Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/62
Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Thursday, June 12, at 4 p.m.
- United States of America
- President Wilson.
- British Empire
- The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
- M. Clemenceau.
- M. Orlando.
- Baron Makino.
- United States of America
|Lt.-Col. Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B.||}||Secratries.|
|Professor P. J. Mantoux—Interpreter.|
1. With reference to C. F. 61, Minute 4,1 the attached telegram prepared by Mr. Philip Kerr to Admiral Koltchak was approved and signed.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it immediately to the Secretary-General to be telegraphed, on behalf of the Conference, to Admiral Koltchak (Appendix I). Russia: Further Telegram to Admiral Koltchak
It was further agreed:—
That the whole of the telegrams interchanged between the Allied and Associated Powers and Admiral Koltchak should be published in the newspapers the following day.
Baron Makino while assenting with his Colleagues to the above telegram said he would like to have gone further and to have recognised Admiral Koltchak. Nevertheless it was a step in the right direction.
Mr. Lloyd George said that the Allied and Associated Governments could not yet recognise Admiral Koltchak for the whole of Russia.
2. Mr. Lloyd George said that Sir George Riddell2 had reported to him that the newspapers in London now had copies of the Treaty of Peace with Germany. They had not published it and he thought they would not publish it without permission although there was no censorship. Sir George Riddell urged, however, that permission should now be given. Publication of the Treaty of Peace[Page 349]
M. Clemenceau said that at one time he had favoured publication. It was, however, too late now and to publish it would be ridiculous.
President Wilson agreed that there was no use in publishing the Treaty now. The only treaty that could be published was not the one that was going to be signed. He had cabled to the United States that he was not willing to communicate to the Legislature, what was only part of the Treaty. He thought it would be ridiculous to release the document handed to the Germans as though it were the Treaty.
On the proposed [proposal?] of Mr. Lloyd George it was agreed—that when the reply to the Germans was released for publication the German proposals should also be published, and, at the same time or as soon as was physically possible thereafter the Treaty of Peace in its final form should be published.
(Mr. Lloyd George instructed Sir Maurice Hankey to write officially to Sir George Riddell in this sense).
3. Sir Maurice Hankey reported that he had received a letter from M. Tardieu, proposing, as he, himself, had already done, the formation of a Committee to edit the reply to the German Note. Committee for Editing the Reply to the German Counter Proposals
(It was agreed that the following Committee should be appointed, for the purpose of editing the reply to the German Note:—
- M. Tardieu for France, and as President.
- Mr. Hudson for the United States of America.
- Mr. Philip Kerr for the British Empire.
- Count Vannutelli[-Rey] for Italy.
- M. Nagaoka for Japan.
Sir Maurice Hankey was directed to request the Secretary-General to arrange for this Committee to meet with the least possible delay, and communicate to it the various portions of the reply as they were approved.)
4. Sir Maurice Hankey reported that he had ascertained that the English version of the reply in regard to the Saar Valley, which had been approved at the morning meeting,3 was a translation from the French, the French version itself being a translation from an original English draft. In these circumstances, he had felt justified in incorporating the decisions of the Council in the original English version. As a matter of fact, several of the alterations had thereby been found to be unnecessary. Saar Valley: Reply to the German Note
(Sir Maurice Hankey’s action was approved.)[Page 350]
5. The draft reply to the German Note on the subject of Alsace-Lorraine, prepared by the appropriate Commission Lorraines and dated June 8th, was read and approved without alteration. Alsace-Lorraine: Reply to German Note
(Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it to the Secretary-General for communication to the Editing Committee.) (Appendix II.)
6. With reference to C. F. 61, Minute 5,4 Sir Maurice Hankey said that he thought it had not been realised at the morning meeting that Mr. Philip Kerr’s memoranda on these subjects of would not appear as a special pendant to the covering letter, but would merely take their place among the Negotiations other memoranda in the reply to the Germans. He had, as instructed, made enquiries from the Secretary-General about the German White Book, and had ascertained that this contained no documents that had not already been translated and circulated. The first document in the White Book was a reproduction of the Report of the Commission on Responsibilities, which had been published in an American newspaper. Responsibility of Germany for the War and the Legal Basis of the Peace Negotiations
The second document was the long German reply,4a which had already been circulated. He was not quite clear what the decision at the morning meeting had been in regard to Mr. Philip Kerr’s draft.
