Paris Peace Conf. 180.0201/7

Preliminary Peace Conference, Protocol No. 7, Plenary Session of May 29, 1919

The Session is opened at 15 o’clock (3 p.m.) under the presidency of Mr. Clemenceau, President.*

  • Present
    • For the United States of America:
      • The President of the United States.
      • Honorable Robert Lansing.
      • Honorable Edward M. House.
      • General Tasker H. Bliss.
    • For the British Empire:
    • great britain:
      • The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour.
      • The Rt. Hon. G. N. Barnes.
    • Dominions and India:
    • canada:
      • The Rt. Hon. Sir George Foster.
      • The Hon. C. J. Doherty.
    • australia:
      • The Rt. Hon. W. M. Hughes.
    • south africa:
      • Lieut-General the Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts.
    • For France:
      • Mr. G. Clemenceau.
      • Mr. Pichon.
      • Mr. L. L. Klotz.
      • Mr. André Tardieu.
      • Mr. Jules Cambon.
      • Marshal Foch.
    • For Italy:
      • Mr. V. E. Orlando.
      • Baron S. Sonnino.
      • The Marquis G. Imperiali, Senator of the Kingdom, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Italy in London.
      • Mr. S. Barzilai.
    • For Japan:
      • The Marquis Saionji.
      • The Baron Makino.
      • Viscount Chinda.
      • Mr. K. Matsui.
      • Mr. H. Ijuin.
    • For Belgium:
      • Mr. Hymans.
      • Mr. van den Heuvel.
    • For China:
      • Mr. Lou Tseng-tsiang.
      • Mr. Cheng-ting Thomas Wang.
    • For Greece:
      • Mr. Eleftherios Veniselos.
      • Mr. Nicolas Politis.
    • For Nicaragua:
      • Mr. Salvador Chamorro.
    • For Panama:
      • Mr. Antonio Burgos.
    • For Poland:
      • Mr. Roman Dmowski.
      • Mr. Ignace Paderewski.
    • For Roumania:
      • Mr. Jean J. C. Bratiano.
      • Dr. Vaida-Voevod.
    • For the Serb-Croat-Slovene State:
      • Mr. N. P. Pachitch.
      • Mr. Trumbitch.
      • Mr. M. R. Vesnitch.
    • For Siam:
      • The Prince Charoon.
      • Phya Bibadh Kosha.
    • For the Czecho-Slovak Republic:
      • Mr. Charles Kramar.
      • Mr. Edouard Benes.

The Minutes of the Sessions of the 28th April (Protocol No. 5) and the 6th May, 1919 (Protocol No. 6), are adopted.

The Agenda paper calls for the communication to the Allied and Associated Powers of the Conditions of Peace with Austria.

The President explains the objects of the Session in the following terms:—

“Today we are only going to communicate the Conditions of Peace with Austria to you, with certain exceptions: firstly, the Military Clauses, which have been reserved for further discussion in view of the effect which they may produce on the States which used to form the Austrian Empire; secondly, the Reparation Clauses, which have been referred to the competent Commission; and lastly, the Political Clauses, which concern Italy. It cannot, moreover, be very long before these three portions of the Treaty are submitted to you; most of the work has been completed already and the conditions will of course be brought to your notice before they are handed to the Austrian Plenipotentiaries.”

Mr. Bratiano (Roumania) having enquired whether the communication to be made that day is that of the actual text of the Articles, or merely a summary similar to the one which was read before the handing of the Treaty to the German Plenipotentiaries. The President replies that the same procedure will be followed as in the case of Germany, and that a summary will be read to the Conference, which is, moreover, very close to the text of the Treaty. When this summary has been adopted by the Conference, the Treaty will be handed to the representatives of Austria.

Mr. Bratiano (Roumania) states that he desires to present a wish, which he formulates in the following terms:—

“On behalf of the Governments of Greece, of Poland, of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, of the Czecho-Slovaks and of Roumania, I have the honor to beg the Conference to be so good as to adjourn for 48 hours the presentation of the Treaty to the Austrians, in order that we may make ourselves acquainted, from the actual text, with the conditions which it is desired to impose on Austria. We ask leave to ascertain what they are and to examine them before concurring in them, for, as in the case of the text communicated to the Germans, an oral statement necessarily cannot make everything sufficiently clear. Even now, if the text were read out, we should need time for reflection in order to be in a position to study the effects on each of our States.

[Page 393]

“Therefore, on behalf of those Governments, I beg the President kindly to move the Conference to postpone the handing of the Treaty to the Austrians, with a view to leave us 48 hours for examining the text. If the text were handed to us now, we should only need a postponement of 24 hours, but if we only receive it tomorrow, 48 hours would be necessary.”

As no one else asks leave to speak, The President states that he considers Mr. Bratiano’s claim to be entirely justified, and that it had been hoped to communicate the actual text before the present Session, but that had not been possible. This text might be distributed to the Delegations concerned, and they, for their part, might offer in writing, as soon as possible, the observations which they wished to make. In order to give the necessary time asked for, the President proposes to adjourn the Session of the Conference to Saturday, the 31st May, at 3 p.m., and to fix Monday, the 2nd June, for handing the Conditions of peace to the Austrian Plenipotentiaries.

This is decided.

The Session is adjourned at 15.25 o’clock (3.25 p.m.).

The President,
G. Clemenceau.

The Secretary-General,
P. Dutasta.

The Secretaries,
J. C. Grew,
M. P. A. Hankey,
Paul Gauthier,
Sadao Saburi.

  1. The representatives of the Press were not admitted to this Session. [Footnote in the original.]