Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/50
Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Friday, June 6, at 4 p.m.
United States of America
- President Wilson.
- The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
- M. Clemenceau.
- M. Orlando.
- United States of America
|Lt.-Col. Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B.|
|Professor P. J. Mantoux—Interpreter.|
1. (Mr. Norman Davis was present during this discussion.)
The Council had before them a draft of the Political Clauses for inclusion in the Treaty of Peace with Austria. (Appendix I.) Austrian Treaty: Political Clauses Affecting Italy
Mr. Norman Davis explained that originally there had been thirty-five Articles in the first Draft. These had been referred to an Economic group consisting of members of the Economic Commission and the Reparation Commission. They had found that the first eleven clauses were entirely political in character, and had concerned themselves with the last twenty-four which, as a result of their discussions, had been reduced to thirteen.
President Wilson said that he was informed by the United States experts that the subject of this clause had already been considered by the Reparation Commission and rejected. It had now re-appeared in the present draft. The effect would be to leave Austria-Hungary without sufficient rolling stock to carry on. Article 20
Mr. Lloyd George said that this was either a reparation demand or armistice demand and ought not to appear in this section of the Treaty.
M. Orlando explained that restitution of this kind had been provided for in the case of France and Belgium in the terms of the armistice. The Austrian armistice had been drafted before the German armistice and this point had been overlooked. All that Italy asked was that she should now be put in the same position as regards railway material as France and Belgium had been put by the armistice.
President Wilson pointed out that by the terms of the German armistice definite quantities of rolling stock had been demanded. This demand was without any limit.[Page 220]
Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that all the wagons would be taken away from one nation of only 9 millions of people whereas the other States which had constituted the Austro-Hungarian Empire were equally concerned. He agreed that Italy ought to have restitution for the actual rolling stock taken.
Mr. Davis agreed that they should get restitution of the article actually taken away from them. In this clause, however, they demanded the equivalent though the actual article could not be identified. This was the same question that had been fought out before the Reparations Committee and the same demand had been made by France, Belgium and Rumania. It had been found necessary, however, to limit them to reclaiming the actual article taken away, which could be identified and not to allow the equivalent to be taken.
Mr. Lloyd George agreed that if the actual rolling stock could be traced, it should be returned, but this claim on the small Austrian Republic to return all the wagons taken by the Austro-Hungarian Empire was too much. He suggested to M. Orlando that the last half of Article 20 commencing with the words “A défaut” should be omitted. If after consulting with his experts, he wished to alter this decision he could raise the question again at the Council.
M. Orlando accepted this proposal.
Sir Maurice Hankey pointed out that this Article, which had been reserved for agreement between the British and Italian Delegates, had now been completed and was given in English at the end of the appendix. The revised Article had only reached him after the remainder had been reproduced and he had instructed that it should be added at the end. Article 22
There was some discussion as to what action should be taken as regards the Political Clauses.
Sir Maurice Hankey recalled that it had been desired to deal very rapidly with these Clauses and consequently instead of referring them to a special Commission each member of the Council had undertaken to consult his own expert so as he could deal with it himself. Afterwards, however, it had been found necessary to refer the later Clauses to technical Commissions and thus it came about that there had been no comprehensive consideration of the first eleven Clauses.
(It was decided to refer the question to a special Commission.)
The conclusions of this discussion are as follows:—
1. Clauses 12–24 were approved, subject to the following alteration in Article 20:
2. The last half of Article 20 beginning with the words “A défaut” to be omitted, subject to the right of M. Orlando to raise the question again if, after consultation with his experts, he found it necessary. Article 20 would therefore read as follows:—L’Autriche restituera à l’Italie, dans un délai de trois mois tous les wagons appartenant aux [Page 221] chemins de fer italiens qui, avant le début de la guerre, étaient passés en Autriche et qui ne sont pas rentrés en Italie.
3. The first eleven Clauses were referred to the following: Committee:
|For the United States of America||Mr. Lansing, or a representative nominated by him.|
|For British Empire||Mr. Balfour, or a representative nominated by him.|
|For France||M. Pichon, or a representative nominated by him.|
|For Italy||M. Sonnino, or a representative nominated by him.|
2. President Wilson read an extract from a letter he had received from the United States member of the Polish Commission stating that the Commission had made no progress with regard to the German Treaty because the British Member had declined to discuss the question. Eastern Frontier of Germany: Polish Commission Replaced by the Special Committee
Sir Maurice Hankey said he had reason to believe that the reason of this was that the Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers had set up a Special Committee to work out certain modifications in the German Treaty and the British representative, having knowledge of this, had thought it would be inconvenient if two bodies were at work on the same subiect.
