Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/106

IC–170L

Notes of a Meeting Held in Mr. Lloyd George’s Residence at 23, Rue Nitot on Tuesday, April 8, at 11 a.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • Colonel House
      • Mr. Auchincloss
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
    • British Empire
      • Mr. Lloyd George
      • Sir Maurice Hankey
    • Italy
      • M. Orlando
      • Count Aldrovandi.

Professor Mantoux.

1. Mr. Lloyd George read General Smuts’ telegram, No. 3 received on April 7th.

Hungary. General smuts’ Mission Sir Maurice Hankey stated that a paraphrase of this telegram (Appendix 1) was being prepared and would be circulated in the afternoon.

Mr. Lloyd George said that he hoped that General Smuts would by this time have received the telegram sent on the previous afternoon, and would alter his plans so as to proceed to French and Roumanian Headquarters.

M. Orlando read the telegram he had received from Switzerland. The Swiss Government had informed the Italian Government that a Soviet would be declared in Vienna on May 14, and suggested that the best way to avert trouble there was for the Allied and Associated Powers to occupy Vienna.

2. Programme of the Supreme Council Mr. Lloyd George produced a list prepared by Sir Maurice Hankey under his instructions of the subjects awaiting consideration by the Supreme Council (Appendix 2). He suggested that it was desirable if possible to bring the Germans soon to Versailles. For this it had not seemed to him necessary that the whole of the boundaries of the whole of the new states, for example, Poland and Czecho-Slovakia, should be fixed, so long as the boundaries of the enemy states were clearly fixed.

Colonel House suggested that the enemy states should be invited now to come to Versailles some few weeks hence. He did not wish to deprive the Peace Conference of sufficient time to complete this [Page 60] work, but he thought that ample notice should be given to the enemy, and that this might be given now.

M. Clemenceau said it would not alter the situation to get the Germans here now. There was revolution all through Central Europe. We were sending food to Germany, but so far it had made no difference. It must not be hoped that because you induced the Germans here now, you could get people who would still represent Germany later on.

Mr. Lloyd George agreed. He read a telegram he had received from the Secretary of State for War to the effect that all his military advisers reported that the situation in Germany was fast approaching a catastrophe for lack of food and raw material. To-day came the news that Hungary had declared a Soviet. It would be necessary when the Germans came to Versailles to ask whom they represented; for example, did they represent Bavaria?

Colonel House asked what ought to be done if the Germans refused to sign.

Mr. Lloyd George said that this was a matter in its military aspects for Marshal Foch, who should be asked to consider it with General Wilson,1 General Diaz,2 and General Bliss, and in its naval aspects for Admiral Wemyss,3 who should consider it with the Allied Admirals in Paris.

(This proposal was agreed to and Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to draft letters to Marshal Foch and Admiral Wemyss respectively.)

The letters attached (Appendix 3) were approved. The letter to Admiral Wemyss was signed by M. Clemenceau. M. Mantoux undertook to communicate the letter to Marshal Foch to the Ministry of War in order that a French translation might be prepared and signed by M. Clemenceau and transmitted to Marshal Foch. (A copy of the letter actually addressed to Marshal Foch is attached herewith).3a

3. Economic Commission It was agreed that the Economic Commission should be asked to send in its report at once.

4. The Saar Valley Mr. Lloyd George said that the report prepared by M. Tardieu, Dr. Haskins, and Mr. Headlam-Morley4 on the Saar Valley was to the effect that no really workable scheme could be drawn up on the basis that they had been given.

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He thought therefore that it would be necessary to adopt some other scheme. He then read extracts from three alternative schemes which had been submitted to him at an earlier stage by Mr. Headlam-Morley. The scheme which attracted him most was scheme C. which would create a new state in the Saar Valley, somewhat larger than had hitherto been proposed, in customs union with France and for which France would have a mandate from the League of Nations.5 He handed copies of these schemes to M. Clemenceau (who undertook to consult M. Tardieu about it) and Col. House. He promised to send a copy to M. Orlando. (Appendix IV).

(The Meeting then adjourned).

Villa Majestic, Paris, 8.4.19.

Appendix I

Paraphrase of Telegram From General Smuts to Mr. Balfour

Despatched: Buda-Pest, 6.45 p.m. April 6th, 1919.

Received: 10 a.m. April 7th, 1919.

