Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/28


Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House, Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Friday, May 23, at 4 p.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
    • British Empire
      • Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
    • Italy
      • M. Orlando
Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. Secretary.
Count Aldrovandi Secretary.
Professor P. J. Mantoux Interpreter.

1. Information From Germany Mr. Lloyd George read a communication which had been circulated by the Secretary-General from Marshal Foch, the gist of which was that the Germans would not sign a peace from Germany of violence, and were preparing a new war, especially against the Poles; that negotiations had been carried on with the Soviet with satisfactory results; and that German noncommissioned officers, who had volunteered to help the Bolshevists, would be collected at Konigsberg. (W. C. P. 838.)

He also read a telegram he had just received from Cologne, where the British representative had had an interview with the Burgomaster just returned from Berlin. The trend of this information was that the German Government would refuse to sign the terms, but that after the advance, the hopelessness of the situation would be realised, and peace would be signed under protest.

2. Proposed South German Confederacy M. Clemenceau handed to M. Mantoux, who read it, an interview between the French General Desticker and Dr. Heim, the Bavarian Deputy, which took place at Luxemburg on 19th May, 1919, in the course of which, Dr. Heim urged that the tendency of the Treaty of Peace was to assist the domination of confederacy North Germany, which was Protestant and Socialistic, and dangerous, instead of promoting what he urged would be a better policy, namely, the formation of a separate Catholic, and consequently Anti-Bolshevik Confederacy in South Germany. (Appendix 1).

[Page 900]

3. The Clauses in the Austrian Treaty of Peace (The Naval Clauses for inclusion in the Treaty of Peace were initialled.

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward them to the Secretary-General, for the information of the Drafting Committee of the Peace Conference.)

4. Withdrawal of French Divisions From Italy M. Clemenceau said that he had information that Italian public opinion was very bitter against France. It was a fact, the reasons of which he did not wish to discuss. M. Barrère, the French Ambassador at Rome, who was notoriously a firm friend of withdrawal Italy, had sent him very unpleasant despatches within the last few days. The Marseillaise had been whistled down in Turin, and officers insulted in other places. M. Barrère had made representations to the Italian Government, and suggested that they ought to interfere, in order to stop the storm of abuse in the Press. Today, M. Barrère reported that French officers had been so seriously insulted at Milan that they ought no longer to be left there. There were altogether 1,200 French soldiers at Milan. M. Clemenceau had asked the French War Office if they could not be withdrawn, and had received the reply that Milan was the base of the French troops in Italy, and if the base was withdrawn, the whole of the troops must be withdrawn also. He did not like to do this without consulting M. Orlando. He felt it was dangerous to withdraw, because it would indicate a separation between France and Italy. On the other hand, if he did not withdraw, there was the risk of a very serious incident. He could not take the responsibility of risking such trouble. Today, there was to be a solemn demonstration in the French Chamber and Senate to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Italy’s entry into the war. This had the full approval and support of the French Government. It was at this very moment that these insults to French officers were taking place. He did not accuse the Italian Government, as he knew that M. Orlando had no part in the matter.

M. Orlando said he greatly regretted that he could not deny that the state of feeling in Italy was one that gave cause for anxiety. There were signs of exasperation, partly due to war weariness, and partly to anxiety created by the fact that the questions most interesting to Italy had not yet been settled, and the people could see no way out. Hence, there was a certain mania that Italy was being persecuted. The Government, of course, had nothing to do with these movements, which had latterly been turned against the Italian Government itself. This was the reason of his recent journey to meet his colleagues. On this occasion, he had been told that the situation within the last few days was somewhat better, and that there was a certain calm. He had, at M. Clemenceau’s request, made enquiries about the alleged incident at [Page 901] Genoa, and had been told by the Prefect that there was nothing in the allegation. This was the first he had heard of these latter incidents, and he had not heard of M. Barrère’s representations to the Italian Government. He was informed by Count Aldrovandi that no despatch on the subject had come from the Italian Foreign Office.

M. Clemenceau said that M. Barrère had mentioned the probability that this information might have been kept at Home, and had asked M. Clemenceau to speak to M. Orlando about it.

M. Orlando said he would make enquiry, and give a reply at once. He learned of these incidents with the greatest sorrow and regret.

M. Clemenceau asked that no time might be lost, as he ought to take away the troops at once, if there was not to be a serious incident. In reply to Mr. Lloyd George, he said that he saw no particular object in leaving the French troops in Italy, except that the moment was inopportune to take them away. It would also involve the withdrawal of the two Italian divisions from France.