President Wilson agreed that this was a right attitude.
(It was agreed that the Polish Commission should for the present reserve taking action with regard to the German Treaty, leaving the matter in the hands of the Special Committee.)
(Mr. Norman Davis then withdrew.)
3. President Wilson read a report by the Committee on New States, raising the question of whether appeals to the League of Nations in the matter of minorities should be allowable by any member of the League of Nations, or only by a member of the Council of the League. (Appendix II.) Committee on New States: Reference to the League of Nations
He said that the importance of the question would be appreciated by remembering how sensitive M. Bratiano, M. Pasitch, and other representatives of the States with special interests had shown themselves to the idea of anything being imposed by the larger Powers. If the right of appeal to the League of Nations were confined to members of the Council, he thought that it would rather increase and perpetuate this feeling. It would mean that only the representatives of the Great Powers and the representatives of the few other States, who, for the time being were members of the Council, would have the right to call attention to these matters. This would place these nations in a supervising position, and would tend to increase the sensitiveness of the other States. Consequently, he thought that any member of the League of Nations should have this right. The Jews in the United States of America, Great Britain, France or Italy, were treated just the same as anyone else. The Jews who were likely [Page 222] to disturb the peace of Europe did not reside in these States, but in Eastern Europe. Supposing Poland did not keep her covenants in regard to the Jews, a Roumanian representative would have the right to call attention to it, and vice versa. By this means, equality would be established between the different States.
Mr. Lloyd George said that his own judgment had been much influenced by the method which was most acceptable to the States themselves.
M. Clemenceau was rather opposed to consulting them as they were so sensitive. At this very moment, they had in their possession a letter from him, asking what they meant by their statement that they would make reserves in regard to the Treaty with Austria, and he did not think they would give a very favourable reply. He had learned that M. Bratiano intended to resign, and was leaving tonight for Roumania.
President Wilson recalled that there was a Clause in the Covenant of the League of Nations which gave the right to every State a member of the League, to call attention to matters affecting the peace of the world. The matter now under consideration was just such a question.
Mr. Lloyd George said it was difficult to know how another country would regard the question. If he were a Roumanian or Pole, he would prefer to have attention called to such a matter by one of the Great Powers rather than by Nicaragua or Greece. Roumania would probably strongly object to attention being called to such a matter by, say M. Venizelos or M. Politis. He thought it would hurt her pride less.
It was agreed that the representatives of the States concerned should be consulted as follows:—
- President Wilson to see Dr. Benes.
- Mr. Lloyd George to see M. Paderewski.
- M. Clemenceau to see M. Vesnitch.
- M. Orlando to see M. Bratiano.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to circulate copies of the Report the same evening.
4. Mr. Lloyd George handed M. Clemenceau a paraphrase of the telegram received from the British High Commissioner at Constantinople,1 as he had promised at the morning meeting. Turkey: Visit of the Grand Vizier to Paris
5. President Wilson read a portion of the reply from Admiral Koltchak, which had been received, and there was a short discussion thereon. Policy in Russia: Reply From Admiral Koltchak
(As the reply is as yet incomplete, it will be included in the Minutes of a later meeting.)
6. Sir Maurice Hankey called attention to the Secret and Confidential [Page 223] Report of the Committee of the Supreme Economic Council that had been appointed to consider the question of drawing up a Scheme of Credit for Europe. He said that Lord Robert Cecil was anxious to return to London, and was pressing to have this Report considered without further delay. Creadit Scheme for Europe
(In view of the urgency of pushing on with the reply to the German Treaty, and with the Austrian Treaty, it was decided to postpone this matter for the moment.)
(It was agreed to discuss Reparation in the German Treaty on the following day.)
- Appendix II to CF–49A, p. 217.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Apparent omission in French text at this point.↩
- Under reservation of examination on the part of the British Delegate. [Footnote in the original.]↩
- English text of this article on page 7. [Footnote, in English, in the original; reference is to the English text as it appears following article 24.]↩
- Parentheses in the text accompanying the minutes.↩