Paris Peace Conf. 180.03101/3



The Following Conclusions Were Reached by the Supreme War Council at a Meeting Held in Paris on Monday, January 13, 1919, at 14:30 O’clock (2:30 p.m.)


The Supreme War Council agreed that—

Gold Deposits at Reichsbank and Machinery for Issue of Notes Germany must take as soon as possible all measures to ensure the safety of the gold deposits in the Reichs-bank and of the machinery required for the issue of bank-notes.

Marshal Foch is therefore authorized to take the necessary measures to give effect to the recommendation of the experts, either by the insertion of a clause in the Armistice, or otherwise.


The Supreme War Council agreed that—

Submarines (Article XXII of Armistice) In order to ensure the complete execution of clause XXII of the Armistice, it is laid down that the following shall be taken as the interpretation of that clause:—

“All submarines which can proceed to sea or be towed are to be surrendered immediately, and are to proceed forthwith to Allied ports. These are to include submarine-cruisers and minelayers, and submarine-lifting vessels and docks. Those submarines which cannot be so surrendered are to be totally destroyed. Submarine building is to cease forthwith, and those submarines which are now under construction are to be broken up.”

Surface Warships (Article XXIII of Armistice) The Supreme War Council approved of the following sentence being added to Article XXIII of the Armistice:—

“To ensure this being carried out, the German Commission are to furnish the Allied Naval Armistice Commission with a complete list of all surface craft, both built and building (either launched or on the stocks), giving estimated dates of completion.”

German Mercantile Fleet The Supreme War Council decided to authorise the delegates to sign without delay an agreement on the lines given below, with the proviso that, should the Germans refuse, Marshal Foch shall be informed, so that the signing of this agreement may be made a condition of the renewal of the Armistice:
  • “I. The whole of the German merchant fleet (including all passenger and cargo boats, other than those excepted by a Committee to [Page 522] be set up by the Allies) to be placed immediately at the disposal of the Allies and of the United States, with a view to increasing the world-tonnage, from which the tonnage required for the supply of foodstuffs to Europe, including Germany, can be drawn.

    “The Allies and the United States will take over the administration of this fleet through the agency of the Inter-Allied Maritime Transport Council, or of any other organisation which they may create or set up for this purpose.

  • “II. The German merchant ships shall be put at the disposal of the Allies and of the United States in the ports and under the conditions laid down by the Allies and the United States. They shall be handed over completely fitted out both as regards crews and stores.
  • “III. In the case of those vessels which, being in neutral countries, cannot get to the designated ports unaided, owing either to lack of personnel or any other cause, Germany shall hand over these in the ports where they are at present, after previously notifying this delivery to the neutral Governments concerned.
  • “IV. German merchant ships shall put to sea flying one or more Allied flags.
  • “V. The Allies and the United States may take such measures as they may deem advisable to ensure the internal protection of the ships, the safety of navigation, and the supervision of the crews. They may if necessary, place armed guards on board. The law applicable to these ships shall be that of the nation which takes charge of them in the name of the Allies and the United States.
  • “VI. The Allies and the United States may proceed with the partial or total replacement of the crews. German officers and crews who may be thus discharged shall be repatriated to Germany.
  • “VII. All German merchant ships shall be handed over to the Allies and the United States within a period to be fixed later.

    “The condition of ships which are unable to put to sea at the expiry of the period to be fixed shall be verified by a Commission appointed by the Allies and the United States.

  • “VIII. The above clauses shall apply only to the use of vessels during the Armistice period and for such later period as shall be determined by the Allied and Associated Governments.

    “The above agreements shall not prejudice the ultimate disposal of these ships.”

Food Supply to Germany, Payment for The Supreme War Council decided to accept the recommendations contained in the following report submitted by the Allied Food Council:—
The Council has had under consideration the measures already in progress for the relief of the Allied, liberated and neutral territories, and is taking steps to provide and expand such relief.

The Council has formed the opinion, upon the material already in its possession (which is necessarily incomplete), that additional supplies of food will be required in Germany before the next harvest is gathered.

For the purpose of obtaining more precise information the Council is making further investigation.

The Council recommends to the Supreme War Council that, if the German cargo and passenger fleet is placed at the disposal of the Associated Governments, the Associated Governments should permit Germany to import a prescribed quantity of foodstuffs, so limited as not to interfere in any way with the priority of supply which must be assured to Allied, liberated and neutral countries.
Under the conditions indicated, the Council would recommend that in the first instance the following supply should be permitted:—200,000 tons of breadstuffs, and 70,000 tons of pork products.

The Council recommends that the Commanders-in-Chief of the Belgian, French, British, American, and Italian armies should each appoint an officer of experience so as to form a Commission to supervise the distribution of foodstuffs in Germany, acting on behalf of the armies of the Associated Governments and of this Council, and should take instructions from and report direct to this Council.

For the assistance of the Commission, this Council will provide it with an expert civilian staff.


It must be a condition precedent to any supply that satisfactory arrangements are made by Germany for providing the necessary payment.

The Council recommends that the representatives of the Treasuries of the Associated Governments be given full discretion to discuss the method of payment with the German representatives, and to arrange for the utilisation of the German credits abroad in preference to other resources, failing which the representatives should make recommendations to the Council and to their respective Treasuries.

It is reserved to the Peace Conference to revise the method of payment so arranged.

The Supreme War Council approved the following resolution:—
  • “I. Restoration of Machinery, etc. (Article XIX of Armistice) As the restoration of material taken from French and Belgian territory is indispensable for industrial reconstruction, the following measures will be enforced:—
  • “II. Machinery, parts of machinery, industrial or agricultural plant, accessories of every kind, and, generally, all kinds of material appertaining to industry or agriculture which have been removed from the territories occupied by the enemy armies on the Western front, under any pretext whatever, whether by military or civil authority, or by private individuals, shall be held at the disposal of the Allies to be returned to their original position if the French and Belgian Governments so desire.

    “No alteration shall be made or damage done to this material.

  • “III. In preparation for this restoration, the German Government shall forthwith put before the Armistice Commission all official or private records of transactions relative to this material, or contracts of sale or hire, or other contracts, all correspondence relative thereto, all declarations and evidence which will throw light on the existence, origin, adaptation, present condition and whereabouts of this material.
  • “IV. Delegates from the French and Belgian Governments shall cause to be undertaken in Germany enquiries and local investigations into the condition of the material reported.
  • “V. The restoration shall be carried out in accordance with the special instructions isssued by the French and Belgian authorities as these may decide.
  • “VI. In particular, with a view to the immediate restoration of driving belts, electric motors or parts of motors, and factory gear, taken from France, Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Alsace, or Lorraine, all depots of this material, whether in parks, or on the railway, on ships, or in factories, shall be immediately made known.
  • “VII The information to be given as laid down in paragraphs III and VI shall be submitted, commencing within eight days from the 20th January, 1919, and shall be furnished in its entirety before the 15th February, 1919.”

Surrender of Interned and Prize Ships. (Article XXX of Armistice) The Supreme War Council considered a report regarding delay in the return of interned and prize ships by the German Government:—

It was decided that the question should be brought to the notice of the German authorities when the renewal of the Armistice took place, and that a promise should then be exacted from the German delegates that those conditions would be fulfilled without further delay.