Paris Peace Conf. 185.1143/41

The Chargé in Denmark ( Osborne ) to the Acting Secretary of State 18

No. 2005

Sir: Adverting to Mr. Grant-Smith’s despatch No. 1930 of the 5th ultimo, and to previous correspondence on the subject of the recovery by Denmark of North Slesvig, I have the honor to transmit herewith a translation of a resolution passed at Aabenraa, North Slesvig, on the 30th ultimo, by the leaders of the Electoral Association of North Slesvig, as reported in the Copenhagen Politiken of the 4th instant.

This resolution is a reiteration of their desire for a solution of the border question on the principle of the right of self-determination and a protest against the actions of the German authorities in obstructing the possibility of an impartial plebiscite, through their interference with public meetings and through their denial of the right of petition.

I have [etc.]

Lithgow Osborne

Translation of Resolution of Leading Members of Electoral Association of North Slesvig

Ritzau’s Bureau reports from Aabenraa, North Slesvig, under date of January 3rd, that at a meeting held by the leaders of the Electoral Societies in North Slesvig on December 30, 1918, the following resolution was passed:

Now that the Entente has been victorious and Germany has accepted President Wilson’s program as the basis for a world peace, we consider the separation of our native soil from Germany and its reunion with Denmark an established fact. Although we are as yet [Page 460] German citizens and as such are fully entitled to participate in the election to the German National Assembly, we consider it under these circumstances improper to exercise any influence upon the internal affairs of the German people. We therefore encourage all Danes in South Jutland to abstain from participating in the coming election to the National Assembly.
While we adhere to the standpoint assumed by the Danish Rigsdag through its resolution of October 23, 1918, which was submitted to us by the Danish Foreign Minister, in reply to our note, we state anew that we desire the border question solved upon the basis of the right of self-determination of nationality and by the production of satisfactory guarantees that the same be exercised freely.
While the administration and board of supervision of the Electoral Societies of North Slesvig have thus once more proposed the solution of the national question of North Slesvig in accordance with the right of self-determination of nationality, which is just and fair to both parties and which harmonizes with the views held by the large majority of the population of North Slesvig, it makes the following statement:
We make a sharp protest against the efforts on the part of the German rulers to place obstacles in the way of creating, through the medium of a free exercise of the right of public meeting and the right of petition, the basis for a free vote.
We emphasize the fact that owing to the above-mentioned procedure on the part of Germany, the right of self-determination of nationality has temporarily been rendered illusory.
We recommend to the Danish Government, when it protects our interests at the peace conference, that they draw attention to the fact that under these circumstances the Danish population in Middle Slesvig cannot hope to attain their national rights through the medium of a referendum.

  1. Printed from copy received by the Commission to Negotiate Peace, Jan. 20, 1919.