitted: Costa Rica, Montenegro, Russia.”↩
- A marginal note reads, “Omitted: Hedjaz.”↩
- A marginal note reads, “Omitted: Bavaria, Lichtenstein.”↩
- A marginal note reads, “Omitted: Abyssinia, Albania, Afghanistan, Andorra. Monaco. Nepal, Oman, San Marino, Tibet.”↩
- A query in pencil appears in the margin opposite “League of Nations.”↩
- A marginal note in Secretary Lansing’s hand reads, “Coastal waters and high seas?”↩
- A marginal note in Secretary Lansing’s hand indicates a possible substitution of “exist when” for the words “obtain in an atmosphere of,” and insertion of “prevail among nations” following “good will.”↩