Paris Peace Conf. 180.03101/42


Secretary’s Notes of a Conversation Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Tuesday, 18th February, 1919, at 3 p.m.

Present Also Present
America, United States of America, United States of
The Hon. R. Lansing Mr. Lunt
The Hon. H. White Mr. Dulles
Maj. D. W. Johnson
Mr. L. Harrison British Empire
British Empire Sir Eyre Crowe, K. C. B.
The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, O. M., M. P. Colonel Heywood
The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Borden, G. C. M. G. Mr. A. Leeper
Secretaries France
Lt. Col. Sir M. P. A. Hankey, K. C. B. General Alby
Mr. H. Norman Italy
M. de Martino
M. Galli
France For the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
M. Clemenceau M. Patchitch
M. Pichon M. Vesnitch
Secretaries M. Trumbitch
M. Dutasta Dr. Zolger
M. Berthelot Secretary
M. de Bearn M. Vosniak
H. E. Baron Sonnino
H. E. Marquis Salvago Raggi
Count Aldrovandi
M. Bertele
H. E. Baron Makino
H. E. M. Matsui

Joint Secretariat

America, United States of Lieut. Burden
British Empire Captain E. Abraham
France Captain A. Portier
Italy Major A. Jones
Japan M. Saburi
Interpreter: Prof. P. J. Mantoux

(1) M. Clemenceau in opening the meeting asked the Serbian Delegation to make its statement.

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Statement of Case for Yugo-Slavia: (a) Causes of the Great War M. Vesnitch said that he must begin by an apology. It had not, up to the present, been possible to supply the Conference with a full memorandum. There were certain difficulties due to distance, bad communications, etc., which had rendered this impossible. A memorandum giving general considerations had been supplied. Separate memoranda of a more technical order would be prepared subsequently.

In order to present the problem fully he wished first to draw the attention of the meeting to the origin of the war. This question had been dealt with publicly, but nevertheless he felt it must again be asserted before the Conference that the real cause of the war was the German tendency to expand towards Asia Minor and thereby to acquire dominion of the world. In its road this movement encountered a number of obstacles, the first of which was the Yugoslav people. Hence it was decided in Berlin and Vienna that this should be the first fortress to be taken.

(b) Eastward Trend of German Policy The time-honoured German policy was well-known. Since 1848 and especially since 1878 Vienna under the direction of Berlin had sought to bring under its rule all the Serbians not yet included in the Dual Monarchy. This policy had involved the Great Powers. Since 1848, Great Britain, France and Italy had struggled to preserve the peace of Europe. One stage on this road to the East had been marked by the absorption of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another critical moment was the Balkan War. Serbia issued from it victorious and became the centre of attraction for all the Yugo-Slav peoples. The enthusiasm shown in Bosnia, Croatia, Slavonia and the Banat was even greater than that in Serbia proper. This had been carefully noted at the Ballplatz, where it was decided that the future must be secured as early as possible. This also was incontestably the reason which had rendered futile all the efforts of the Liberal Powers of Europe to find a peaceful diplomatic issue with the nations of Central Europe. The latter were determined to overcome the obstacle and to set forward on their march Eastwards in the quickest possible time. It had been impossible to stop them—hence the Great War.

(c) Action of Yngo-Slars in the War The Yugo-Slav troops of the Dual Monarchy from the very first day of the war began to hamper the purposes of the Central Powers. When other means failed, they surrendered in large numbers on the Russian and Serbian fronts, and at a later stage, on the Italian front. They felt that this was a war of extermination for their people. Encouraged by the promises made by the Great Liberal Powers, especially by the declaration that the war was waged for the liberation of oppressed peoples, they had contributed by every means in [Page 46] their power to the victory of the Allies. They were now inspired by the confident hope that their expectations of the fulfilment of the promises made by the victorious Allies would not be disappointed, and they felt that their services to the common cause had earned recognition.

