Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/69

CF–69

Notes of a Meeting Held in President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Saturday, June 14, 1919, at 6 p.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson
    • British Empire
      • Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
    • Italy
      • M. Sonnino
    • Japan
      • Baron Makino
Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. } Secretaries
M. di Martino
Professor P. J. Mantoux—Interpreter

1. The Council had before them a memorandum on the observations presented by the German Delegation relative to Part 9 of the Treaty, (Financial Clauses) prepared by the Financial Com-Financial mission. (Appendix I.) Financial Clauses: Reply to the German Observations

(This Memorandum had been read by Members between the morning and afternoon meetings and was approved without amendment.)

A copy of the Memorandum was initialled by the representatives of the five States, since it provided for certain alterations in the Treaty of Peace.

The initialled copy for the Drafting Committee, was handed to Mr. Hurst, who, with M. Fromageot, attended the Council later in the meeting, in connection with another question.

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate a copy of the Memorandum to the Secretary-General, for the information of the Editing Committee.

M. Fromageot and Mr. Hurst, of the Drafting Committee, were present during the following discussion.

2. The Council had before them the draft reply of the Commission [Page 454]on Belgian and Danish affairs to remarks of the German Delegation on the Conditions of Peace (Appendix II).

The reply with regard to Belgium was approved subject to a verbal alteration in line 5 of the English version, the word “offset” being substituted for “effect”. Belgium and Schleswig: Reply to German Note

In regard to Schleswig, the Council decided in principle to drop the idea of the plebiscite in the most southerly of the three zones. This decision was taken in view of the objections of the Danish Government.

M. Fromageot and Mr. Hurst, of the Drafting Committee were instructed without waiting for any initialled authority to proceed with the necessary alterations in the Treaty of Peace with Germany to give effect to this decision.

The Council felt, however, that in view of M. Tardieu’s exceptional knowledge in this subject, the matter should be brought to his personal notice in case he might have any special objections to offer, in which case he should arrange with the Drafting Committee not to make those alterations without further questions.

M. Tardieu’s attention was also to be drawn to the fact that, if the plebiscite were dropped, the memorandum on Schleswig would require alteration accordingly.

The whole of the memorandum from the Heading “Article 34” onwards was struck out by the Council. A question raised in the note of the Financial Commission attached to the report of the Commission on Belgian and Danish Affairs gave rise to a discussion which led to no change in the Treaty of Peace or in the reply to the Germans (See below).

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate these decisions to the Secretary-General for the information of the Editing Committee.

3. After the reading of the memorandum from the President of the Financial Commission dated 11th June, 1919 (Appendix III) attached to the report on Belgian and Schleswig Affairs,

Mr. Lloyd George said that this raised a very important question, namely, as to what was the position in regard to Reparation of territories which were German at the beginning of the war. For example, were Dantzig and Upper Silesia, both very wealthy states, to bear no part of the burden of the reparation?Memorandum by the Financial Commission Dated 11th June, 1919

M. Clemenceau said that they ought to pay.

Mr. Hurst said that in regard to Dantzig, nothing was provided as to a contribution for reparation.

President Wilson said that whatever views anyone might hold [Page 455]about Poland, the Polish people had been compelled to fight for the Central Powers. They had had no choice. Their territory had been devastated by Russia as well as by Germany. They had suffered as hard a fate as any nation in the war. As all had from the first agreed that Poland was one of the nations to be redeemed by the war, the question arose as to whether any share of German reparation ought to be subtracted from her. The question which Mr. Lloyd George raised, he said, had been discussed again and again and had been given up because no decision could be reached. He recalled the discussions on the subject in connection with Austria and the proposals for a book-keeping arrangement.

Mr. Lloyd George reminded his colleagues that in the Austrian Treaty, an arrangement had been reached which he understood was going to be incorporated in the Treaty after discussion with the States formerly constituting Austria.

President Wilson urged that to take up this question involving a long delay was risky, in view of the urgency of obtaining peace in the following week.

Mr. Lloyd George said at least it was important to ascertain how the matter stood.

President Wilson said it had been a fixed principle that nothing must be added to the burden imposed on Germany by the Draft Treaty handed to the German Delegates.

