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.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
    • Italy
      • M. Orlando.
Count Aldrovandi } Secrataries.
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 I to CF–50

M–206 Revised


European Political Clauses


Art. 1. Austria renounces in favor of Italy all rights and titles over territories comprised between the frontier dividing Italy from the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the frontier line fixed by articles . . . . . of the present treaty.

Art. 2. Italian nationality will be acquired by right, (except for the application of the following article and of article 4a of the present treaty) by Austrian-born nationals having right of indigénat, conformably with local administrative laws, in territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy.

Art. 3. Italian nationality will not be acquired by Austrian nationals described under the previous article who, within two years from the coming into force of the present treaty, shall declare to the competent authorities their wish to choose another nationality.

Persons making such a declaration must, within the ensuing twelve months, transfer their domicile outside of Italian territory.

Art. 4. During the year following the coming into force of the present treaty Italian nationality may be claimed by:—

Austrian nationals born within the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy, who have acquired citizenship in said territories, either subsequent to May 24, 1915, or prior thereto by reason of the offices they held or as the result of ten years’ residence.
Austrian nationals having right of indigénat in the aforesaid territories, but who were not natives thereof.
Austrian nationals who formerly had the right of indigénat in said territories, or whose father or, if the father be unknown, whose mother, had right of indigénat in said territories.
Austrian nationals who served in the Italian Army during the present war, and their descendants.

Claims of nationality made by said persons are subject to refusal in individual cases by the competent Italian authorities.

Art. 5. Married women and minors under 18 follow the status of their husbands and parents in all matters concerning the enforcement of the above conditions.

When the father or, if the father be unknown, the mother has not acquired Italian nationality the minor may claim said nationality in the year following that in which he attains the age of 18.

Art. 6. States formed from the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or cedees of territories which belonged to said Monarchy undertake to recognize the new nationality which has been or will be acquired by the nationals of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in accordance with Italian law and in conformity with the decisions of the competent Italian authorities, either by nationalisation, or by effect of a clause of a treaty and to hold said nationals free, in every respect, by reason of the new nationality they have acquired, of all allegiance to the State to which they originally belonged.

Art. 7. Within the first twelve months following their acquisition of Italian nationality, the persons considered under the above articles will be entitled freely to transfer their domicile into Italian territory, with exemption from all import or export duties. They will be entitled to remain in possession of any real estate which they may possess within Austrian territory.

Art. 8. Persons availing themselves of the above provisions for acquiring Italian nationality, may not, on account of their change of nationality, be subject to any annoyance in their persons, properties, rights or interests.

Art. 9. Institutions, associations, public establishments or establishments of public utility will be held to be Italian to which that quality has been recognised by Italian administrative authorities or by a decision of the Italian courts.

Art. 10. Persons acquiring Italian nationality under this treaty will be held to be Italian for the effects of the provisions of this present section which is retroactive to November 1, 1918.

Art. 11. Separate agreements to be stipulated between Italy and Austria will regulate the interests of the inhabitants of the territories transferred to Italy especially in all matters touching their civil rights, their business, and the exercise of their professions, including the opening of emigration agencies, it being understood that Austria undertakes from now onwards to lay no claim at any time [Page 225] or in any place as being Austrian nationals on persons declared Italian on any grounds whatsoever, to receive the others in her own territory and to respect, with regard to the property of Austrian nationals in said territories, the provisions of article 297 and of the annex of section IV, part X (economic clauses) of the present treaty.

Those Austrian nationals who, while not obtaining Italian nationality, obtain permission from the Italian Government to reside in said territories will not be subject to the provisions of said article.

Art. 12. Insurance companies which had their business headquarters in the territories previously belonging to the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, will be entitled to do business in Austrian territory for a period of 10 years after the ratification of the present treaty and their change of nationality shall in no wise affect the legal status which they previously enjoyed.

During the aforesaid period the business of said companies may not be subjected by Austria to any taxes or charges heavier than those to which national companies are subject, and no interference shall be made with their property, which does not equally apply to the property, rights and interests of national insurance companies, and suitable indemnities shall be paid in those cases in which any such measures may have been already taken.

The above provisions shall be enforced only insofar and for so long as Austrian insurance companies, formerly doing business in the ceded territories, are admitted to the enjoyment of the same right of carrying on their businesses in said territories, even if their headquarters be located outside of those territories.

It is understood that on the expiration of the ten year period above mentioned, the aforesaid insurance companies of the Allied Powers will come under the provisions of article (276) of the present treaty.

Art. 13. Notwithstanding article (317), persons having their habitual residence within the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy, and who during the war were outside the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, or who had been imprisoned, interned, or evacuated, will be entitled to full enjoyment of the provisions of articles (300) and (301).

