Paris Peace Conf. 18003401/138


Notes of a Meeting Held at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Friday, May 2, 1919, at 4 p.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
      • Sir Maurice Hankey Secretary.
      • M. Mantoux Interpreter.

1. New States. Condition To Be Accepted by Them M. Clemenceau said that he had nominated M. Berthelot of the French Foreign Office as the French member of Committee, which it was on the previous day decided to set up on this subject. (I. C. 178.B. [178D] Minute 8.)1

2. Military Naval & Air Terms of Peace. Article 46 The previous decision that Article 46 should be suppressed.

(It was agreed that the Articles should be redrafted so as to indicate the actual Articles of the Armistice of November 1918, and of the Convention subsequent thereto, which were to remain in force.

The following was approved as the basis of an Article to be prepared by the Drafting Committee:—

“The following portions of the Armistice of November 11th, 1918:—

Article VI; the first two and the sixth and seventh paragraphs of Article VII;

Article IX; Clauses I, II and V of Annex 2; and the Protocol dated 4th April 1919,2 to the terms of the Armistice of Nov. 11th, 1918 remain in force so far as they are not inconsistent with the above stipulations.”

(M. Loucheur was present during the following discussions.)

3. Reparation. Annex IV. Para. 6. A revised version of Annex IV, para. 6, to the Reparation clauses was approved. (Appendix I.)

4. Belgium Reparation M. Loucheur rehearsed the claims made by Belgium for reparation. (See this morning’s meeting, I. C. 179.B.)3

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M. Loucheur urged the acceptance of the claim for the Belgians that after the first hundred million pounds, they should receive 15% of any monies paid by Germany until their total reparation demand was satisfied.

President Wilson said that in the case of Belgium we were dealing as it were with a sick person. The sum involved was not large, and it was hardly worth contesting.

Mr. Lloyd George said he could not agree, Belgium must come in on the same terms as everyone else. Great Britain had a debt of some 8 or 9 thousand million pounds. Belgium was a very near neighbour and the greatest competitor of Scotland, which had an enormous debt. He could not accept any specially favourable system for the Belgians.

M. Loucheur urged that it should be taken into consideration that the Belgian claim for the redemption of the mark had been refused. Belgium would lose 3 milliard of marks by this.

Mr. Lloyd George said that after the armistice, Belgium had taken 4½ millions of marks and she expected to make a profit on them.

M. Loucheur said that 7 millions of marks had been gathered in Belgium, and Belgium would lose about half their value.

Mr. Lloyd George said they had not been forced on Germany.

M. Clemenceau said not since the Armistice.

M. Loucheur said that this was a veritable loss to Belgium.

Note. The Secretary had not been furnished with any document indicating the nature of the Belgian claims, which were highly technical and was unable to follow exactly the other points.

It was understood that some proposal was accepted in principle that the Belgians should not be compelled to repay immediately an advance of 2½ billion francs that had been made to her by the Allied and Associated Powers.

5. Alsace-Lorraine The attached Article IV. dealing with the ports of Strasburg and Kehl was approved for incorporation in the Articles of the Treaty of Peace dealing with Alsace-Lorraine. (Appendix 2.) (M. Loucheur withdrew.)

6. German Colonies. Belgian Representation in Regard to M. Clemenceau said that he had received a letter from M. Hymans asking for an alteration in the text of the Peace Treaty Articles concerning the German Colonies. The alteration he proposed was that the rights of Germany instead of being transferred to the five great Allied and Associated Powers, should be transferred to the United States of America, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Belgium and Portugal. M. Hymans had drawn his attention in the letter to the fact that Belgium had taken an important part in the military operations in Africa, notably, in German East Africa, and that Belgium had conquered there the territories which she occupies and administers.

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Sir Maurice Hankey reported that the Secretary-General of the Belgian Delegation had approached him on the same subject.

Mr. Lloyd George thought it was a most impudent claim. At a time when the British Empire had millions of soldiers fighting for Belgium, a few black troops had been sent into German East Africa.

President Wilson pointed out that the present draft of the Articles had not shut Belgium out. The German colonies would be held by the Allied and Associated Powers as Trustees until the distribution of mandates.

Mr. Lloyd George said that this question was one to be considered in allotting the mandates.

President Wilson suggested that a reply should be sent in the sense that the Belgian interests would be in the hands of the Council of the League of Nations, on which Belgium would be represented.

M. Clemenceau undertook to answer in this sense.

(M. Fromageot, who was shortly followed by the other members of the Drafting Committee, entered.)