(It was agreed that the two memoranda referred to should be approved for incorporation in the reply.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate them to the Secretary-General for the information of the Editing Committee.)
7. The Council had before them a memorandum signed by M. Jules Cambon on behalf of the Czecho-Slovak Commission of the Conference,5 recommending certain alterations in the Peace with Treaty of Peace with Germany, affecting the Kreis Provision of Ratibor and the Kreis of Leobschütz.
After President Wilson had read the document, it was appreciated that an expert explanation was required. M. Jules Cambon not being available, Sir Eyre Crowe, Dr. Lord, and M. Laroche were sent for and introduced. Treaty of Peace With Germany: Provisions Regarding the Czecho-Slovak State
Sir Eyre Crowe explained that the district of Leobschütz was to have been attributed to Poland, but was now affected by the plebiscite in Upper Silesia. The northern part of Leobschütz was German, and the southern part was Czech. If Upper Silesia was attributed to Germany as a result of the plebiscite, the German portion of Leobschütz should go with it, otherwise, it should remain with Czechoslovakia.[Page 351]
(After some further detailed explanations by the experts on the map, it was agreed to approve the recommendations of the Czechoslovak Commission and the Article proposed was signed as an instruction to the Drafting Committee.
Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it to the Secretary-General for the information of the Drafting Committee.)
(Sir Eyre Crowe, Dr. Lord and M. Laroche withdrew.)
8. With reference to C. F. 60, Minute 9,6 the Council had before them the further report of the Council of Foreign Ministers on the questions referred to them on the previous day. (Appendix III.) The Military Situation in Hungary
- The proposal to maintain the frontier between Hungary and Roumania adopted on May 12th, was accepted.
- The recommendation against establishing the Czech-Slovak State on the southern bank of the Danube opposite Pressburg was also accepted.
- The recommendations of the Council of Foreign Ministers in regard to an alteration of the frontier, so as to include in Czech-Slovak territory the junction of the Korpona railway with the Komarom–Losoncz railway line, and the insertion in the Treaty of Peace with Hungary of a provision to ensure to the Czecho-Slovak State the right of passage for its trains over the sections of railway included in Hungarian territory of the Komarom–Csata–Losoncz railway, were also approved.
President Wilson proposed that the boundaries as adopted in the preceding decision should now be communicated to Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Roumania, and that their observance should be insisted on.
M. Clemenceau suggested that it might be better to adopt the Roumanian boundary provisionally only.
Mr. Lloyd George said that the Allies ought also to hear what Hungary had to say.
M. Clemenceau said that Roumania would present great objections.
President Wilson pointed out that the Roumanian Delegates had presented their case at very great length.
Mr. Lloyd George added that Roumania was more than doubling her territory.
M. Clemenceau suggested that representatives ought to be sent, not to Vienna as proposed by Bela Kun, but to Buda-Pesth, to arrange an armistice.
President Wilson suggested it would be better to send a telegram to Buda-Pesth, Bucharest and Prague.[Page 352]
Mr. Lloyd George doubted whether this course would be successful. His view was that the Hungarians had attacked the Czecho-Slovaks mainly owing to the Roumanian advance, with a view to dividing the Roumanian and Czecho-Slovakian forces.
President Wilson said that this was quite unjustifiable.
M. Clemenceau doubted if the Roumanians could be induced to retire behind the boundary line.
Mr. Lloyd George said that if they refused, Roumania would have to be informed that she was outside the protection of the Allied and Associated Powers.
President Wilson said she would also be outside the recognition of the Allied and Associated Powers. Roumania could not expect the Allied and Associated Powers to fight for a boundary which they did not believe to be right.
M. Clemenceau suggested that a document should be prepared, to be sent to M. Bratiano, M. Kramarcz and Bela Kun.
President Wilson said that each paper would have to be carefully prepared and accompanied by a map of the boundaries.