Reference my telegram of April 4th.5a

I spent April 5th also in consultation with Hungarian Government; two important members of Government—the Prime Minister, Garbai, and the Commissary for Education, Kunfy—assisted at the Conferences. As regards the limit to which they should withdraw Hungarian troops I had at one time practically succeeded in securing acceptance of a new armistice line, running further east than Colonel Vix’s line, but nevertheless well to the west of the territory which the Roumanian Committee of the Conference assigned to Roumania in their Report.6 Draft of agreement was drawn up and ready to be signed, but Hungarian Ministers then consulted their other colleagues again and refused to sign, saying that if they did so civil war would break out in neutral zone and Government would fall at once. They produced an alternative proposal, to the effect that if the Roumanians withdrew their forces behind the line of the Maros river (i. e. the line laid down on November 13 by General Franchet d’Esperey)7 and the [Page 62] Great Powers occupied the whole of the neutral zone, Hungarian Government would accept the new armistice lines mentioned above. I rejected this proposal as trouble with Roumania would immediately ensue. Attitude of Hungarian Government is as follows: there is no state of war between the Great Powers and Hungary, who wishes to remain at peace with them, to secure removal of blockade and obtain facilities for importation of commodities most urgently needed such as fats and coal; I had undertaken by the lapsed draft of agreement to recommend this course to the Great Powers; Hungary still adheres to the terms fixed on November 3, 1918, by the Armistice8 and to those of the Military Convention concluded on November 13; she has hitherto complied with all demands for further withdrawal to the west, but cannot carry out withdrawal either to the line fixed by Colonel Vix, or even to that which I had proposed as being the only means of satisfying the fair territorial claims of Roumania—the reason being that their Szekler troops on the frontier were opposed to it; if they did accept there would certainly be a nationalist reaction and the Government would fall. Hungarian Government however still declare that as (passage undecypherable) stable Government, territorial questions are of less interest to them than economic questions; they are ready to lay their case, previous to final decision being taken, before any Conference of States bordering on Hungary to be convened and presided over by the Great Powers, and to discuss matters in an accommodating spirit. My conviction is that there is no hostility towards the Great Powers, in the Hungarian attitude. The Government however are weak, they have internal divisions which are likely to lead to their fall at an early date while, except on conditions which would be of an insulting character as regards Roumania they are too frightened to accept line. If we can handle Hungary wisely, I do not think that she is by any means lost to the Allies and I adhere to the view, after consideration of the whole case, that the wisest course for us to take is not to provoke a conflict over the armistice terms which may be unnecessary, but, after hearing the Hungarians’ statement in Paris or some other place, to settle the final political frontiers. Economic questions are of such importance to the future of Hungary that, in my opinion, the Great Powers should, as an earnest of their benevolent intentions, at once allow the trainload of fats which, though bought and paid for with the consent of the Allies, are now held up by the Allied authorities at Agram, to proceed to Budapest, without however raising the blockade for the present. I am starting for Prague today in order to exchange ideas there with Professor Masaryk and shall leave for Paris as soon as possible from Vienna.