7. Italy and the Peace Treaty There was a considerable discussion as to the action to be taken Italy and the in drafting the Peace Treaty in view of the uncertainty as to whether the withdrawal of the Italians from the Peace Conference was permanent or temporary.

(It was agreed:—

That the preamble to the Peace Treaty should contain a definition of the “principal powers” in which should be included the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Japan, and Italy only if Italy was represented in all other parts of the Treaty, except the preamble, these Powers would not be mentioned by name, but only collectively as the “principal powers.” Almost the only part of the Treaty where the name of Italy would appear would be in the preamble, and if the Italian delegates should return, the alteration required would be a small one.
In cases where boundaries commissions are set up by the Treaty of Peace, provision should be made for four instead of five members.)

(8) Date by Which the Peace Treaty Should Be Ready The question of the date by which the Treaty of Peace with Germany would be ready was discussed with the Drafting Committee, and it was decided:—

That the Drafting Committee should aim at handing over the Treaty of Peace to the printer by the evening of Sunday, May 4th.
That the Drafting Committee should be authorized to reject all corrections except those sent from the Supreme Council.

(The Drafting Committee withdrew.)

(9) League of Nations Later in the afternoon a letter was received from the Drafting Committee asking whether mention of Italy should be removed in the Covenant of the League of Nations as well as elsewhere in the Treaty.

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It was pointed out that there was already one non-signatory State, namely, Spain, provided for in the Council of the League, so that Italy could be left out without difficulty.

(After some discussion it was decided that Article IV of the Covenant of the League of Nations should be redrafted, instead of appearing as at present, namely:—

“The Council shall consist of representatives of the United States of America, of the British Empire, of France, of Italy, and of Japan, etc.[”]

it should take the following form:

“The Council shall consist of representatives of the principal powers, together with, etc.”)

President Wilson undertook to discuss this matter with Lord Robert Cecil and others, with a view to the introduction of the necessary amendments at the next Plenary Meeting of the Preliminary Peace Conference.

(The latter decision was communicated to the Drafting Committee verbally by Sir Maurice Hankey. At the same time the drafting Committee informed him that in the Covenant of the League of Nations they proposed to remove Italy from the list of signatory to the list of non-signatory powers.)

(10) The Effect of the Withdrawal of Italy on the League of Nations Mr. Lloyd George drew attention to the fact that if Italy did not sign the Treaty with Germany, she would not be a member of the League of Nations, and would not be represented on the Council of the League. The result would be that there would be eight instead of nine members, and that the smaller Powers would have as many members as the Great Powers. The Chairman might be a member of one of the smaller Powers, and might have the casting vote in cases where a decision was by a majority. He pointed out that this might have great inconvenience in some questions, particularly those of Mandates.

President Wilson pointed out that the question of the allocation of Mandates would not be dealt with by the League of Nations, but would be settled by the Great Powers.

(11) Article in Regard to Russia in the Treaty of Peace The attached Article submitted by M. Clemenceau in regard to Russia was agreed to for inclusion in the Treaty of Peace. (Appendix III.)

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it to the Drafting Committee.

(12) Article in Regard to Austria in the Treaty of Peace After some discussion, the attached revised Article, based on a draft submitted by M. Clemenceau, was approved for incorporation in the Treaty of Peace. (Appendix IV.)

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(13) Smyrna President Wilson said that he had arranged for an American battleship of the latest type to proceed from Brest to Smyrna.

Mr. Lloyd George said that he had also ordered a ship there. M. Venizelos had wanted to do the same, but he had advised him to wait until the ships of the Allied and Associated Powers had arrived there.

M. Clemenceau said that France had already a battleship at Smyrna.

Mr. Lloyd George asked if any announcement should be made that these naval movements were taking place in consequence of the massacres of Greeks by Turks.

M. Clemenceau deprecated any announcement, and the proposal was dropped.

(The experts on the subject of Cables were then introduced, and the subsequent discussion is reported as a separate Meeting.)4

Villa Majestic, Paris, 2 May, 1919.

Appendix I to IC–179C


Annex 45

(Amended Article approved by M. Clemenceau, President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George on May 2nd, 1919)

6. As an immediate advance on account of animals referred to in paragraph 2 (a) above.

Germany undertakes to deliver in equal monthly installments in the three months following the coming into force of the present Treaty, the following quantities of live stock:—

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I. To the French Government:
500 stallions (3 to 7 years).
30,000 fillies and mares (18 months to 7 years) Type: Ardennois, Boulouanaise or Belgian.
2,000 bulls (18 months to 3 years).
90,000 milch cows (2 to 6 years).
1,000 rams.
100,000 sheep.
10,000 ewes.
II. To the Belgian Government:
200 stallions (3 to 7 years). } —Large Belgian type.
5,000 mares (3 to 7 years).
5,000 fillies (18 months to 3 years).
2,000 bulls (18 months to 3 years).
50,000 milch cows (2 to 6 years).
40,000 heifers.
200 rams.
20,000 sheep.
15,000 pigs–sows.

