Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/37½
Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House, Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Wednesday, May 28, 1919, at 11:45 a.m.
- United States of America
- President Wilson.
- British Empire
- Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
- M. Clemencean.
- Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. Secretary.
- Professor P. J. Mantoux. Interpreter.
- United States of America
Colonel House and M. Jules Cambon were present at the outset.
1. M. Clemenceau said that M. Cambon had received full powers from the Austrian Delegates, which were in the name of German Austria. The question that arose was as to whether they should be accepted for German Austria. His private opinion was that this was not a question to break on, but he thought they ought to be asked to give them in the name of Austria. The Credentials of the Austrian Delegates
President Wilson asked, if, in accepting the full powers, we could not reserve judgement as to whether the designation was a correct one.
M. Cambon urged that there was only one Austria. There was the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Hungary etc., but Austria was Austria.
Mr. Lloyd George urged that the other nations, constituted out of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire should be consulted.
(It was agreed that M. Jules Cambon should see the representatives in Paris, of the Czecho-Slovaks and Jugo-Slavs, and should report the result on the following morning).
(M. Cambon then withdrew.)
2. Colonel House and Mr. Lloyd George reported the result of their conversation with M. Orlando just before this meeting. A note of this conversation, substantially identical with but slightly fuller than their report, is given in C. F. 37. A. Italian Claims
(Colonel House withdrew.)[Page 83]
3. M. Clemenceau read a telegram from General Dupont,1 reporting preparations in Germany in the event of an Allied advance. He also read another report, according to which Herr Dernburg2 had told a Member of the French Mission in Berlin that he did not say the Germans would not sign, but if they did sign, the present Government would be replaced by a Socialist Government, which would be unable to carry out the Treaty. Germany and the Treaty of Peace
4. M. Clemenceau reported that, as agreed to on the previous day, he had instructed the French Diplomatic Representative at Warsaw that he was to let the Polish Government know that the four Principal Allied and Associated Powers were unanimous in stopping the advance of the Poles against the Ukrainians, and that they were not supported by the French Government any more than by any other Government. He said he had bad news from that front. He then read a despatch from Bucharest, according to which the Polish offensive had been pushed as far as Stryj, the objective being Stanislau. The Roumanians were pushing north with the same objective. A desperate resistance must be expected on the part of the Ukrainians. If Poland was to receive Galicia, it would be a great scandal and due to the British and French munitions that had been sent there. Polish-Ukrainian Armistice
(It was agreed that M. Paderewski should be seen at once on the subject. Captain Harmsworth was sent in a motor car to try and bring him before the end of the meeting. Captain Harmsworth., however, had not returned by 1 p.m., when the meeting was adjourned.)
5. President Wilson said he had news that, in spite of the representations that had been made, Italy was still sending troops to Asia-Minor. Italy and Asia-Minor
Lloyd George said that, when the question had been discussed at the Council, he had made it quite clear that, if Italy did not withdraw her troops, he would disinterest himself altogether in Italian claims in Asia-Minor. He adhered to this.
M. Clemenceau said that M. Barrère had reported that the trouble in Italy about Smyrna was due to the fact that M. Orlando had never let it be known that he had agreed to the Greek occupation.
Mr. Lloyd George said that the Italians had occupied the zones in Asia-Minor in defiance of the Council.
6. President Wilson read a letter, dated 27th May, from the Austrian Delegation (Appendix I), asking that General Slatin4 might be permitted to have direct communication with the Commission concerned with Prisoners of War, with a view to a common and prompt solution being found in regard to these questions. Prisoners of War-Meeting With Austrian Delegate
(It was agreed that the Prisoners of War Commission should be authorised to meet General Slatin.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to take the necessary action with the Secretary-General.)
7. Sir Maurice Hankey read a letter from M. Berthelot with an enclosure from M. Bratiano (Appendix II.). Committee on New States; Article in Austrian Treaty Concerning Roumania
(It was agreed that the following Article, already approved for insertion in the Treaty with Hungary, should be inserted in the Treaty with Austria:—
“Roumania accepts and agrees to embody in a Treaty with the Principal Allied and Associated Powers such provisions as may be deemed necessary by the said Powers to protect the interests of inhabitants of Roumania who differ from the majority of the population in race, language, or religion.