Mr. Lloyd George said it would be necessary to insist on the instructions being obeyed.
(It was agreed:—
- That a separate communication should be sent to each of the
- Bela Kun for Hungary,
- M. Kramarcz for Czecho-Slovakia, and
- M. Bratiano for Roumania.
- notifying them of the permanent territorial frontiers adopted by the Conference; insisting on the immediate cessation of hostilities; on the withdrawal of all military forces behind the frontier lines; and on an undertaking for the future observance of these frontiers, as a preliminary to the conclusion of a Treaty of Peace with Hungary.
- That Mr. Balfour should be invited to draft these documents for approval by the Council.
- That maps should be prepared by experts to accompany the above communications.)
9. Arising out of the previous discussion, President Wilson suggested that a line should also be established between Poland and the Ukraine.
Mr. Lloyd George thought the same course should be adopted as in the case of Upper Silesia. M. Paderewski had told him that the Ukrainians were anxious to enter Poland. The situation there, according to M. Paderewski, was almost the same as in Upper Silesia. There was an area where there was one Pole to two Ruthenians, the upper grades of the population being Poles, but [Page 353] the Ukrainian population was also said to be in favour of junction with Poland. The best plan therefore, would be to hold a plebiscite. Poland-Ukraine Frontier
President Wilson suggested that experts should be got together to draw a plebiscite area.
(On the suggestion of President Wilson, it was agreed that the Council of Foreign Ministers should be invited to examine this question with experts, and after hearing representatives both of Poland and of the Ukraine on the subject, should advise the Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers—
- as to whether they recommended a plebiscite.
- as to the area of the plebiscite.)
10. The Council had under consideration a draft reply to the German note prepared by the appropriate Commission on the subject Political of the Political clauses relating to countries outside Europe.
(After President Wilson had read the draft aloud it was approved subject to some quite minor alterations. A copy of the reply as finally approved is attached in Appendix IV.) Political Clauses Relating to Countries Outside Europe
11. Mr. Lloyd George said that one question that had to be faced related to the property of Religious Missions in the German Colonies. The representative of the Vatican had called to see German him and had seen Mr. Philip Kerr and claimed that colonies all Roman Catholic property was the property of the Vatican. Great Britain has always challenged this claim from the earliest times. Religious Missions in German Colonies
M. Clemenceau said that these Missions were not really the property of the Vatican. He was prepared to give a guarantee that Roman Catholic property should be handed over to Roman Catholics of some other nationality, or even to the Vatican, but he was not prepared to say that it was property with which the Vatican could dispose as it liked.
M. Orlando said he had no relations with the Vatican.
President Wilson said that he had received a letter on the subject and the point made was that the Vatican desired a specific promise that missionary property should be transferred to some Church of the same connection.
Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that this was not claimed by Germany and that all that was required was some assurance to the Vatican.
President Wilson suggested that the assurance given might be that the matter should be provided for in the mandates for the German Colonies.
Mr. Lloyd George undertook to instruct Mr. Philip Kerr to prepare a draft declaration on the subject.[Page 354]
12. The Council had before them a draft reply to the German Note prepared by the appropriate Commission on the subject of Military Clauses. (Appendix V.)
Mr. Lloyd George suggested that Paragraph I ought to be strengthened as it was a matter of great importance before coming to the concessions to indicate the great trouble that had been caused in the world by the development of the German military machine. Military Clauses: Reply to the German Notes
(This was accepted and two paragraphs drafted by Mr. Philip Kerr were adopted later in the Meeting.)
(It was agreed to delete Paragraph 2 and the following words at the beginning of Paragraph 3:—“With due regard to these points therefore”.)
Para 4. M. Clemenceau objected to the number of 300,000 men which Germany was to be allowed to have after three months. He pointed out that Marshal Foch had originally proposed an Army of 200,000 men for Germany. The Germans already had more than 300,000 men on the eastern front alone. He did not think that these were intended for fighting, but rather for passive resistance and to make difficulties in Upper Silesia. He proposed to reduce the number to 200,000.