(d) Principles for Which the Allies faught Since the very beginning of the war the Great Liberal Powers, France, Great Britain, and with them Russia, had proclaimed that they were not fighting for individual national advanteges, but for certain principles. These principles were stated publicly and solemnly and were the three great principles of (1) Nationality, (2) the right of self-determination, and (3) freedom of the small Nations. After the signature of the first Armistice, M. Clemenceau, when welcoming the delegates of all the Allied Powers, had said that from that moment there was no difference between great and small nations, as the small nations had been as great as the greatest during the war. He wished to recall this expression to make clear the difference between the principles of the Allied Powers and those of the Central Powers. Before the war there had been a conversation between Herr Von Jagow1 and M. Jules Cambon.2 The former had declared that there was no more room in the world for small nations. This was fully in accord with the feelings of his nation. What M. Clemenceau had expressed to the Allies was the principle which had encouraged the Nations to group themselves and to bring about the triumph of something far higher than the self-interest of individual nations. It was in accordance with this spirit that the peace of Europe and the League of Nations must be brought about.

(e) Attitude To wards Secret Treaties Adhering to this spirit, the delegation he represented regarded the right of self-determination as an inviolable right. It could not recognise any treaty, public or secret doing violence to these principles, proclaimed by the Allies and latterly endorsed by the United States of America. The Delegation he represented therefore regarded as null and void any agreement disposing of the Yugo-Slav people without its consent. He felt obliged to make this declaration in the name of his Government and of his colleagues present in the room. Had he not made it, he would have betrayed his obligation to the Yugo-Slav people. It was not in the habits of this people to sing its own praises, but it must be declared that if this people had endured martyrdom to assist the Allies, it was because their leaders had assured them that these sufferings were absolutely necessary, that it was probably the last effort required of them, and that the open [Page 47] declarations of the Great Allied Powers were a complete guarantee of the future. The leaders of the people had made themselves responsible for the execution of these promises. The Yugo-Slav people, through them, had put complete trust in the Powers whom he now begged to do nothing which might cause disappointment to the legitimate hopes aroused, and thereby sow the seeds of future deplorable conflict.

(e) [sic] Question of Future Frontiers of Yugo-slavia M. Vesnitch continuing, said that, if it was in order, he would approach the subject of the future frontiers of Yugo-Slavia. The Yugo-Slav people was in a peculiar situation. It had to delimit its territory with six or seven nations. On a former occasion explanations had been given concerning the problem to be solved with a friendly country. In tracing the boundaries separating them from enemy countries it was likely that no great difficulties would arise. But there was another friendly country with which there were problems to discuss. The Delegation would ask that it should be treated on a footing of equality with its Italian friends. He felt that in making this request he was not exceeding the limits of his rights and his duties. He hoped that the Allied and Associated Powers would consider this fair and practical and likely to ensure good understanding between two countries which were to be neighbours, and between which it was desirable that no germ of discord should arise.

(f) Southern Frontier M. Vesnitch explained, with the help of a map, what he proposed should be the future frontiers of Yugo-Slavia. On the south the boundary marched with that of Greece. It was not proposed in any way to alter the boundary laid down by the Peace of Bucharest.3

(g) Eastern Frontier On the east the frontier was to be determined with Bulgaria. The behaviour of the Bulgarians towards the Serbians, even before they entered the war, was well-known, hence certain alterations of frontier were demanded.

(h) Northeastern Frontier The Yugo-Slav arguments concerning the boundary to be drawn in the Banat had been heard on a previous occasion. Failing all other means of settlement, the Delegation for which he spoke was ready to allow the populations to make a free choice of allegiance. He would like to point out that all invasions of Servia throughout history had come from that quarter. The latest examples furnished in the course of the late war were enough to prove his point. There were also ethnological, geographical and economic reasons. The divisions of the country made for administrative purposes by the common enemies of Serbia and [Page 48] Roumania were evidence in his favour. No less well-wishing judges could be found than the Magyars towards the Serbian people, nevertheless the division of the country made by them showed the Serbs to be in the majority.

(i) Northern Frontier In the North the Delegation proposed a frontier which corresponded not only to ethnic, but to geographical realities.