M. Orlando said that he believed there was only one brigade of French troops and one brigade of British troops now in Italy.

(Mr. Philip Kerr entered.)

5. Russia President Wilson, at the request of his colleagues, read the attached draft despatch to Admiral Koltchak, prepared by Mr. Kerr, at the request of the Council. (Appendix II.) President Wilson expressed doubts as to whether the memorandum would be acceptable to General Denekin and M. Tchaikowsky.

Mr. Kerr said that both these de facto Governments had recognised Admiral Koltchak as the central Government of Russia.

Mr. Lloyd George suggested that a copy of the despatch might be sent to General Denekin and to the Archangel Government.

M. Clemenceau objected to the proposed abolition of conscription as one of the conditions.

M. Orlando agreed.

President Wilson said that although he had been in favour of it, he regretted that the Covenant of the League of Nations had not abolished conscription.

Mr. Lloyd George said that he did not wish to press the use of these particular words in this document, but he was convinced that somehow or other, conscription must be got rid of in Russia. Otherwise, he was apprehensive lest Russia might raise six millions of soldiers and, sooner or later, Russia might come into the German orbit.

President Wilson asked if Mr. Kerr was sure about the alleged declaration by Admiral Koltchak, recognising Russia’s debt as an obligation.

[Page 902]

Mr. Kerr then read the following telegram from Mr. Klioutchni-koff1 to the Ambassador in Paris:—

November 27th, 1918.

Please communicate the following to the Government to which you are accredited.

“The Russian Government at the head of which stands Admiral Koltchak remembering that Russia always kept all her obligations towards her own people as well as other nations to which it was bound by conventions, presumes it necessary to announce in a special declaration that it accepts all obligations incumbing [sic] to the Treasury and will fulfill them in due time when Russia’s unity will be again achieved. These obligations are the following: Payments of interests, redemption of inner State debts, payments for contracts, wages, pensions and other payments due by law, and other conventions. The Government declares at the same time all financial acts promoted by the Soviet Powers as null and void, being acts edicted by mutineers.”

President Wilson observed that Lenin’s suggestion, that the Russian debt was our principal pre-occupation, had been resented.

Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that in this draft, it was only mentioned that Koltchak had made this statement, but it was not made a condition.

M. Clemenceau again earnestly asked that the reference to the abolition of conscription might be removed.

President Wilson asked if recognition of Admiral Koltchak depended on the conditions laid down in the despatch.

Mr. Kerr replied that it did not. Acceptance of these proposals was a condition of the continuation of assistance and no mention was made of recognition.

President Wilson pointed out that the versions which had previously been suggested, insisted not only on the free election of the Central Legislature, but also of regional bodies, for example, in the territory administered by Koltchak, Denekin and the Archangel Government.

Mr. Lloyd George said that para. 2 went as far in this direction as was now possible. To ask the Russian groups to hold elections in the middle of a war, when great confusion must prevail, would be to ask too much.

President Wilson suggested the substitution of the words “to promote elections” instead of “to permit elections.”

Mr. Lloyd George asked whether this was fair. Koltchak had latterly made a very big advance and there must be considerable confusion in his rear. In these circumstances, he could not fairly be asked to promote an election. It had not been found possible to [Page 903] hold an election even in the United Kingdom during the war. Much less was it possible in France or in Italy. In Russia a Constituent Assembly had been elected within the last two years or so by universal suffrage, and had only been got rid of by the Bolshevists, because it was not sufficiently extreme. Nevertheless, it had been a thoroughly democratic body.

M. Clemenceau said Russia should be allowed to choose.

Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that the memorandum permitted this. It provided that if an election could not be held, the Constituent Assembly should be summoned when Koltchak reached Moscow.

President Wilson pointed out that the memorandum could only with complete truth be applied to the British Government, which, he believed, alone had supplied Russia with munitions etc. The United States had only supplied the Czechs, but this supply had stopped. They had not furnished supplies to Koltchak.

M. Clemenceau thought that France had sent very little, mainly because Great Britain had to supply the shipping. He would like to make enquiries on this.

President Wilson suggested that the declaration might be made by the British Government only, since they alone were literally in a position to make this declaration, but it should be made with the avowed approval of the Associated Powers.

Mr. Lloyd George suggested that the difficulty might be surmounted by stating in the text that it was the British Government that had supplied more than £50,000,000 worth of munitions.