Art. 14. A special convention will determine the terms of repayment in Austrian currency of the special war expenditure advanced during the war by the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy or by public bodies in said territories on account of said Monarchy in accordance with the provisions of Austro-Hungarian legislation, such as subsidies to the families of mobilised men, requisitions, quartering of troops, relief to persons who have been evacuated, etc.

[Page 226]

Austria will be credited, in the determination of these sums, the share which the said territories would have contributed, to Austria-Hungary, to meet the expenses resulting from these repayments, this contribution being calculated on the basis of the ratio of the revenue of the Monarchy drawn from said territories in 1913.

Art. 15. In those cases in which the properties referred to under article (313) belonged to a group or public juridical person, whose activities were carried on in the territories [which have been divided by the effect of this treaty,]3 special agreements shall regulate the assessment of such property.

Art. 16. The Italian Government will collect on its own behalf the taxes, dues, and charges of all descriptions chargeable on the territories recognised as forming part of Italy, and which had not been collected on November 1st, 1918.

Art. 17. The Austrian Government shall hand over without delay to the Italian Government the archives, registers, plans, deeds, and documents of all kinds relating to the civil, military, financial, judicial, or other administrations, belonging to the territories recognised by the present treaty as forming part of Italy.

If any of these documents, archives, registers, deeds or plans have been removed, they shall be returned by the Austrian Government on the request of the Italian Government.

In view of the special circumstances a special convention will regulate all questions concerning the records, registers, and plans relative to the service of industrial, literary, and artistic property, and to the eventual communication of same by the departments of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to the departments of the States to whom the territories of the said Monarchy are ceded, or to the new States arising therefrom.

Art. 18.* No payment will be due to Austria-Hungary in consequence of Italy’s entrance into possession of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome.

Art. 19. Subject to the provisions of article . . . . . (Financial Section) relative to the acquisition of and payment for State property and possessions, the Italian Government takes over all rights of the Austrian Government on all railway lines managed by the railway administration of the said State, at present operating or being built, existing in the territories transferred to Italy.

The same applies to all rights of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy on railway [and] tramway concessions on lines situated in the territories in question.

[Page 227]

Frontier railway stations will be settled by a further agreement.

Art. 20. Austria will return to Italy, within three months, all cars belonging to the Italian railways, which prior to the outbreak of war had crossed into Austria and which have not yet been sent back to Italy. In default of Italian cars, or in case any of these are no longer in working condition, they must be replaced by an equal number of cars in good condition, suitable for transit on the Italian rails.

Art. 21. In so far as territories transferred to Italy are concerned, Austria relinquishes on her own account and on that of her nationals, the right to avail herself, as from the 1st November, 1918, of all understandings, dispositions, and laws providing for the institution of trusts, cartels, and other similar organizations, which may exist to her advantage with respect to the products of the said territories.

Art. 22. (Clause relative to hydraulic power to be agreed between the British and Italian delegates.)

Art. 23. 1. Judgments pronounced on civil and commercial matters since August 4, 1914, by the courts in the territories transferred to Italy, between the inhabitants of the said territories and other nationals of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, or between the said inhabitants and the subjects of powers allied to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, will be carried into effect only after endorsement has been pronounced by the corresponding new tribunal in such territory.

2. All judgments pronounced subsequent to August 4, 1914, by the judicial authorities of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy against Italian nationals, including those who acquire Italian nationality in virtue of the present treaty, for political crimes and offenses, will be declared null and void.

3. For all matters connected with legal proceedings, started before the present treaty came into force, before the competent authorities of the territories transferred to Italy, and with the coming into force of the special convention on this subject, the Italian and Austrian judicial authorities shall be reciprocally empowered to have direct dealings, and suits thus reciprocally presented will be dealt with so far as the laws of a public character allow in the country to whose authorities the suit is addressed.

4. All appeals presented to the higher judicial and administrative Austrian authorities residing outside the territories transferred to Italy against decisions of the judicial or administrative authorities of the said territories will be suspended. The records will be returned to the authorities against whose decision the appeal had been made. These latter shall then transmit them without delay to the competent Italian authorities.

[Page 228]

5. All other questions of competence, procedure or administration of justice shall be regulated by a special convention between Italy and Austria.

Art. 24. All other questions concerning the territories of the ex-Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy which are not regulated by the present treaty, will be the subject of later conventions.

Article be Hydro-electric Works Agreed to by British

Article 22 (English text)

During a period of ten years from the coming into force of the present Treaty, central electric supply works situated in Austrian territory and formerly furnishing electric power to the territories referred to in Article … (territories ceded to Italy by Austria) or to any establishment the working of which passes permanently or temporarily from Austria to Italy, shall be required to continue such supply up to the amount of consumption corresponding to the undertakings and contracts current on the …th November 1918 (Date of Armistice)

Austria admits the right of Italy to use the waters of Lake Raibl and its emissary and of diverting the said waters to the basin of the Koritniza [Korinitza].