Dr. Zolger, continuing, explained that the proposed boundary with the Germans and Magyars was drawn in such a way as to include all the Croats, Serbs and Slovenes along the Drave. The frontier would not accord with the results of the Austrian census. This census could not be trusted. It did not record nationality, but professed to record the spoken language of the people. Workmen serving German employers and communicating with them in German would be represented as Germans. Even German authorities admitted that this method was deliberately devised in order to favour Germanisation. The Delegation therefore proposed to neglect the Austrian census and pin its faith to certain other means of obtaining information. Among these he would cite the ecclesiastical parish registers published yearly, showing the language used in the parish for confessional purposes. The language to which it was necessary to resort to spread the Gospel must be the spoken language of the people. A hundred villages shown in the Austrian census as German were proved by the parish registers to speak Slovene. There were other documents which might be consulted such as the census of 1849–51. This census had been conducted in a less partial manner than its successor, for since 1870 the Pan-German idea had become the official doctrine of the Central Governments.

(j) German Attempt to Reach the Adriatic In pursuance of this doctrine the most consistent efforts had been made to establish German contact with the Adriatic. In this process the Slovenes had fared perhaps worse than any other Yugo-Slav nation. The process had begun in the 18th Century. The danger had been realised by Napoleon, who had set up the Illyrian Province after the peace of Schoenbrunn,4 comprising all Slovene lands, to block the way from Vienna to the Adriatic and to guard the road to the East.

(k) Claims in Carinthia The frontier suggested in Carinthia gave to Yugo-Slavia certain areas in which the Slovenes were not a majority in the population. The justification of this was the forcible germanisation practised since 1850. Dr. Zolger drew attention to a work called “The Vilayet of Carinthia”,5 published before the war. In this work it was shown that every means had been [Page 49] adopted of destroying Slovene nationality and the Slovene language. For instance, all writers, even the Germans, admitted that Celovec (Klagenfurt), was in 1850, two-thirds Slovene. At the present time the Slovenes were in the minority. This had been brought about by the educational policy forced on the country. Children were only taught the Gothic script. Where there had been a hundred Slovene schools, there were now but three. From all branches of the public service Slovenes had been extruded. The last Slovene judge died some ten years ago. The last Slovene notary was removed during the war. Barristers were not allowed to plead before the Courts in Slovene. Only one Slovene Deputy was sent to the Reichsrat, though on the population basis there should have been three. The people were afraid of speaking their own language, and a man had been arrested for demanding a ticket at a railway station in Slovene. The war had been used to give the death blow to Slovene life in Carinthia. It was therefore fair to say that the reduction of the Slovene element was not a process of natural evolution, but the work of a deliberate and forcible policy, carried out in contempt of all morality and law. In fixing the frontier between Yugo-Slavia and German Austria, the result of this policy should not be perpetuated. Wherever it was possible to show that 50 years previously the Slovenes had been in possession, he claimed that they should have ownership restored to them. The frontier suggested would be some compensation to the Yugo-Slav people for their losses in the long struggle with Germanism. He would point out that in the course of centuries the Slovenes had lost not only part of Carinthia and Styria, but also the Eastern Tyrol and Lower Austria. Wherever it was possible to establish an ethnic claim, he thought that it should be admitted.

(l) Western Frontier M. Trumbitch said that in the name of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes he would place before the meeting briefly, the claims made on the subject of the western frontier, and he would explain the grounds on which the claims were based.

The area in question was that part of the ancient Austro-Hungarian monarchy situated on the Adriatic Sea or gravitating towards it, and inhabited by a Yugo-Slav population. As had been repeatedly proclaimed in public manifestations by official representatives of the people, the territorial claims were based on the rights of nationalities and on the principle of self-determination. It was on this basis that the new state laid claim to countries, the population of which was of Yugo-Slav nationality, desiring to enter into the community of that State. In a general way it must be observed that from the point of view of spoken language and national sentiment, the whole Adriatic Coast of the former Austria-Hungary from Monfalcone as far as Spizza was inhabited by Yugo-Slavs, in a compact and continuous [Page 50] mass. The whole countryside and hinterland of this coast, with the sole exception of five Italian villages north of Pola, were Yugo-Slav. In most of the towns the Slav element was in the majority, save in some isolated towns such as Gorizia, Trieste, towns on the Western shore of Istria, Lussin, Fiume, and Zara, where the Italian element predominated. The Italian element, therefore, represented enclaves or oases in Slav surroundings, without any national continuity binding it to the Italian peninsula.