(It was agreed that the number at the end of three months should be 200,000.)
(Para 5: The last six lines were deleted on the ground that this was not a convenient place at which to introduce a reference to the League of Nations.)
(The draft articles for the Treaty of Peace with Germany in Paragraph 4 were initialled by the Five Heads of States.
Sir Maurice Hankey was directed to communicate them to the Secretary-General for the information of the Drafting Committee.
A copy of the reply as finally approved is attached as Appendix VI.
Sir Maurice Hankey was directed to forward it to the Secretary-General of the Editing Committee).
13. The Council had before them a joint note by the Allied and Associated Admirals containing the draft of a reply as regards the Naval clauses (Appendix VII).
(After the Note had been read, it was approved.)
(Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to forward it to the Secretary-General for the information of the Editing Committee.) Naval Clauses: Reply to the German Note
14. The Council had before them the draft of a reply7 to the German Note on the subject of Prisoners of War prepared by the appropriate Commission.
(It was agreed that this Note was unduly long and should be shortened.) Prisoners of War. Reply to the German Note[Page 355]
(M. Mantoux was instructed to communicate with M. Cahens accordingly.)
15. M. Orlando said that he had received the resignation of two Italian Ministers. He also had information that socialists were preparing some trouble.
M. Clemenceau said this was the case in France also. The Situation in Italy
Mr. Lloyd George said that he had seen someone who had seen Mr. Ramsay MacDonald.8 The latter had reported that socialist trouble was brewing in Italy and had said that he, himself, had discouraged it.
M. Orlando said he was less pre-occupied with the internal situation than with the crisis in his Government. There was some trouble due to high prices and that in a recent riot in Spezia, one person had been killed and two wounded.
Mr. Lloyd George said that he was advised there would be no limit to the high prices unless the Inter-Allied Purchasing Commissions were maintained. Otherwise, there would be competition not only between one Ally and another, but the Germans who were half starving would enter the market and send prices still higher.
M. Orlando agreed. He viewed with dismay the prospect of the abolition of the wheat executive.
President Wilson said that this question would have to be considered as part of the general economic question.
M. Orlando said he must now leave as he might have to go to Italy in the evening.
16. The Council had before them a draft reply to the German Note on the question of responsibilities prepared by the appropriate Commission (Appendix VIII).
After the document had been read, M. Clemenceau expressed the view that it was a weak document. Responsibilities. Reply to the German Note
Mr. Lloyd George thought a much stronger document was required.
Baron Makino pointed out that the points had been correctly made. This view was generally accepted.
Mr. Lloyd George undertook to invite Mr. Philip Kerr to redraft the reply.
17. President Wilson read the Report of the Military Representatives at Versailles on the situation in the Baltic, after which M. Mantoux read the Report of the Baltic Commission. The Situation in the Baltic
Mr. Lloyd George expressed the view that the Germans ought to be cleared out of the Baltic.[Page 356]
President Wilson agreed in principle but did not see how they were to be got out.
Mr. Lloyd George said that the Armistice gave power to order their withdrawal. If this right were not exercised, the Germans would establish themselves there. We had information that they were colonising Courland and he had even read a telegram that settlers were coming there from the Saar Valley.
Mr. Lloyd George undertook to discuss the question that evening with General Sackville-West, the British Military Representative, in order to ascertain whether it was necessary to see the experts on the following day.
- Ante, p. 326.↩
- British press representative at the Peace Conference.↩
- Appendix VII to CF–61, p. 345.↩
- Ante, p. 326.↩
- Post, p. 795.↩
- The text of this memorandum does not accompany the minutes of this meeting.↩
- Ante, p. 318.↩
- The text of this draft does not accompany the minutes of this meeting.↩
- British labor leader.↩
- See appendix ii to CF–60, p. 321.↩
- Appendix I to CF–37, p. 73.↩
- See BC–61, vol. iv, p. 501.↩
- Matthias Erzberger, German Secretary of State without portfolio; president of the German Armistice Commission.↩
- Gustav Noske, German Minister for Defense.↩
- Appendix I to CF–46, p. 186.↩