Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/43


Notes of a Meeting Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Saturday, May 31, 1919, at 5:30 p.m.

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

1. Attention is drawn to the Acta relating to—

  • The proposed Roumanian march on Budapest.
  • League of Nations. Drafting Correction to Article 24.
  • Omission of an Article on the Assling triangle from the draft Treaty of Peace with Austria.
  • Invitation to the Grand Vizier of Turkey to come to Paris.
  • Carinthia. Cessation of fighting between Austrians and Jugo-Slavs.
  • (Appendix I.)

2. M. Orlando drew attention to the following sentence in the Preamble of the draft Treaty of Peace with Austria:—

“Whereas, by the free action of the peoples of the with former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, this Monarchy has now ceased to exist and has been replaced in Austria by a Republican Government, and”Preamble of the Treaty of Peace With Austria

He said that the words underlined1 would be displeasing to Italian public opinion, as it would be taken as underrating the Italian Military effort.

(It was agreed to omit the words underlined, as well as the words “this Monarchy”, and that the clause should read as follows:—

“Whereas, the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy has now ceased to exist and has been replaced in Austria by a Republican Government, and”)

3. M. Orlando also suggested that the clause in the Preamble following the above, in which it was stated that the Czecho-Slovak State [Page 131] and the Serbo-Croat-Slovene State have been recognised should be omitted. He said that Italy had not recognised these States. He added that he had no knowledge of the instruction to the Drafting Committee, on which this Preamble was stated to have been based.

President Wilson suggested that the clause should begin as follows:—

“Whereas the majority of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers have already recognised etc”.

He pointed out that Poland was not included.

(The Drafting Committee were then sent for, and were introduced.)

During the discussion which followed, the Council were reminded that the presentation of the full powers of the Croats and Slovenes to the Germans had been regarded as tantamount to recognition.

M. Orlando then withdrew his objection, and the paragraph was left unchanged.

4. (After some discussion, it was agreed that no alteration should be made in the provisions of the Draft Treaty of Peace with Austria in the clauses relating to Rights of Minorities, as proposed on the same afternoon at the Plenary Conference.) Right of Minorities: Proposals Made for Altering the Draft Treaty of Peace

(M. Jules Cambon entered.)

5. (The attached Article of the Draft Treaty of Peace with Austria, relating to the frontiers between Austria and Czecho-Slovakia, which had been drawn up by the experts under M. Jules Cambon, in consequence of remarks made by the Czecho-Slovak Delegation at the Plenary Conference the same afternoon, was approved and initialled by the four Heads of States). (Appendix II.) Frontier Between Austria and Czecho-Slovakia

Sir Maurice Hankey communicated the Article direct to the Drafting Committee.

(M. Jules Cambon withdrew.)

(M. Dutasta was introduced.)

6. M. Clemenceau said he had received a letter from Herr Renner, the Head of the Austrian Delegation, who had asked to talk with him. Subject to the consent of his colleagues, he proposed to reply that it had been agreed that there should be no conversations, but that if Herr Renner liked to send a confidential note, he would undertake to show it only to the four Heads of States. Communications With the Austrian Delegation

(This was agreed to.)

(M. Dutasta withdrew.)

7. With reference to C. F. 42, Minute 7,2 Sir Maurice Hanket [Page 132] stated that he now had the Articles of the Treaty to which M. Kramarcz’s observations referred, and which had not been available on the previous day. Austrian Treaty: Proposal by M. Kramarcz

(In view of the discussion at the Plenary Conference that afternoon,2a it was decided not to discuss the question.)

(M. Tardieu entered.)

8. Mr. Lloyd George read a telegram he had received from General Allenby, indicating that the situation in Syria would be extremely grave unless the Commission of the Peace Conference should come to Syria. (Appendix III.) He said that General Wilson had also received a private letter from General Allenby, dated May 17th, 1919, which fully confirmed the message in the telegram. Hence, he felt that the moment had come to decide whether the Commission was to be sent out. Personally, he would prefer that the Commission should proceed at once. The United States Commissioners had already left for Syria. He himself, did not wish to send out British Commissioners unless the French also sent Commissioners, but in this case, he must inform General Allenby. The situation was so serious that he could not postpone action. Turkey: The Proposed Commission to Syria, Mesopotamia, etc.

M. Clemenceau said his position was as he had stated a few days before, namely, that he was willing to send French Commissioners as soon as the relief of British troops by French troops was begun. As long as Syria remained entirely in British military occupation, and Mr. Lloyd George’s latest proposals held the field it was useless to send French Commissioners. Nevertheless, he would undertake not to send any more French troops against the wishes of the British Government. He was sending some troops to Silesia [Cilicia?], although there was not much object in this from the French point of view, if Silesia [Cilicia?] was to go to the United States. As soon as General Allenby would let him know that the replacement of British troops by French could commence, so that the people of Syria knew that they were not exclusively under British force, he would send Commissioners.