The Yugo-Slav majority had always been oppressed. This had been its fate during more than four centuries of Venetian domination. The Slav element, deprived of all national rights, was unable under that rule to obtain any school in its own language whether in the towns or in the villages. Nevertheless, Venetian domination had not succeeded in Italianising any area, and only left behind it along the Adriatic coast a few families and some vestiges of the Venetian dialect, as was the case also in the islands of the Ionian Sea and of the Aegean Sea, where the Venetian Republic had once ruled.

Austria in this province had continued to apply the system she found there. The Austrian regime was anti-democratic, based on the division of classes and nationalities in respect to civil and political rights. Hence, the Yugo-Slav element had always been oppressed and systematically neglected, while the Italian element in the towns received privileges. When, in 1907, universal suffrage was introduced throughout Austria, the first elections showed that the Yugo-Slav element was much stronger than appeared on the surface. The national revival of the Yugo-Slav masses began after the introduction of the constitution in 1861. It was then that the political struggle began between the Yugo-Slav and Italian elements. The Yugo-Slav population, being democratic, had struggled for the freedom of their language and political and social rights. In this struggle the Yugo-Slavs, day by day, obtained further successes and made progress in the acquisition of those rights.

Turning to the application of the principles of nationality and of the right of self-determination, he wished to refer to the regions now under consideration. For greater clearness, he would first mention the regions of the Adriatic Coast from Cape Promontore along the Eastern coast of Istria, past Fiume (Rjeka) and along the remainder of the Croatian coast-line, the Dalmatian coast as far as Spizza (the Southern frontier of Dalmatia), and all Quarnero and Dalmatian islands which, from every point of view, formed an integral part of this coast.

The coast-line just described was almost exclusively inhabited by Yugo-Slavs, both as regards hamlets and villages and most of the towns. There were sporadic groups of Italian-speaking inhabitants in certain towns, but their number was so small that this factor [Page 51] would have no influence whatever on the national character of such coast-line and islands.

The Yugo-Slav population, which formed the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants, had a high regard for its national unity and was imbued with the unshakeable desire to remain within the bounds of their State as already constituted. Wherefore, in the name of the principle of nationality, they begged that this entire coastline, with its islands, should be joined to their State.

It had to be remembered that all these regions were poor and incapable of development apart from the State of which their Hinterland would form a part. All the national, economic and commercial life of the majority of the provinces of their State gravitated towards the coast—i. e. of Croatia-Slavonia, Backa, the Banat, Northern Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dalmatia and Montenegro, all of whose existing roads and railways led to the sea. The islands on their coast sold all their export produce to the coast towns.

Austria’s economic policy did not allow railways to be built in this transverse direction, as would have been to the interests of these regions, but commercial routes were created longitudinally from North to South, with the idea of penetration into the Balkans. It would be the duty of their State to alter this entirely and to build transverse roads and railways which would contribute to the development of commercial relations beyond the sea and primarily with Italy.

The only commercial railway was that which, starting from Fiume, crossed Croatia-Slavonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Hungary. It was built by the Hungarian Government with money belonging to the common Hungaro-Croatian State, at the time when (by falsifying the laws of 1868) Fiume was torn from the Croatians. This port was, therefore, even now the only commercial access to the sea for all these regions, which could not develop normally without Fiume.

To-day, when the Peace Conference was concerned with guaranteeing commercial outlets to the sea even to nations having no direct access thereto, it would be incomprehensible if an attempt were made to take from their nation the ports situate in its territory and on its own coast-line. For these reasons they requested that the whole of the coast-line, including the islands already referred to, might be acknowledged to form part of their State.

The provinces of Gorizia, Gradisca, Trieste with its suburbs, and the Western portion of Istria were situated in the basin of the Upper Adriatic.