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Appendix 2

List of Subjects for Consideration by the Council of Four

[Page 64][Page 65]
Subject Present Position
(a) General Questions.
Reparations:—
To approve final revise of clause agreed to yesterday. Mr. Lamont and Mr. Keynes are working on this.
“Categories”. The British draft is being examined by experts.
Means of Payment. Mr. Loucheur is preparing a draft to be examined by experts.
The Composition of and Instructions to the Commission.
The Names of the Powers to be allowed to claim on Germany.
The Division of sums obtained for reparation.
Breaches of Laws of War Final report agreed, but not yet issued pending the receipt of reservations by the United States and Japanese Delegations.
Ports, Railways and Waterways. Report complete.
Economic Commission. Report is in draft but has not yet been passed by the Commission.
Financial Commission. Articles for inclusion in the Peace Treaty with Germany are ready.
Aeronautical Commission. Report should be ready to-morrow, Monday, April 7th.
(b) Questions Affecting Peace With Germany.
The question of a temporary army of occupation West of the Rhine.
Western Frontier of Germany. The Saar Valley scheme, based on Mr. Wilson’s proposal is ready.
Dantzig. The scheme now being worked out is ready.
Luxemburg (future status). It is understood that no action has been initiated in regard to this.
Method of conducting the Negotiations with the Enemy at Versailles. An early decision on this is desirable. The Secretary-General has put forward a short memorandum on the subject. (Attached)9
Heligoland. Reserved from the Naval Terms. No reason is seen why this should not be taken up at once unless it is preferred to remit it to the Foreign Ministers.
Northern Frontiers of Germany. (Schleswig) Reports of Commission and of coordinating Commission have been considered by Committee of Foreign Ministers to March 28th, and approved in principle ad referendum to the Council of Four and subject to reservations by Mr. Balfour. This is ready for consideration.
Boundaries of Belgium. Reports of Belgium Commission and of Coordinating Commission complete and ready for consideration.
(c) Questions Affecting Peace With Austria.
The Italian claims as regards the Tyrol, the Adriatic, including Dalmatia and Fiume.
Montenegro. No action has been initiated on this.
Czecho-Slovak Frontiers. Only the German portion of these frontiers have been settled. The remainder of the report has been before the Council of Foreign Ministers but further consideration is postponed pending a joint meeting between experts from the Czecho-Slovak and Polish Boundary Commissions in regard to Teschen. This might come before the Foreign Ministers before being considered by the Council of Four.
Roumanian Boundaries. Final report of the Commission is not yet ready though nearly finished.
Yugo-Slav Boundaries. Final report of the Commission is not yet ready though nearly finished.
Albania. Report of the Greek Commission on Southern Albania is available but not unanimous. The report on the remainder of the Albanian frontiers is not yet ready.
(d) Questions Affecting Peace With Bulgaria.
Boundary between Bulgaria and Roumania. Awaits the report of the Roumanian Commission which is nearly ready.
Boundaries between Bulgaria and Serbia. Awaits the report of the same Commission as above which also deals with Yugo-Slav boundaries outside the Italian claims. A report is nearly ready.
Boundaries between Bulgaria and Greece. Report of the Greek Commission is ready.
Boundaries between Bulgaria and Turkey. Report of the Greek Commission is ready.
(e) Questions Affecting Peace With Turkey.
Greek Claims in Turkey. Report of the Greek Commission on this subject is ready.
Note: The first step towards the settlement of the Turkish Question is the nomination of the members of the Syrian Commission.
(f) Miscellaneous.

No action has yet been taken with regard to the allocation of mandates and the drafting of the B and C Mandates for the German Colonies.

Financial and economic questions in regard to Peace with the above countries are under consideration by the Financial and Economic Commissions.

There are a few questions which might usefully be referred to the Foreign Ministers and on this I attach a draft resolution.10

Japanese questions as regards Kiauchou and Shantung.

Appendix 3

From the President of the Supreme Council to Marshal Foch—8 April, 1919

On behalf of the Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers I am asked to request that in conjunction with General Bliss, General Sir Henry Wilson and General Diaz you will examine and report as soon as possible as to what action you would advise from a military point of view in each of the following contingencies:—

(1)
In the event of a refusal by the enemy powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey) to sign the Treaty of Peace.
(2)
In the event of such a state of chaos in any of the enemy’s countries that there is no Government in existence to sign the Treaty of Peace.
(3)
In the event of the German Government being able to sign the Treaty of Peace on behalf of the whole of Germany except Bavaria owing to the fact that its jurisdiction is not recognised in and does not in fact extend to that country.

(The above draft was approved, and was handed to M. Mantoux, who undertook to arrange at the French Ministry of War for a French text to be prepared and signed by M. Clemenceau.)

M. P. A. Hankey

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From the President of the Supreme War Council to Admiral Wemyss—8 April, 1919

On behalf of the Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers, I am asked to request that in conjunction with the Naval Representatives in Paris of the Navies of the United States of America, France and Italy, you will examine and report what action you would advise from a Naval point of view in each of the following contingencies:—

(1)
In the event of a refusal by the enemy powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey) to sign the Treaty of Peace.
(2)
In the event of such a state of chaos in any of the enemy’s countries that there is no Government in existence to sign the Treaty of Peace.
(3)
In the event of the German Government being able to sign the Treaty of Peace on behalf of the whole of Germany, except Bavaria owing to the fact that its jurisdiction is not recognised in, and does not in fact extend, to that country.