Appendix II to CF–50


Report by the Commission of New States on the Method of Appeal to the League of Nations

The Committee have given careful consideration to the question of the reference to the League of Nations dealt with in Article 14 of the original draft clauses concerning Poland. As was explained in the former report this draft was tentative, and the Committee asked for permission to send in further proposals dealing with this matter.

It was generally felt by the Committee that it was necessary to make the guarantee of these articles really effective, but there was great difficulty in determining as to the method in which this should be done.

I. It was unanimously agreed that a definite provision should be inserted in the Treaty empowering the Council of the League of Nations to deal with any infraction of the obligations undertaken by Poland for the protection of racial, religious or linguistic minorities, and the following clause was drafted embodying this decision: [Page 229]

Article 14

Poland agrees that the stipulations of the foregoing Articles so far as they affect persons belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities constitute obligations of international concern and that any member (of the Council) of the League of Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the Council of the League of Nations any infraction, or any danger of infraction, of any of these obligations and that the Council may thereupon take such action and give such direction as it may deem proper and effective in the circumstances.

In this clause there is however one difference of opinion, indicated by the brackets,4 which it was decided must be referred to the Supreme Council.

It is the opinion of the American and Italian Delegations that any member of the League of Nations should have the right to bring to the attention of the Council of the League the question of the observance of these guarantees, while the French, British and Japanese Delegations think that this right should be limited to the members of the League of Nations who are represented in the Council. The question at issue seems to involve different conceptions of the place of the Council of the League of Nations and the relation to be borne to the Council by members of the League not represented on the Council. For this reason the difference has been referred to the Council of Four.

II. The Committee had the advantage of the advice of Lord Robert Cecil, who pointed out that it would be desirable that so far as possible the execution of the guarantees should be dealt with not by the Council of the League of Nations but by the Permanent Court of International Justice to be established. The members of the Committee are agreed that provisions for resort to the Permanent Court should be included in the Treaty, but they were unable to agree upon the text of the clause embodying these provisions.

The French, British and Japanese Delegations propose a text which will have the effect of limiting the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of the League of Nations to disputes which may arise in the execution of these guarantees between two States. If the decision is that any member of the League may raise the matter at the Council, then it would naturally follow that any member of the League might also bring the matter before the Court. Whichever of these views is adopted the essential thing is, according to this version, that the jurisdiction of the Court could only be invoked by States on the ground that there had been an infraction of a treaty. According to this view, the possibility would be definitely excluded of the minorities themselves, [Page 230] or individuals belonging to minorities, appearing before the Court as principals.

The American and Italian Delegations favour a more general provision conferring jurisdiction upon the Permanent Court of International Justice to be exercised by the Court under such conditions and such procedure as it may from time to time prescribe by general regulations. This would leave it open to the Permanent Court to provide means by which its jurisdiction could be invoked in disputes in which States are not necessarily engaged on the two sides. It would be possible for the Court to determine that Minorities, whether as organised groups or as individuals, should be able to bring before it complaints as to the violation of these clauses. In advance of the determination of the character and functions of the Permanent Court provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant, the American and Italian Delegations were unwilling to adopt any provision which would to any degree prejudge its nature, and the conditions upon which its jurisdiction might be exercised. This difference of opinion was not resolved by the Commission and is therefore referred to the Council of Four.

The alternative Articles embodying these different views are appended.

All members of the Committee are agreed upon the last sentence which is identical in each of these drafts, and which would give to the decision of the Court the same force and effect as an award under Article 13 of the Covenant.

5. 6. 19.

[Annex 1]

Draft Proposed by the French, British and Japanese Delegations

Poland further agrees that any difference of opinion as to law or fact arising out of these articles between the Polish Government and any one of the principal Allied and Associated Powers or any other Power, a member of the Council of the League of Nations, shall be held to be a dispute of an international character under Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and the Polish Government hereby consents that any such dispute shall be, if the other party thereto demands, referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The decision of the Permanent Court shall be final and shall have the same force and effect as an award under Article 13 of the Covenant.

[Page 231]
[Annex 2]

Draft Proposed by the American and Italian Delegations

Poland further agrees that the Permanent Court of International Justice to be established by the League of Nations may take jurisdiction over claims of infraction of these obligations, and that she will submit to the exercise of this jurisdiction upon such conditions and under such procedure as, by general regulations, the Court shall from time to time prescribe. It is further agreed that any decision of the Court shall be final and shall have the same force and effect as an award under Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

  1. Appendix II to CF–49A, p. 217.
  2. Translation from the French supplied by the editors.
  3. Apparent omission in French text at this point.
  4. Under reservation of examination on the part of the British Delegate. [Footnote in the original.]
  5. 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.]
  6. Parentheses in the text accompanying the minutes.