Mr. Lloyd George pointed out that to make Dantzig and Upper Silesia take a share of Reparation would not be increasing, but lightening the burden on Germany, since these territories would not be German.

M. Sonnino suggested that as Dantzig was to be separated from Germany against its will, some consideration ought to be allowed to it.

M. Clemenceau said the amount involved was small.

Mr. Lloyd George said that there were 1,000,000 people in the Dantzig area, while Upper Silesia provided one-third of the coal of Germany. The sum involved, therefore, was by no means small. He would like to make some provision in the parts of the Treaty relating to Upper Silesia providing that if any part of Upper Silesia went to Poland, there should be a joint consideration between Germany, Poland and the Commission as to how much of the burden of reparation was to be borne.

M. Sonnino said that this would furnish a tremendous argument against a vote in favour of going to Poland.

President Wilson said he regretted the matter had been overlooked, but he thought it was now too late.

M. Clemenceau suggested that some agreement should be made with the Poles.

[Page 456]

Mr. Lloyd George said it could only be a free-will offering on the part of the Poles.

President Wilson thought that in view of the political considerations involved this was the only fair method.

Mr. Lloyd George said that by not adopting his proposal, the Council would not be letting off the Poles, but only the rich Germans inhabiting Silesia would be released from their appropriate share of reparation. It was not just to say to Silesia that if she voted out of Germany, she would escape a payment of perhaps 500 million pounds. This was loading the dice against Germany.

President Wilson protested strongly against the use of this term. He pointed out that he was not obliged under the Armistice to agree to a plebiscite in Upper Silesia at all, as No. 13 of the Fourteen Points was perfectly clear on the subject. He had only conceded the plebiscite to meet Mr. Lloyd George’s principles. So far as Germany was concerned, having accepted the Fourteen Points, she had no case to claim a plebiscite. He did not say that Mr. Lloyd George had no case to claim this, but only that Germany had not. As the population had been ground down under the land-owners, it would not be loading the dice to make it exempt from sharing Germany’s burden of reparation.

M. Sonnino pointed out that the effect of no share of reparation being taken by Upper Silesia, would be to offer the rich proprietors of the land and of the mines a strong inducement to use their influence to the utmost to vote against Germany.

Mr. Lloyd George said he must make a strong protest against the release of Upper Silesia from taking any share of reparation. He did not feel that he could withdraw the suggestion that it was loading the dice, although of course, this had no personal application.

President Wilson said that nevertheless he must strongly demur to the use of this term.

M. Clemenceau said that as a matter of principle Mr. Lloyd George was right, but he thought to adopt his plan in practice would probably not be politic.

Mr. Lloyd George said that this might cost scores of millions of pounds to the British Empire, and hundreds of millions to France, and he had felt bound to make the strongest protest.

(The discussion was adjourned.)

4. The Council had before them a note by Mr. Hurst on the question of Dantzig, which they discussed with Mr. Hurst and M. Fromageot (Appendix IV).

As the result of this discussion, it was decided that the sentence as to the protection of the League of Nations in Paragraph 102 of the Treaty of Peace with Germany, [Page 457]which had been suppressed in consequence of a decision taken by the Council on May 24th,1 should be reinstated. Dantzig

M. Fromageot and Mr. Hurst were authorised to make this alteration without further authority. Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate the decision to the Secretary-General.

5. Mr. Hurst said that he and M. Fromageot had been deputed by a joint meeting of the Drafting Committee and the Editing Committee to obtain a decision of the Council as to whether the five days to be allowed for the German Delegation to decide whether or not they would sign the Treaty of Peace included the three days’ notice which had to be given for the denunciation of the Armistice. A further question arose as to whether the notification of the denunciation of the Armistice should be made in a separate note or at the end of the letter covering detailed replies to the German note. Expiration of the Armistice

It was agreed:—

(1)
That the five days allowed for the German Delegation within which to make a declaration as to whether they were prepared to sign should include the three days required for the denunciation of the Armistice.
(2)
That a separate communication on this subject should be sent to the German Delegation.
(3)
That the letter covering the detailed replies to the German Delegation should also end with a statement to the same effect.2