Clemenceau

Appendix IV

Attached are copies of three schemes for the establishment of a new régime in the Saar Valley:

(a)
Leaves the sovereignty of Germany but transfers the administration to France.
(b)
which is almost identical, transfers the sovereignty to the League of Nations, but gives the administration to France.
(c)
Establishes a separate State which will be under the protectorate of France, which controls the foreign relations and has complete administrative control of the administration, together with the ownership and right of exploitation of the mines.

31. 3.19.

J. W. H[eadlam]-M[orley]

A & B

Saar Basin

1. Germany renounces in favour of the Allied and Associated Powers, as trustees of the League of Nations, all rights of administration and exploitation over the territory as described in Annex I,11 and herein referred to as the “Saar Basin”:—

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1. (Alternative) Germany renounces in favour of the Allied and Associated Powers, as trustees of the League of Nations, all her rights and title over the territory as described in Annex I, and herein referred to as the “Saar Basin”:—

2. The Allied and Associated Powers confer upon the French Government a mandate to administer the Saar Basin on behalf of the League of Nations.

3. The French Government accepts the mandate to administer the Saar Basin and makes itself responsible for peace, order and good government therein. It will carry out the mandate in accordance with the provisions of this treaty.

4. The French Government will appoint a Governor of the Saar Basin who will be responsible to it for the government of the territory and for the due execution of the provisions of this treaty.

In organising the administration of the territory the Governor will continue, so far as may be possible, the existing system to which the inhabitants of the country are accustomed.

5. There shall be a legislative assembly for the Saar Basin elected by the (male) inhabitants. In all debates in the legislative assembly the members shall be entitled to use their own language.

6. A complete customs union shall be established between France and the Saar Basin.

7. The Governor shall organise a gendarmerie for the policing of the Saar Basin, but subject thereto the inhabitants of the Basin will not be permitted to bear arms or receive any military training or to be incorporated in any military organisation either on a voluntary or compulsory basis, and no fortifications, depots, establishments, railway construction or works of any kind adapted to military purposes will be permitted to exist within the territory.

Omit in A (Nor will the territory be allowed to contribute directly or indirectly in men, money or in material of any description towards the armies of Germany.)

8. The control of the educational system in the Saar Basin will be vested in the Governor in accordance with such laws as may be enacted by the Legislative Assembly.

Facilities shall be afforded for the education of children in the language of their parents.

9. The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons in the Saar Basin, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organisation of the different communions, or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.

10. The property in the Saar Basin formerly belonging to the Imperial German Government, or the Government of any German State will pass to the Administration of the Saar Basin.

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11. An exclusive right to the exploitation of the mines in the Saar Basin which were formerly the property of the Imperial German Government or of any German State shall pass to the Government of the French Republic, which will make such arrangements as it may deem necessary for exercising the rights so conferred.

In the exploitation of the mines no distinction will be made in the pay or conditions of employment of the workmen, whatever their nationality.

A fixed sum per ton of coal raised will be paid to the Administration by the French Government as a contribution towards the expenses of the administration.

12. The French Government shall be entitled to the exclusive right of operating the railways and waterways of the Saar Basin. For this purpose it shall be entitled to purchase or lease them from the Administration at such price or rent as may be agreed, or failing agreement, may be decided by arbitration under the supervision of the League of Nations.

The rights conferred by this article shall extend also to the development and improvement of the existing railways and waterways and to the purchase of such land as may be necessary for the purpose.

13. No obstacle shall at any time be placed in the way of any inhabitant of the Saar Basin who wishes to withdraw’ from the territory.

14. Omit in B (German nationals inhabiting the Saar Basin will ipso facto lose their German nationality and when outside the Saar Basin will be entitled to French diplomatic protection.)

15. All questions other than those dealt with above arising out of the arrangements now made relating to the Saar Basin, including the amount of the payment per ton of coal raised referred to in article 11, will be made the subject of subsequent agreements between the parties concerned.

C

Saar Basin

1. The territory comprised within the following limits is hereby constituted an independent state under the name of the Saar Republic (geographical boundaries).

Germany renounces all rights and title over the said territory.

2. Pending the convocation of a constituent assembly charged with the duty of preparing and enacting an organic law for the Saar Republic the League of Nations will appoint a Governor of the Saar Basin who will be responsible to it for the government of the territory until the coming into force of the organic law and the establishment of the administration of the Republic.