The province of Gorizia-Gradisca was composed of two parts, totally different both from the national and economic points of view The Western part, which extended as far as the line Cormons-Gradisea-Monfalcone, [Page 52] had its own life and constituted an economic unity. According to the language spoken in this region, it contained 72,000 Italians and 6,000 Slovenes, whilst from the geographical point of view it was simply a prolongation of the Venetian plain. As these territories, called the Frioul, belonged according to the principle of nationality to the Italian nation, they did not claim them in any way. The remainder of that province, to the East and North of the line Cormons-Gradisca-Monfalcone, which included the mountainous region, was inhabited by 148,500 Slovenes and 17,000 Italians, 14,000 of whom formed half the population of the town of Gorizia. This town was the economic and intellectual centre of that region.

The Slovenes were a highly cultured people and possessed a deeprooted consciousness of their national unity with the other Yugo-Slav peoples, and they therefore demanded that this country be united with their State.

Geographically, the town of Trieste and its immediate surroundings formed an integral part of territories which, beyond these limits, were purely Slav. The majority of the population of the said town was Italian—two-thirds, according to statistics—the remainder being Slavs. The Slav element played an important part in the commercial and economic life of Trieste. Furthermore, if national continuity with Italy prevailed in Trieste, they would recognise the rights of the majority in the name of the principle of nationality; but the entire Hinterland of Trieste was purely Slav, and 20 kilometres of Slav coast separated the said town from Italian territory. The question of Trieste had, however, to be considered firstly from the point of view of its commercial and maritime importance. Commercially, Trieste was a world port. Its trade was linked with its Hinterland, which stretched as far as Bohemia, and in particular with its Slovene Hinterland, which absorbed one-third of the total trade of Trieste. Trieste was dependent on its Hinterland, and vice versa. Should Trieste become annexed to Italy, it would be separated politically from its commercial Hinterland, which separation would of necessity prove detrimental to its trade. Since the collapse of Austria as a sovereign Power, the natural solution of the problem of Trieste lay in its reunion with their State, and that was what they now asked for.

The population of Istria was partly Slavonic and partly Italian. According to the latest statistics there were 223,318 Yugo-Slavs and 147,417 Italians, the Slavs inhabiting Central and Eastern Istria in a compact mass. There were a few isolated Italian groups in certain small towns. Judging from the vast majority of the population Central and Eastern Istria were essentially Slav.

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The Italian population was most numerous on the Western Coast of Istria, chiefly in the towns, where it occupied only five villages North of Pola. These were the only Italian-speaking villages on the entire Adriatic Coast from Monfalcone as far as Spizza. The Slavs constituted part of the population of some coast towns and of all the remaining villages. Thus the Italian sections of the population could claim no territorial unity. For these reasons, and also because the Istrian peninsula was united geographically with Carniola and Croatia, whilst separated from Italy by the Adriatic, it followed that this peninsula should be recognised as part of their State—which was what they now demanded.

Generally, it should be noted that none of the regions on the Adriatic coast between Monfalcone and Spizza had any vital interests in common with Italy, but rather with their regions, with which they were geographically united. This most important argument should be taken into consideration when this problem was being settled.

After concluding his statement, M. Trumbitch said he would like to add a few words about the population statistics of the areas mentioned. These statistics were made under Austrian rule by the communal authorities. In most cases where the population was partly Italian and partly Yugo-Slav, the communal authorities were Italian. In these cases, consequently, the statistics could not be accused of bias in favour of the Yugo-Slavs.

(At this stage the Delegation withdrew.)

(2) M. Clemenceau said that a request had reached him that M. Tchaikowski of the Archangel Government, should be heard by the Council. He thought it might be of interest at the next meeting to hear a statement by M. Tchaikowski on the state of Northern Russia.

Agenda for Conversation: (a) Question of Statement by M. Tchaikowski Mr. Balfour said that he did not wish to object, but he would like to know whether this was part of a systematic endeavour to obtain evidence from all parts of Russia, or was it merely a suggestion that M. Tchaikowski should be heard because he happened to be in Paris.

M. Clemenceau said that there were two or three Russians in Paris, who might have interesting statements to make, for instance, there was M. Sazonoff. In his case, however, there might be some objection, lest it be alleged that the Conference was conspiring with Tsarism.