President Wilson explained that he was in an awkward situation. The British and French Governments had both dealt with Koltchak as a de facto, though not as a de jure Government. Meanwhile, the United States had looked on, and had only helped to guard the railway which was under an International Commission, of which an American engineer was President. His position, therefore, was very anomalous. He would like to consult Mr. Lansing on the subject of how the United States could associate themselves in this declaration without getting into a still more anomalous position.

M. Clemenceau said he would like time to consult M. Pichon. He again raised the question of the inclusion of the abolition of conscription among the conditions which he asked should be removed.

President Wilson suggested the phrase “limitation of armaments and of military organization”.

M. Clemenceau said he would accept that.

M. Orlando also accepted.

Mr. Lloyd George agreed to make this alteration in Mr. Kerr’s draft.

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(The subject was adjourned for further consideration.)

6. Ports Waterways, and Railways in the Bulgarian Treaty (It was agreed that the Commission on the International Regime of Ports, Waterways, and Railways should be asked to prepare for consideration, clauses for insertion in the Treaty with Bulgaria.)

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to notify the Secretary-General of this decision.

The Treaty With Bulgaria. The Position of the United States Representatives President Wilson said that he had instructed the representatives of the United States of America on the various Commissions, that as the United States of America was not technically at war with Bulgaria, strictly speaking, the American representatives ought not to sign the Treaty of Peace with that country. Since, however, through the operation of the League of Nations Covenant, which he presumed would be included in this Treaty, the United States became in some degree a guarantor of the results of the Treaty, the American plenipotentiaries would be entitled to sign, and on this understanding the experts had been authorised to take part in the various enquiries.

7. Military Clauses in the Treaty of Peace With Austria. Armaments of Small States President Wilson drew attention to the statement made by General Bliss at the morning meeting, which seemed to him to carry considerable weight.

M. Clemenceau agreed, but pointed out that it only affected one side of the question.

Mr. Lloyd George urged that the Great Powers should not allow the small States to use them as catspaws for their miserable ambitions. Prussia had begun just as these States were beginning, and at that time, had not a population as large as Jugo-Slavia. Peace had to be made with Austria. Were we to say that Austria was only to have a few thousand men and that Germany was only to have 100,000 men, and yet Czecho-Slovakia was to be allowed 1½ million troops, and Poland, who was insisting at this very moment against the decision of the Great Powers on embarking on imperialistic enterprises, an army of two millions? This was an outrage on decency, fair-play and justice. We ought to be fair even to the German people.

President Wilson agreed that the whole armaments question ought to be settled as a whole.

M. Orlando said he had been thinking the matter over. The consequences of the decisions taken now would be various and of very great importance. The reduction proposed by the military representatives at Versailles would bring the effectives of these States down to the same standard of military strength as Italy had had before the war. Czecho-Slovakia was to have 50,000 men; Italy’s peace effectives had been 180,000 men, although the Italian population [Page 905] was three times the size of that of Czecho-Slovakia. The numbers proposed by the military representatives at Versailles did not amount to disarmament. If compared with the numbers to be allotted to Germany, the Czech-Slovak army would be immensely larger in proportion, half, indeed, as large as the German army, although Germany was many times larger than Czecho-Slovakia. All the world must reduce their armaments.

M. Clemenceau said his view was that this was the most difficult question of all that had to be decided. He saw the point of what Mr. Lloyd George said, but he also saw the other side of the question. He thought they ought to hear what these small nations themselves had to say. At the very moment when they were being charged with part of the debt of Austria-Hungary, they would not be very well disposed towards the Great Powers if they were asked to reduce their armaments. One of the strongest guarantees against German aggression was that behind Germany, in an excellent strategic position, lay these independent States—the Poles and the Czecho-Slovaks. This fact would make it much harder for Germany to renew the policy of 1914. His Military Advisers were opposed to reducing the Polish army owing to the danger to Poland from Russia. The same applied to Roumania. After all that she had suffered would Serbia be content to be reduced to 20,000. The same applied to the Czechoslovaks and the Jugo-Slavs. While he fully recognised the force of Mr. Lloyd George’s remarks he did not quite see how this policy could be carried out.

President Wilson said he had added up the total figures proposed by the Military Representatives and they would only amount to 350,000 men for the whole of Eastern Europe.

Mr. Lloyd George said that the figures given by the Military Representatives were not really an indication of the strength of the armies proposed. Except in the case of Germany, Austria and Hungary, where only volunteer armies would be allowed, the figures would be practically annual figures. For example, if Czecho-Slovakia had an army of 50,000 men and this number was trained for a year, in 12 years she would have an army of half a million.