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In organising the administration of the territory the Governor will continue so far as may be possible the existing system to which the inhabitants of the country are accustomed.

The Governor will also be responsible for the due execution of the provisions of the Treaty.

3. The organic law shall provide for a legislative assembly elected by the (male) inhabitants of the Republic for the establishment of a judicial system, and for the organisation of the administration.

4. A complete customs union shall be established between France and the Saar Republic, and shall not be terminated without the consent of the French Government.

5. There shall be a gendarmerie for the policing of the territory of the Saar Republic, but subject thereto the inhabitants of the Republic will not be permitted to bear arms or receive any military training or to be incorporated in any military organisation either on a voluntary or compulsory basis. No fortifications, depots, establishments, railway construction or works of any kind adapted to military purposes will be permitted to exist.

6. The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to the Saar Republic, as well as to foreigners in its territory and no hindrance shall be offered either to the hierarchical organisation of the different communions or to their relations with their spiritual chiefs.

7. The property in the territory of the Saar Republic which belonged to the Imperial German Government, or the Government of any German State, will pass to the Government of the Saar Republic.

8. The French Government shall enjoy an exclusive right to the exploitation of the mines within the territory of the Saar Republic which were formerly the property of the Imperial German Government or of any German State. The French Government will make such arrangements as it may deem necessary for exercising the rights so conferred.

In the exploitation of the mines no distinction will be made in the pay or conditions of employment of the workmen whatever their nationality.

A fixed sum per ton of coal raised will be paid to the Republic by the French Government as a contribution towards the expenses of the administration.

9. The French Government shall be entitled to the exclusive right of operating the railways and waterways in the Saar Republic. For this purpose it shall be entitled to purchase or lease them from the Administration of the Republic at such price or rent as may be agreed, or failing agreement may be decided by arbitration under the supervision of the League of Nations.

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The rights conferred by this article shall extend also to the development and improvement of the existing railways and waterways and to the purchase of such land as may be necessary for the purpose.

10. German nationals habitually resident in the territories described in Article 1 will ipso facto become citizens of the Saar Republic and will lose their German nationality.

Within a period of (. . . . .) from the coming into effect of the present Treaty, German nationals not less than 18 years old and habitually resident in the Saar Republic will be entitled to opt for German nationality. Option by a husband will cover his wife, and option by parents will cover that of their children less than 18 years old.

All persons who have exercised the above right to opt must within the succeeding twelve months transfer their place of residence to Germany.

They will be entitled to retain their landed property in the Saar Republic. They may carry with them their moveable property of every description. No export or import duties or charges may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such property.

11. The control of the foreign relations of the Saar Republic will be entrusted to the French Government and all citizens of the Republic will be entitled when outside the limits of the Republic to French diplomatic protection.

12. All questions other than those dealt with above arising out of the arrangements now made relating to the Saar Basin, including the amount of payment per ton of coal raised referred to in Article 8, will be made the subject of subsequent agreements between the parties concerned.

  1. Field Marshal Sir Henry H. Wilson, British Military Representative on the Supreme War Council; member of the Interallied Military and Naval Committee.
  2. Gen. Armando Diaz, Chief of the General Staff of the Italian Army; member of the Interallied Military and Naval Committee.
  3. Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, British First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval General Staff; member of the Interallied Military and Naval Committee.
  4. Not printed.
  5. French, American, and British members respectively of the Special Commission on the Saar Valley.
  6. Scheme C actually did not provide that France would have a mandate from the League of Nations for the Saar Basin; such a mandate was provided for in Schemes A and B. See appendix IV, p. 66.
  7. Ante, p. 41.
  8. Report No. 1 of the Committee for the Study of Territorial Questions Relating to Roumania and Yugoslavia (Commission on Roumanian and Yugoslav Affairs) was not issued until April 6, 1919, but the proposed frontier between Roumania and Hungary had been discussed at earlier meetings of the Committee, of which minutes had been issued.
  9. See the military convention between the Allies and Hungary, signed at Belgrade November 13, 1918, vol. ii, p. 183.
  10. See vol. ii, p. 175.
  11. This memorandum does not accompany file copy of the minutes.
  12. This draft resolution does not accompany file copy of the minutes
  13. The reference is to a hypothetical annex, which would define the boundaries of the Saar Basin; such an annex did not accompany the text of Schemes A and B.