“Roumania further accepts and agrees to embody in a Treaty with the said Powers such provisions as they may deem necessary to protect freedom of transit and equitable treatment of the commerce of other Nations.”
The above Article was initialled, and Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it to the Secretary-General for communication to the Drafting Committee.
Note. M. Orlando had initialled this Article before the meeting.)
8. Sir Maurice Hankey reminded the Council that, on May 20th, they had approved the proposals of the Reparation Committee in regard to a request by the Serbian Delegation for one-tenth of the total of the first instalment of reparation demanded from Germany.5 He had felt some doubt as to how this decision was to be translated into action, and had accordingly referred to Mr. Keynes for advice. Mr. Keynes had replied with a memorandum, from which Sir Maurice Hankey read the following extract:— Reference to CF–20, Minute 9, And Appendix
“Altogether, therefore, Serbia has already had, apart from other loans, a sum of nearly double that proposed in the memorandum as an advance in respect of indemnity receipts. She is also currently [Page 85] receiving money at a monthly rate greater than that recommended. I suggest, therefore, that, in view of these circumstances, no action is needed.”
Sir Maurice Hankey asked for instructions as to what action, if any, he should take.
(It was agreed that the question should be referred to a Committee, composed of Mr. Keynes, M. Loucheur and Mr. Norman Davis, who should be asked to consider what executive action should be taken, and to make such communications as might be necessary to the Serbians.)
9. Mr. Lloyd George asked if there was any objection to boots, munitions, etc., being sent to Esthonia. Esthonia
M. Clemenceau said there was none.
10. President Wilson said he had received the draft Articles prepared by the Italian Delegation in regard to the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire to be transferred to Italy, together with some remarks by Mr. Lansing. Among other things, Mr. Lansing had proposed that several of the Articles should be referred to the appropriate Commissions of the Conference. This would involve some delay, so that these clauses could not be handed to the Austrians on Friday. Austrian Treaty: Political Articles in Regard to Territory Transferred to Italy
Mr. Lloyd George said they could be sent subsequently. He insisted strongly that the Czecho-Slovak, Yugo-Slav and Polish Delegations should see these Articles.
(It was agreed:—
- To approve the suggestion of the American Delegation that certain of the Articles should be referred to the appropriate Commissions of the Conference.
- That the draft articles should be communicated to the Czechoslovak, Yugo-Slav and Polish Delegations, and any other Delegations concerned, for their remarks.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to arrange with the Secretary-General to give effect to this decision.)
11. It was agreed that a Plenary Conference should be held on May 29th at 3 p.m., to which should be invited the plenipotentiaries of the following States:— Plenary Conference
- The Principal Allied and Associated Powers.
- All States which were at war with Austria-Hungary.
- The new States formed out of the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, and all States which are receiving territory from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Sir Maurice Hankey was directed to communicate this decision to the Secretary-General.)[Page 86]
11. [11a.] Sir Maurice Hankey reported that a summary of the Austrian Treaty was being prepared in the British Delegation. Publicity of the Austrian Treaty
M. Clemenceau asked that Sir Maurice Hankey would communicate a copy to M. Tardieu, in order that it might be translated into French.
(It was agreed that the summary of the Treaty should be published after communication of the Treaty to the Austrian Delegates.)
12. M. Clemenceau asked how long a time would be given to the Austrian Delegates to give their reply?Time for the Austrian Reply
Lloyd George urged the time should be short.
President Wilson thought the same time should be given to the Austrians as had been given to the Germans. The Austrian Delegation had not nearly so many experts with them as the Germans.
13. President Wilson said he had read in the newspapers that 60 of the German Experts had left for Berlin. Reduction in the German Delegation
M. Clemenceau reported that this was the case. They had accomplished their work and their presence was no longer required.
- Gen. Charles Joseph Dupont, chief of the French Military Mission at Berlin.↩
- Bernhard Dernburg, Vice President of the German Ministry and Minister of Finance from April 1919.↩
- Of the French Army; in command of the Allied troops in Hungary.↩
- Gen. Rudolph Slatin, expert adviser on prisoners of war, Austrian delegation to the Peace Conference.↩
- Vol. v, p. 738.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- The translation here given is that which appears as annex A to the thirteenth meeting of the Commission on New States (Paris Peace Conf. 181.23201/13).↩