President Wilson said that he understood from his Military advisers that part of the plan was to limit military equipment.

Mr. Lloyd George pointed to the experience of Great Britain which had had very little military equipment at the beginning of the war, and said that it was very difficult to guarantee that these nations would not manage to provide themselves somehow with equipment.

(The question was adjourned.)

Villa Majestic, Paris, 23 May, 1919.

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Appendix I

Interview Between General Desticker and Dr. Heim, Bavarian Deputy, at Luxembourg, May 19, 1919


Dr. Heim introduced himself as a member of the Bavarian Volks-partei* and member of the Peace Committee in the Reichstag. He came from Berlin, where he had just spent several days. His statements as summarized below were written down immediately after the interview:

“The conditions of peace resolved upon by the Entente are quite different from those of which M. Clemenceau had first thought.

The conditions of the Entente aim actually at a parcelling out of Germany, whereas M. Clemenceau had in mind the division of Germany into separate states.

But the policy of the Entente will result in the creation of a Germany which is diminished in size, no doubt, but still united, for the German states with separatist tendencies, such as Bavaria, could not promote these ideas in Germany’s time of trouble without being accused of treason.

Accordingly, under the conditions of the Entente, Germany will remain united.

In such a united Germany, North Germany, Prussia, will continue to exert its influence and that influence will tend to suppress particularism and to maintain centralization and you know that centralization is the leading doctrine of socialism.

You should know also that socialism is much further developed and more dangerous in North Germany than in South or West Germany.

In consequence the united Germany which the Entente is making will be extremely socialistic.

It will be so all the more readily since the situation at Berlin, from which I have just come is of this sort: The people are apathetic, indifferent to everything, with no moral ideas. Their morale is dead. Their leaders have been displaced. They are so divided at the top that they are incapable of pursuing a fixed policy. The life of Berlin is scandalous. Two hundred clubs are open every night. At each of them millions are staked. In spite of the scarcity of provisions the gamblers are able to enjoy suppers free of cost as in peacetime. Can you want such a Germany to survive?

If such a peace is signed as has been proposed the people will accept it with complete indifference because of their apathy and also because everyone considers that the economic and financial clauses are illusory.

Even if the troops of the Entente advance there will be no feeling. ‘You wish to visit us? Then come ahead!’

It would be otherwise if the ideas of M. Clemenceau were followed.

[Page 907]

The states with separatist tendencies are: Hanover to the Weser, Bremen, Oldenburg, Westphalia, Würtenberg, Baden, Hesse-Nassau, the Rhine Province, Bavaria.

Add to them German Austria and you would have a group of states which I call ‘The Confederation of the Rhine and Danube,’ with a population of 30 million, almost equal to that of North Germany, which would have 36 million.

Q. There is an immediate objection to the plan which you outline. You make two Germanys, but these two Germanys reunited would be larger than the old Germany since you will have added German Austria. And who will guarantee to us that the two Germanys will not reunite, forming thus a bloc more dangerous than before?

A. The guarantee I offer you is the separation of the two Germanys. There would be two independent governments. Besides the Entente would have the right to exercise a control: we would accept the ‘patronage’, the protection of the Entente.

Q. What do you understand by protection?

A. Especially an economic protectorate.

Q. From the economic point of view could the two Germanys you speak of be independent?

A. No. We Bavarians, for instance need the coal of Saxony and Silesia. Between the two Germanys need be no economic barrier. There would need to be an open frontier.

I come to the religious question. You have noted that in the ‘Confederation of the Rhine and Danube’ I have combined all the Catholic states of Germany, thus forming a bloc against the Protestantism of the North. Why am I, who cannot be suspected of religious prejudices an advocate of the formation of a Catholic bloc in Germany? Because I consider Catholicism a stronger dike than Protestantism against Bolshevism. Protestantism, especially that of Prussia, is too material.

And from the religious point of view you see that the conditions of peace are disastrous to German Catholicism. All the areas which you are taking away from Germany are Catholic, even the portions of East Prussia which you are giving to Poland. Our Catholic areas are located on the borders, on the margin of central Germany, and it is there that you are making these separations.

(I am only speaking from the religious point of view because I am alone with you. In Germany I would be stopped at the first word.)

So the peace which you want to make will strengthen Protestantism in Germany and, I have just said, socialism as well.

I repeat again, that if such a peace is signed the people will remain calm because they have become apathetic, but Bolshevist ideas will gain rapidly. Already in the month of April we have had an increase of 400,000 unemployed. People will not tell you so, but it is a simple fact. As for the reparations which you hope for, they will be illusory.