6. On the suggestion of M. Fromageot and Mr. Hurst, it was agreed that the Drafting Committee should prepare for the use of the Germans a clean copy of the Treaty of Peace, showing in red ink the alterations provided for in the reply to the to the Germans German Note. Owing to the numerous alterations in the Military Section and the Polish Section, however, re-prints of those two sections would be presented. Communication of the Final Treaty of Peace to the Germans

Appendix I to CF–69

WCP–959

Memorandum on the Observations Presented by the German Delegation Relative to Part IX of the Treaty (Financial Clauses)

Before examining each of the articles on which the German Delegation has presented observations, the Allied and Associated Governments wish to recall the reply made by Monsieur Clemenceau [Page 458]in their name on May 22,3 to a note from Count Brockdorff-Rantzau dated May 13,4 and especially Paragraph XIII of this letter:

“All the nations of Europe have suffered losses, they are bearing and will still bear for a long time burdens almost too heavy for them. These burdens and these losses have been imposed on them by the aggression of Germany. It is just that Germany, the primary cause of these calamities, should repair them to the full extent of her power. Her sufferings will be the result, not of the Peace conditions, but of the acts of those who provoked and prolonged the war. The authors of the war can not escape its just consequences.”

Germany must accept burdens and very heavy burdens being laid on her: financial obligations and guarantees taken by the Allied and Associated Governments to obtain the payment of their claims.

Germany will be able to meet her financial obligations either by means of property and resources that she possesses within the Empire, or by means of property that she possesses abroad.

Within the Empire the Allied and Associated Governments have claimed a charge only on the property and resources of the Empire and the German states. Their right in this regard, resulting from the financial clauses, has been limited as far as possible, and an effort has been made to avoid giving it any vexatious character. Finally, all exceptions compatible with the rights of the Allied and Associated Powers have been granted which will permit the economic interests and credit of Germany to be protected as far as possible.

Outside the Empire the Allied and Associated Governments have abstained from claiming the transfer of German property and resources in neutral countries; they ask only the cession of property which is not indispensable to Germany’s existence and which can be given up without causing any profound disturbance in her internal life.

In a word, in view of the burdens that Germany must assume, the financial provisions adopted by the Allied and Associated Powers spare the essential interests of Germany as far as possible.

Article 248 (1).

The Allied and Associated Powers again assert their right to obtain the payment of reparations and other charges resulting from the Treaty, in priority to the settlement of all other debts of the Empire or of the German States.

Nevertheless, they consider it proper to provide, in certain special cases, for the granting of exceptions to the general principle thus laid down, and they are ready to insert at the beginning of Article 248 the following sentence: [Page 459]

“Subject to such exceptions as the Reparation Commission may approve a first charge.”

This new stipulation will permit measures to be taken with a view to protecting Germany’s credit as far as possible.

Article 248 (2).

The provision prohibiting the export of gold is a guarantee for the Allied and Associated Powers; the latter have not, however, intended to use their right without reserve, and they have provided that Germany may export gold after receiving authorisation from the Reparation Commission.

The latter will therefore have power to grant to the Reichsbank, whenever it sees fit, “the right of export when it is a question of guarantees that this bank has furnished and that it could not furnish by any other means.”

Article 249.

The military occupation constitutes for the Allied and Associated Governments one of the essential guarantees of the Allied and Associated Governments; there can therefore be no argument about it.

The cost of maintenance of armies of occupation has always been borne by the nation subject to the occupation; Germany applied this principle in 1871 when she imposed on France the cost of the German armies of occupation (Convention of Ferrières, March 11, 1871).5

Article 250.

No distinction can be made between the war material lost by the enemy in the course of military operations and the war material surrendered in execution of an armistice which terminates these operations. It is just therefore that the Reparation Commission shall not credit Germany with the value of material thus surrendered.

Article 251 (2).

The provision inserted in Paragraph 2 grants, in favour of the food supply of Germany, an exception to the order of priority established by Paragraph 1 of the same article.

Moreover, it applies solely to the food supply effected through State organisations, since no charge has been established upon the property of German nationals.