Mr. Balfour said that he thought some investigation should be carried out, but in accordance with a settled plan.

Mr. Lansing agreed, as he thought there was a danger that only one part of the evidence would be heard.

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M. Pichon pointed out that M. Tchaikowski belonged to the same group as M. Sazonoff; in fact, the request that M. Tchaikowski should be heard was signed by both of them.

Mr. Balfour said that on reflection he thought it was perhaps inopportune to accord a hearing to representatives of Governments which had refused our invitation to proceed to Prinkipo.

Mr. Lansing observed that as the Council was in the midst of considering its Russian policy, it should avoid the suggestion that its decisions had been influenced by any one party in Russia.

M. Sonnino proposed that the military advisers should be heard first and the policy could then be devised. After that, the Council could consider whether certain Russians should be allowed to make statements. He suggested that the request made by M. Tchaikowski should be adjourned.

(It was decided that the question of hearing a statement by M. Tchaikowski or any other representative of a Russian Government should be adjourned.)

(b) Procedure Regarding Yugo-Slav Claims Mr. Balfour said that the Council had now heard the evidence of the Yugo-Slavs. Similar evidence had been heard from other nationalities, and in most cases the problems raised had been referred for examination to a Committee without power to decide on solutions, but with a Commission to report on the facts. In the case of the Yugo-Slav statement, he admitted that there were difficulties, especially by reason of the treaty commitments of some of the Powers present. He wished to ask what should now be done. Was the matter to be left just as it was?

M. Sonnino said that the subject was a difficult one. He wished to be quite frank. Italy could not take part in any Commission or in any discussion outside the Conference, or allow any Committee to make recommendations, regarding questions outstanding between Italy and the Yugo-Slavs. He would also oppose any Committee which was to examine collectively all questions raised by the statements heard that day. The question between the Yugo-Slavs and the Roumanians was already being sifted by a Committee. To this he had no objection.

Mr. Balfour then asked Baron Sonnino to state what procedure he did recommend. He understood that Baron Sonnino would raise no objection to a Committee on the subject of the Northern and Eastern frontiers of Yugo-Slavia. But he would refuse to be a party to any discussion of the frontiers between Italy and Yugo-Slavia outside the Conference. He would point out that the object of a Committee was to furnish the Council with facts, in order that the Council should be in a position to discuss the matter with full knowledge.

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Baron Sonnino said that each Delegation was accompanied by its experts and he felt quite sure that at least eight members of the Council must have already consulted them.

M. Clemenceau asked Baron Sonnino whether he raised no objection to the formation of a Committee to investigate the other frontiers claimed by the Yugo-Slavs.

M. Sonnino said that he raised none, provided that the questions pending between Italy and Yugo-Slavia were excluded.

M. Clemenceau suggested that a Committee should be set up and that the Dalmatian Coast should be excluded from the terms of reference. He thought it impossible to entrust this question to any Committee or Commission, by reason of the commitments of the Powers and certain difficult political aspects of the question. This question resembled that of the Rhine, which also could not be entrusted to a Committee. Such questions must be dealt with in the Council, which was not ill-supplied with the necessary statistics. In this matter, therefore, he agreed with Baron Sonnino. He proposed to name a Committee to deal with the problems raised, with the exception of those pending between Italy and the Yugo-Slavs.

Mr. Balfour then read the following draft resolution:—

“It is agreed:—

That the questions raised in the statements by MM. Vesnitch, Zolger and Trumbitch, on behalf of the Serbian Delegation on the Serbian territorial interests in the peace settlement (excepting only the question in which Italy is directly concerned) shall be referred for examination in the first instance to an expert Committee similar to that which is considering the question of the Banat.

It shall be the duty of this Committee to reduce the questions for decision within the narrowest possible limits and to make recommendations for a just settlement.

The Committee is authorised to consult representatives of the peoples concerned.”

Mr. Lansing suggested that this question be referred to the same Committee as was dealing with the Banat.

M. Pichon said that some of the questions raised were different to the one under discussion in that Committee. It might, however, be convenient that the Committee on these other questions should be composed of the same members.