Q. You speak of reparations. How does the system which you propose offer us better guarantees of these reparations?

A. You will have better guarantees because half of Germany will become healthy (Gesund) again. The other half is by now very unhealthy. It is three-quarters socialist. The method which I propose will save the healthy part from contagion.

[Page 908]

Q. What positive guarantees do you offer us for reparations?

A. On the principle of reparations and upon the duty of Germany to restore Belgium and Northern France, we are entirety in agreement.

As for the practical means, it is difficult to be precise. We shall restore everything that was taken from you and we can even furnish you with construction materials.

Q. And labor?

A. That is a delicate question. It is not that we are lacking labor. We have estimated that under the new economic conditions which confront us we shall have an excess of 20,000,000 population. I say that 20 million Germans will no longer be able to live in Germany. What will they do? They will kill themselves, or die of hunger, or they will emigrate. Among the three solutions, the last is the least bad. You see then that it will not be difficult to furnish you with labor.

If I say that it is a delicate question, that is because, if you do not take care, you will have workers who are in large measure socialists or Bolshevists. To avoid that danger, you must ask from us young men. We can easily furnish them to you since we shall no longer have compulsory military service. You will have to organize, lodge and feed these people, and pay them suitably, then you will get complete satisfaction, but I urge you to call for young men only.

If, besides, you would agree that this labor can be put to our credit on reparations, all Germany would be satisfied.

I come back to the question of German Austria. I believe that Italy is favorable to the reunion of German Austria and South Germany.

As for the remainder of the old Austria, it is necessary to group together Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. A federation must be formed. Italy is not favorable to that idea, but it is a necessity.

Q. You have said that in North Germany socialism is more menacing than in South Germany. However, the military forces of Germany are being reorganized, and was it not, I believe, Prussian troops who restored order at Munich?

A. That is true. Noske3 has greatly improved the volunteer corps. The workers have been eliminated, and our volunteer corps are now composed entirely of sons of the middle class and of the peasantry. There are now 300,000 of them. This figure is absolutely necessary to maintain order in Germany. In your conditions of peace you talk of 100,000 men. It is absolutely impossible to drop to such a figure. In the present condition of Germany, the indispensable minimum is 300,000.

As for the old Army, that has been more or less Bolshevised. I believe that it has been almost completely broken up.

Q. What is the present situation in Bavaria?

A. Order has been reestablished.

From the point of provisioning, there is still scarcity, but it will not continue. From the end of June, thanks to the early harvests of some portions of our country, we shall be out of trouble. The problem will arise again in April, 1920 and then with what can we pay for what we need?

But the most troublesome question is that of clothing. Before the war we imported 97 per cent of our clothing material, producing ourselves [Page 909] only 3 per cent. You cannot imagine in what sort of condition we are now. The question of clothing has also been used as a pretext by our revolutionaries. To excite the people the agitators walk the streets in rags and barefooted.

Q. Was not the Bavarian revolution provoked by other causes?

A. In Bavaria as in Hungary and as in Russia there were the eastern Jews who prepared the revolution. You know that the eastern Jews, persecuted for centuries, have the spirits of rebels. They are the ones who caused all the trouble with us.

Q. You have said that under the conditions of peace which have been presented to you, reparations would be illusory. Can you give me any more information on that subject?

A. That is clear. With what are we going to be able to pay you? With our exports. But these exports amounted to 10 milliards per year before the war. However, your economic demands would reduce these to almost nothing. For example, coal, which as an item of export produced for us 2 milliards, we would have no more, since you take from us the Saar and Silesia, in addition to our having to furnish you yearly with millions of tons for Belgium, France, and Italy.

Machinery, as an item of export, in the past produced 600,000,000. We would not be able to manufacture any more since we would have no ore.

In short, I cannot see anything but chemical and pharmaceutical products which would provide us with income. Our exports of these before the war amounted to one milliard per year.

Q. I shall transmit to Marshal Foch all you have told me. But don’t you think your suggestions will arrive too late?

A. Oh! Not at all. There is still time to consider them. The Peace Commission of the Reichstag, of which I am a member, will not meet again until May 26. Up to that date, I shall be at Wiesbaden, at the disposition of Marshal Foch or of the governments which might wish to summon me.”

Appendix II

Draft Despatch to Admiral Koltchak

(Prepared by Mr. Philip Kerr for consideration at the request of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, 23 May, 1919)

The Allied and Associated Powers feel that the time has come when it is necessary for them once more to make clear the policy they propose to pursue in regard to Russian affairs.

