Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401764
Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Friday, June 13, 1919, at 12 Noon
- United States of America
- President Wilson.
- British Empire
- The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
- M. Clemenceau.
- M. Sonnino.
- Baron Makino.
- United States of America
|Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B.||}||Secretaries.|
|M. di Martina|
|Prof. P. J. Mantoux.—Interpreter.|
The following experts on the subject of the Rhine Provinces were also present:—
- M. Loucheur for France.
- Mr. Wise and Mr. Waterlow for Great Britain.
1. The Council had before them the report (see Appendix I) dated June 9th, of the Commission appointed by them on May 29th1 to rewrite the draft convention relating to the occupation of the Rhine Provinces, on the skeleton plan suggested in the letter from Mr. Noyes, the American delegate on the inter-allied Rhineland Commission, to President Wilson, dated May 27th, 1919.2 Convention Regarding the Territories of the Rhine
This report and its first two annexes, viz, the draft convention and the memorandum, were considered.
President Wilson read out the English texts of these documents, which, after discussion, were adopted with the amendments set out below. The two texts as thus amended are attached as appendices II and III, respectively, to the present procès-verbal.
The omission of the words “and the execution of the Treaty” from Article III (a) of the draft convention was, on the proposal of President Wilson, decided on the ground that to supervise the execution of the Treaty of Peace was outside the scope which it was desirable to give to the functions of the Rhineland High Commission.[Page 378]
In regard to Article IV of the draft convention, Monsieur Clemenceau explained that Marshal Foch had put forward certain objections to the principle on which it was proposed to base the administration of the occupied territory (see Appendix I, Annex 3), but it was pointed out that the question of principle would arise in connection with the memorandum (see Appendix I, Annex 2). When Article V of the memorandum was reached, Monsieur Loucheur (French Minister of Industrial Reconstitution), who was in attendance, explained that what Marshal Foch chiefly had in mind was the danger of setting up two separate authorities, viz., the Allied High Command and the Inter-allied Rhineland High Commission, to deal with the German authorities. The Marshal feared that any attempt to work such a system would lead to confusion, and he considered that the proper course was to vest all necessary powers for dealing with the German authorities in one single inter-allied authority, who might be assisted by an advisory council in respect of economic and civil matters. While taking note of this point of view, the Council decided to maintain the principle of making an inter-allied civil authority the supreme representative of the associated Governments concerned in the administration of the occupied territory.
The following are the amendments adopted in the draft convention:—
- Article I., paragraph 2. For the words “admitted into” substitute the words “maintained in”.
- Article III (a). Omit the words “and the execution of the Treaty”.
- Article IV. After the words “military officer” insert the words “of the occupying armies”.
- Article V. After the words “German authorities” insert the following words: “and the civil administration of these areas shall continue under German law and under the authority of the Central German Government, except in so far as it may be necessary for the Commission, by ordinances under Article III., to accommodate that administration to the needs and circumstances of military occupation”.
- Article VI., Paragraph 2. Between the word “composed” and the word “both” insert the words “in equal representations of”. In what follows omit the word “of” before “German” and “Allied”.
- Article VII. Add the words “subject to the provisions of Article VIII. (b) below”.
- Article VIII. (b). In paragraph 1 omit the words “in principle”. And insert the word “exceptional” before the word “emergency”.
- Article IX., Paragraph 1. Insert the word “direct” between the word “German” and the word “taxes”.
- Article X., Paragraph 1. Substitute the word “purposes” for the word “reasons”.
- Article XI., Paragraph 1. Substitute the word “may” for the word “shall”.
- Paragraph 2. Between the word “may” and the word “enter” insert the words “subject to the approval of the High Commission”
- Paragraph 5. Add at the end the words “by the allied Military Authorities”.
- Article XII., Paragraph 3. After the words “armies of occupation” insert the words “or of the Commission”.
- Article XIII., Paragraph 1. For the words “German law of 4th June, 1851” substitute the words “German Imperial law of May 30, 1892”.
- Paragraph 2. Between the word “such” and the word “measures” insert the word “temporary”.
The following are the amendments adopted in the memorandum:—
- Article I. For the words “but economic questions will be referred” substitute the words “economic questions being first referred by the High Commission”.
- Article V. The first sentence from the beginning to the words “occupied territory” should read as follows: “All civil commissions or officers already appointed, or to be appointed, by any one or more of the allied Governments to deal with matters affecting the civil administration of the economic life of the civilian population in the occupied territory”.
- Article VI. A new clause to be inserted at the beginning of this article as follows: “(a) The appointment of each High Commissioner shall be subject to the approval of all the allied and associated Governments represented”.
The clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) in the draft to be re-lettered (b), (c), (d) and (e) respectively.
In clause (d) substitute the words “a single” for the words “an equal”.
A new article to be added at the end of the memorandum as follows:—“VII. In issuing decrees and proclamations or otherwise interfering with civil administration under a state of siege, the Commander-in-Chief shall continue to act in consultation with, and only with the approval of, the High Commission. This shall, of course, not apply to action of a purely military nature.”
- See CF–41, p. 110.↩
- Appendix IV to CF–41, p. 113.↩
- Vol. ii, p. 1.↩
- Ibid., p. 11.↩
- Convention respecting the laws and customs of war on land, October 18, 1907; Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. 2, p. 1204.↩
- The text of annex III does not accompany the minutes. This text has been supplied from the report of the Inter-Allied Commission on the Left Bank of the Rhine (Paris Peace Conf. 181.22402/1). The translation from the French has been supplied by the editors.↩
- Vol. ii, p. 1.↩
- Ibid., p. 11.↩