Mr. Lloyd George said he had thought it right before taking action, to let his colleagues know exactly what he proposed to do. He would not send Commissioners if the French did not. General Allenby showed clearly that if French troops went to Syria now, there would be very serious trouble. He himself was not in a position to judge of the matter, but General Allenby was a very reliable man, and was the British representative on the spot, and he could not afford to neglect [Page 133] his advice. Mr. Lloyd George then read a copy of the telegram he proposed to send to General Allenby. At M. Clemenceau’s request he agreed to alter one passage in order to make it clear that the French were not willing to send Commissioners until the relief of British troops by French troops had been arranged.

M. Clemenceau said he would make no comment beyond asking for the above alteration.

Mr. Lloyd George promised to send M. Clemenceau a copy of General Allenby’s despatch.

M. Orlando said he would not send Commissioners until the British and French Governments sent them.

9. M. Orlando presented several proposed alterations in the Financial Clauses in the Draft Treaty of Peace with Austria which had been signed by the representatives of the four States on the Drafting Committee of the Financial Commission. Proposed Alteration to Financial Clauses in the Draft Treaty With Austria

President Wilson was reluctant to initial these alterations without having some explanation as to their meaning.

(The question was reserved.)

Appendix I to CF–43

council of the principal allied and associated powers


The following action has been taken between Meetings during May 30th and 31st, 1919.

1. On the initiative of M. Clemenceau, it has been agreed, and General Franchet d’Esperey has been informed on Friday, May 30th, that the Roumanian proposal that their Army should march on Buda-Pesth must not be carried out. The Roumanian Delegates in Paris were to be informed by the French Government. Proposed Roumanian March on Budapest, May 30th

2. During the Plenary Session of the Conference on Saturday, May 31st, the following resolution was approved and initialled, and subsequently handed to the Drafting Committee. League of Nations: Drafting Correction to Article 24, May 31st

“The Drafting Committee is instructed to amend the French text of Article 24 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, in order to make it identical with the English text, in which language the said Article was originally drafted.”

3. At the Plenary Session of the Conference on Saturday, May 31st, [Page 134] the following resolution was approved, initialled and subsequently handed to the Drafting Committee:—

Article 6 of Section II of Part III of the Treaty with Austria, dealing with the Assling triangle should be suppressed, inasmuch as in other Articles of the Treaty, Austria accepts any disposition which may be made of territories lying outside her frontiers, as drawn in the Treaty of Peace, agreed upon by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. Draft Treaty of Peace With Austria, Assling Triangle: Omission of Draft Article 6 of Section II, Part III, May 31st

4. With reference to C. F. 42, Minute 2,3 the following telegram was approved and initialled by the four Heads of States and handed to M. Clemenceau at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st (by Captain Abraham of Sir Maurice Hankey’s staff), for communication by him on behalf of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to the Turkish Government:— Turkey: Invitation to Grand Vizier To Come to Paris, May 31st

“The Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers have received the request of the Grand Vizier for permission to send to Paris a Delegation to speak on behalf of the Ottoman Sovereign, Government and people. In reply they declare their willingness to receive this delegation and have given instructions to their representatives to make the necessary arrangements for its safe conduct to Paris.”

5. With reference to C. F. 42, Minute I,4 the following telegram was approved and initialled by the four Heads of States and handed to M. Clemenceau at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st (by Captain Abraham of Sir Maurice Hankey’s staff) tor communication by him on behalf of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to Belgrade, and to the Serbo-Croat Delegation in Paris:— Carinthia: Cessation of Fighting Between Austrians and Jugo-Slavs, May 31st

British Delegation

Draft Telegram to Allied Ministers at Belgrade.

Please communicate following immediately to Jugo-Slav Government.

We desire to call the attention of the Government of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes to the situation in Carinthia where the hostilities suspended in January last have been resumed.

The Council of the principal Allied and Associated Powers understand that whereas the Austrian Government have offered to negotiate an armistice and to submit all matters at issue to the decision of the Conference, the Jugo-Slav forces are still continuing their hostile operations and have shown no disposition to accept the proffered armistice.

The Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers desire [Page 135] it to be understood that such independent action on the part of the Jugo-Slav forces, leading, as it does, to useless bloodshed and to the perpetuation of disorder and suffering in the region affected, cannot but prejudice the cause of those responsible for the continuance of these hostilities.

They accordingly request that immediate and explicit instructions be issued to the local Jugo-Slav commanders to cease all hostile operations in this area, and withdraw their troops behind the frontier laid down by the Conference and communicated to the Serb, Croat and Slovene Delegation today, as temporarily the southern boundary of the Klagenfurt basin, the control of which is to be ceded by Austria to the Allied and Associated Powers for a period of six months. The Austrian armies are being required to withdraw to the north of the boundary of the said Klagenfurt Basin.

Appendix II to CF–43


frontiers of austria

Article 1

5. With the Czechoslovak State.

Point 226, between Poysdorf and Herrenbaumgarten, indicated for the delimitation of the frontier north of the Hohenau–Laa railroad, is not to be found on the 1:75,000 General Staff map. Point 218 should be inserted for delimitation of the frontier.