It has always been a cardinal axiom of the Allied and Associated Powers to avoid interference in the internal affairs of Russia. Their original intervention was made for the sole purpose of assisting those elements in Russia which wanted to continue the struggle against German autocracy and to free their country from German rule, and in order to rescue the Czecho-Slovaks from the danger of annihilation at the hands of the Bolshevik forces. Since the signature of the Armistice on November 11th 1918 they have kept forces in various [Page 910] parts of Russia and the British Government have sent munitions and supplies to assist those associated with them to maintain their position to a total value of more than £50,000,000 (?). No sooner, however, did the Peace Conference assemble than they endeavoured to bring peace and order to Russia by inviting representatives of all the warring Governments within Russia to meet them in the hope that they might be able to arrange a permanent settlement of Russian problems. This proposal and a later offer to relieve the distress among the suffering millions of Russia broke down through the refusal of the Soviet Government to accept the fundamental condition of suspending hostilities while negotiations or the work of relief was proceeding. They are now being pressed to withdraw their troops and to incur no further expense in Russia on the ground that continued intervention shows no prospect of producing an early settlement of the Russian problem. They are prepared, however, to continue their assistance on the lines laid down below, provided they are satisfied that it will help the Russian people to recover control of their own affairs and to enter into peaceful relations with the rest of the world.

The Allied and Associated Governments now wish to declare formally that the object of their policy is to restore peace within Russia by enabling the Russian people to resume control of their own affairs through the instrumentality of a freely elected Constituent Assembly and to restore peace along its frontiers by arranging for the settlement of disputes in regard to the boundaries of the Russian state and its relations with its neighbours through the peaceful arbitration of the League of Nations.

They are convinced by their experiences of the last year that it is not possible to secure self-government or peace for Russia by dealings with the Soviet Government of Moscow. They are therefore disposed to assist the Government of Admiral Koltchak and his Associates with munitions, supplies, food and the help of such as may volunteer for their service, to establish themselves as the government of All Russia, provided they receive from them definite guarantees that their policy has the same end in view as that of the Allied and Associated Powers. With this object they would ask Admiral Koltchak and his Associates whether they will agree to the following as the conditions upon which they accept the continued assistance from the Allied and Associated Powers.

In the first place, that, as soon as they reach Moscow they will summon a Constituent Assembly elected by a free, secret and democratic franchise as the Supreme Legislature for Russia to which the Government of Russia must be responsible, or if at that time order is not sufficiently restored they will summon the Constituent [Page 911] Assembly elected in 1917 to sit until such time as new elections are possible.

Secondly, that throughout the areas which they at present control they will permit free elections in the normal course for all local and legally constituted assemblies such as municipalities, Zemstvos, etc.

Thirdly, they will countenance no attempt to revive the special privileges of any class or order in Russia. The Allied and Associated Powers have noted with satisfaction the solemn declarations made by Admiral Koltchak and his associates that they have no intention of restoring the former land system. They feel that the principles to be followed in the solution of this and other internal questions must be left to the free decision of the Russian Constituent Assembly; but they wish to be assured that those whom they are prepared to assist stand for the civil and religious liberty of all Russian citizens and will make no attempt to reintroduce the regime which the revolution has destroyed.

Fourthly, that the independence of Finland and Poland be recognised, and that in the event of the frontiers and other relations between Russia and these countries not being settled by agreement, they will be referred to the arbitration of the League of Nations.

Fifthly, that, if a solution of the relations between Esthonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Caucasian and Transcaspian territories and Russia is not speedily reached by agreement, the settlement will be made in consultation and co-operation with the League of Nations.

Sixthly, that, as soon as a government for Russia has been constituted on a democratic basis, Russia should join the League of Nations and co-operate with the other members in the limitation of armaments and of military organisation throughout the world.

Finally, that they abide by the declaration made by Admiral Koltchak on November 27th 1918 in regard to Russia’s national debts.4

The Allied and Associated Powers will be glad to learn as soon as possible whether the Government of Admiral Koltchak and his associates are prepared to accept these conditions, and also whether in the event of acceptance they will undertake to form a single government and army command as soon as the military situation makes it possible.

  1. Y. V. Klyuchnikov, Acting Foreign Minister of the Kolchak government, Omsk.
  2. Translation from the French Supplied by the editors.
  3. Christian democratic party. [Footnote in the original.]
  4. Gustav Noske, German Minister for Defense.
  5. Ante, p. 902.