The animals delivered shall be of average health and condition.

To the extent that animals so delivered cannot be identified as animals taken away or seized, the value of such animals shall be credited against the reparation obligations of Germany in accordance with Paragraph 5 of this Annex.

Appendix II to IC–179C

Article IV

Within a period of three weeks after the coming into force of the present Treaty, the port of Strasbourg and the Port of Kehl shall be constituted, for a period of seven years, a single unit from the point of view of exploitation.

The administration of this unit will be carried on by a manager named by the Central Rhine Commission which shall also have the power to remove him. He will be of French nationality. He will reside in Strasbourg and will be subject to the supervision of the Central Rhine Commission.

There will be established in the two ports free zones in conformity with Title . . . . of the present Treaty.

A special convention between France and Germany, which shall be submitted to the approval of the Central Rhine Commission, will fix the details of this organisation, particularly as regards finance.

It is understood that by the terms of the present Article the port of Kehl includes the whole of the area necessary for the movements of the port and the trains which serve it, including the harbour, quays and railroads, platforms, cranes, sheds and warehouses, silos, elevators, and hydroelectric plants, which make up the equipment of the port.

The German Government undertakes to carry out all measures which shall be required of it in order to assure that all the making up and switching of trains arriving at or departing from Kehl, whether for the right bank or the left bank of the Rhine, shall be carried on in the best conditions possible.

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All rights and property shall be safeguarded, and, in particular, the administration of the port shall not prejudice any property rights of the French or Baden railroads.

Equality of treatment as respects traffic shall be assured in both ports to the nationals, vessels and goods of every country.

In the case that at the end of the sixth year France shall consider that the progress made in the improvement of the port of Strasbourg still requires a prolongation of this temporary régime, it may ask the privilege of such prolongation from the Central Rhine Commission, which may grant an extension for a period not to exceed three years.

Throughout the whole period of any such extension the free zones above provided for shall be maintained.

For all questions concerning this Article the Central Rhine Commission will decide by a majority vote.

At the date of the signature of the present treaty the Allied and Associated Powers may appoint a provisional manager who shall be of French nationality and shall conduct the administration until the manager shall be named by the Central Rhine Commission.

Appendix III to IC–179C

Article in Regard to Russia

(Approved for incorporation in the Treaty of Peace by M. Clemenceau, President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George, on May 2, 1919, at 4 p.m.)

Germany acknowledges and will fully respect the inalienable independence of all the territories which were part of the former Russian Empire.

Germany definitively accepts the annulment of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk6 and of all treaties or agreements whatever they might have been which Germany concluded since the Maximalist Revolution (November ?th, 1917) with any Government or political groups formed on the territory of the former Russian Empire.7

The Allied and Associated Governments formally reserve all rights for Russia to obtain from Germany the restitutions and the satisfactions based on the principles of the present treaty.

Supplementary treaty to the treaty of peace between the Ukraine and the Central Powers, February 9, 1918, Great Britain. Cd. 9105, Misc. No. 18 (1918).

Treaty between Finland and the German Government, March 7, 1918, Foreign Relations. 1918, Russia, vol. ii, p. 771.

The Russo-German supplementary treaties, August 27, 1918, ibid., vol. i, p. 598.

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Appendix IV to IC–179C


(Revised Article approved by M. Clemenceau, President Wilson and Mr. Lloyd George on May 2nd, 1919)

Germany acknowledges and will fully respect the independence of Austria within the frontiers established by the present treaty as inalienable, except by consent of the Council of the League of Nations.

  1. Ante, p. 393.
  2. Printed as Bulletin No. 150 in Miller, My Diary, vol. xvii, p. 420.
  3. Supra.
  4. See minutes of meeting of the Council of Ten, BC–60, vol. iv, p. 493.
  5. To the Reparations Clauses. For the text of this annex as previously discussed in the Supreme Council, see annex 4 to appendix I to IC–176A, p. 184; and for changes introduced at that time, see p. 163.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. i, p. 442.
  7. Treaty of peace between the Ukraine and the Central Powers, February 9, 1918, ibid., vol. ii, p. 665.