In the delimitation of the frontier from point 611 up to a point 1 Km. 500 above the railroad bridge of Gmünd on the Lainsitz, point 622 should be indicated before point 583.

In order to avoid all possible doubts in the delimitation of the frontier on the spot between the city of Gmünd and the branching of the railroads Gmünd-Budweiss and Gmünd-Wittingau, part of a sentence should be inserted so that the paragraph in question should read as follows:

. . . . . . . . . .

“A line to be fixed on the ground passing West of Heidenreichstein and Schrems, through points 622 and 583, and between the city of Gmünd (to Austria) and the railroad branching of Gmünd-Budweiss and Gmünd-Wittingau through the extreme Southeast of the railroad bridge (to the Czechoslovak State).”

. . . . . . . . . .

The Commission charged with determining the frontiers of the Czechoslovak State is in favor of accepting the above proposal of [Page 136] the Czechoslovak Delegation relating to the last paragraph of the present note (from A through B).

Appendix III to CF–43

1. Telegram From General Allenby


On May 30th Mr. Balfour received a telegram from General Allenby at Cairo, transmitting two telegrams from the Emir Feisal.

The first telegram reports that there comes from Beirut a rumour that it has been decided no international commission is going to Syria, but that General Garron is to arrive in command of a big French Army. The Emir feels therefore justified, seeing that this operation will not only wound national feeling but will also create agitation through the country, in informing General Allenby that—if the French force is increased even by one soldier—he declines to be held responsible for the consequences.

The second telegram is from the Hedjaz representative in Paris to the Emir: announcing that the future of Turkey is now being considered by the Allies; that the Mission has been stopped; and that British troops are to be withdrawn from Syria. The Emir says to General Allenby that, supposing this to be true, and that the news reaches the people, a great upheaval must be expected in all Arabian countries, and that his own position will immediately become very critical. He begs therefore for any authentic news and for an answer within 24 hours.

He cannot accept any decision except that of the liberty of nations and parties by sending the Commission. He protests that his people must not be divided like cattle; and he adds that, if this news be true, the responsibility of shedding innocent blood must rest with the Peace Conference.

The Political Officer at Damascus (who forwarded this second telegram) adds that the situation at once becomes most dangerous if Feisal’s interpretation of the decision of the Peace Conference be correct: namely, that the British troops are to be withdrawn from Syria in favour of France, without consulting Syria’s wishes. “Joyce” agrees with him that Feisal is in deadly earnest and that, even if willing, he will be unable to prevent bloodshed on a large scale; indeed, he will probably identify himself with any rising unless this news is contradicted.

General Allenby concludes his telegram by stating that in his opinion an extremely grave situation has arisen. It is certain that Feisal [Page 137] will raise the Arabs against the French and ourselves unless he (Feisal) can be officially reassured that the Commission is going out to decide the future of the country.

If this rising under Feisal should take place, General Allenby says that it will not only endanger the position of British troops in Syria, but that it will also seriously jeopardise the whole situation in Palestine and Syria. Feisal has only to make a sign, and all the warlike Bedouins east of the Jordan will be arrayed against us—tribes upon whose friendly attitude depends not only the security of Allenby’s long line of communication, but the safety of Palestine itself. Moreover, such a rising of Bedouins would certainly bring out against us the tribes of the Peninsula of Sinai, and would cause serious trouble to break out in the Soudan and Egypt; trouble with which the General declares the troops now at his disposal would be totally unable to deal.

II. Paraphrase of a Telegram to General Allenby

In regard to telegram received from you No. E. A. 2484, you are authorised to make it known that the Commission appointed to enquire into the questions dealing with the political future of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine, are due to arrive in the East almost at once. The representatives of America are already on their way. We have been anxious to send our Commission for some time, and it has long since been prepared. Until arrangements have been made for the French to relieve the British troops in Syria, the French Government will not send out their Commissioners. As agreement on this question cannot be reached, French representatives will not proceed. Under such conditions we deem it inadvisable for our representatives to proceed. You are authorised to state to the Americans on their arrival, that the greatest weight and consideration will be given by the British Government to the advice and recommendations made to the Council of the Heads of the Principal Allied States by the American Commissioners. It is the desire of His Majesty’s Government that the Commissioners should receive every facility in the execution of their enquiries, and rely upon you to see that this is done. The American, French and Italian Governments have been informed of this decision.

In further reply to telegram received from you No. E. A. 2484, you seem to be under the impression that the future of the different ex-Turkish territories is to be decided by this Commission; but this is not the case. They are not empowered to make any decision. When they have completed their examination of the various problems they will be asked to give their advice to the Council of the Heads of the Principal Allied States, by whom the final decision will be taken.

  1. The underlined words are printed in italics.
  2. Ante, p. 117.
  3. See minutes of the plenary session of May 31, 1919, vol. iii, pp. 394410, especially p. 403.
  4. Ante, p. 116.
  5. Ante, p. 115.
  6. Translation from the French supplied by the editors.