Baron Sonnino said that he supported Mr. Lansing’s proposal as questions of reciprocal concession might arise.

(It was therefore decided that the above Resolution be adopted and that the Committee be the same as that appointed to deal with the Banat) (See I. C. 130)6

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Interval in Conversations M. Clemenceau proposed that there should be no meeting on the following day as he wished to devote the whole day to thought on the Russian question.

(This was agreed to.)

(3) M. Clemenceau said that he found some difficulty in fixing the Agenda for the next meeting. In addition to the military questions pending with Germany there was the Russian problem.

Questions for Future Discussion: (a) Morocco Among other questions that might be raised was that concerning Morocco.

Mr. Balfour asked in what manner this question concerned the Peace Conference.

M. Clemenceau said it involved an agreement with Germany which France wished to revise. France desired to abolish some of the stipulations of the Treaty of Algeciras.7 He did not mean to raise any question as between France and Spain.

M. Pichon pointed out that eleven Powers had signed the Treaty of Algeciras. Its reconsideration would, therefore, affect them.

M. Clemenceau said that he did not wish to surprise the meeting and would give full time for each delegation to reflect on the subject.

Mr. Balfour said that there remained a subject of some interest, that of Schleswig Holstein. This was not like other questions, as it concerned a neutral.

(b) Schleswig Holstein M. Pichon observed that before discussing the Danish question he must ascertain whether the Danes had any representative in Paris ready to defend his case. He pointed out that the question of the Aaland Islands which would have to be discussed also involved neutrals.

(c) Albania Baron Sonnino said that the Albanian question still remained to be discussed. There were also the Armenians of the Erivan Republic. (d) Erivan Republic

(4) Mr. Lansing said that he wished to ask informally whether in the opinion of the Council it would be wise to send an Inter-Allied Commission to Syria. Question of Inter-Allied commission to Syria

(This question was postponed.)

(5) Sir Robert Borden said it had occurred to him that possibly time might be saved if the Council made up its mind what questions could suitably be sent to Committees in anticipation Committees of hearing statements. A list of such questions might discussion in be established beforehand and thereby in each instance a meeting of the Council might be saved. Reference to Committee Before Discussion in Council

Mr. Lansing observed that this had been discussed before the departure of President Wilson. It had been thought that many delegations [Page 57] anxious to make statements would be dissatisfied if referred direct to Committees.

Sir Robert Borden said that his suggestion only had in view the saving of time. In the same order of ideas he would suggest that statements reduced to writing should not be read aloud before the Council.

(6) Mr. Balfour submitted the following list of questions which it would be necessary to discuss:— List of Subjects Awaiting Discussion

  • Schleswig Holstein.
  • The Baltic Provinces.
  • Poland (Delimitation).
  • Luxemburg.
  • Albania.
  • Zionism.
  • Armenia.
  • The report of the Economic Drafting Committee.

Baron Sonnino suggested the hearing of the Persian statement.

(a) Persian Statement Mr. Balfour pointed out that as Persia was not a belligerent the case did not arise.

(b) Recognition of Polish Government M. Clemenceau said that another item on the list should be the question of recognising the Polish Government.

(7) M. Clemenceau proposed that at the following meeting the question of the recognition of the Polish Government and the question of Danish claims in Schleswig Holstein should be discussed. Agenda for Following Meeting

(This was agreed to.)

(The Meeting then adjourned.)

Villa Majestic, Paris, February 19th, 1919.

  1. Gottlieb E. G. von Jagow, German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1913 to 1916.
  2. French Ambassador at Berlin from 1907 to 1913.
  3. For the text of the treaty of Bucharest, signed August 10, 1913, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cvii, p. 658.
  4. G. F. Martens, Nouveau recueil de traités d’alliance, de paix, de trêve, vol. i, p. 210.
  5. Apparently a reference to the book entitled Aus dem Wilajet Kärnten (Klagenfurt, 1913).
  6. BC–20, vol. iii, p. 851.
  7. General Act of the International Conference of Algeciras, April 7, 1906, Foreign Relations, 1906, pt. 2, p. 1495.