This clause is established in favour of Germany, and if the Allied and Associated Governments have reserved a right of control over the German food supply effected through State organisations, it is because it appears impossible to consent to so important an exception to the principle laid down in Article 248, without reserving control.

[Page 460]

Articles 252 and 253.

The German Delegation has made observations relating solely to the provisions respecting German property under the jurisdiction of the Allied and Associated Governments. This question is dealt with in another place.

Article 254.

The partition of the pre-war debt of the German Empire and of the German States will be made in proportion to the contributory power of the various ceded territories. The determination of this contributory power is obviously very delicate, in view of the diversity of fiscal systems in the different German confederated states. Therefore it has not been thought desirable to settle this question at present, and it has been left to the Reparation Commission to estimate which of Germany’s revenues will make it possible to compare the resources of the ceded territories and those of the Empire.

Moreover, the Allied and Associated Governments can not consider the assigning of a part of Germany’s war debt to the liberated territories; such a division would in fact make the Powers receiving these territories support a part of Germany’s war debt, which is inadmissible.

Article 255 (1).

The exception made in favour of France to the provisions of the conditions of Peace, whereby the State receiving a territory assumes part of the public debt of the state ceding this territory, and pays for the State property situated on the territory ceded, is justified very easily. In 1871 Germany, in taking Alsace-Lorraine, refused to assume any part of the French debt, and paid for no French State property. The railways whose value has been credited to the indemnity of war were private property being owned by the Compagnie de l’Est. Today France ought to recover Alsace and Lorraine under precisely the same conditions, and hence she ought not to assume any part of the German debt or pay for any state property, including State railways.

Article 255 (2).

It cannot be contemplated that Poland should bear either directly or indirectly the burden of a debt contracted to extend Prussian influence at the expense of Polish rights and traditions.

Article 257.

The German colonies having deficits cannot possibly assume a part of the German Debt. It is to be noted moreover that a large part of the expenses incurred in the German Colonies was military and unproductive in character.

[Page 461]

It would be unjust under these conditions to demand that the State made a mandatory by the League of Nations should assume a debt that the colony cannot support.

Article 258.

The Allied and Associated Governments have a right, after the events that have happened since 1914, to demand that Germany be no longer intimately involved in their financial and economic life, nor in that of her former Allies, nor in that of Russia.

Moreover, it seems almost certain that Germany, in order to meet the burden of reparations, will find herself obliged to alienate the greater part of the foreign securities held by her nationals. The protection of German holders, whose interests will by this fact be very much reduced, would no longer justify German participation in international organisations.

Article 259.

The German Delegation has presented in Annex II6 of these remarks, as well as in a special note of May 29, 1919,7 a certain number of observations.

The first relate to the transfer of sums deposited in Germany in the name of the Ottoman Debt, of the Imperial Ottoman Government, or of the Austro-Hungarian Government.

The details furnished by the German Delegation on certain transfers effected in Germany necessitate two modifications.

In Paragraph 1 substitute: “… the sum in gold which was to be deposited in the Reichsbank in the name of . . . . .” for: “the sum in gold deposited in the Reichsbank in the name of . . . . . . “.

In Paragraph 3 substitute: “… the gold deposit constituted in the Reichsbank or elsewhere representing …” for: “the gold deposit constituted in the Reichsbank representing …”.

But the Allied and Associated Governments cannot do otherwise than maintain the other provisions of Article 259.

In the first place, the Allied and Associated Governments have not lost sight of the fact that the obligation assumed by the German Government toward Turkey has for its counterpart the engagement of the Turkish Government to reimburse Germany later for the sums advanced by her. Article 259 must be compared with Article 261. The latter provides that the German credit shall be transferred to the Allied and Associated Governments.

In the second place, the Allied and Associated Governments have in their possession evidence showing under what conditions transfers [Page 462]of gold and silver were made in November, 1918, to the Turkish Ministry of Finance.

In the third place, they are of the opinion that if “no sum in gold or any pledge has been transferred to the German Government nor to the banks concerned, for the advances that Austria-Hungary has received through the medium of German banks”, the provision in paragraph 5 will be without effect, and consequently it cannot give rise to any protest on the part of the German Delegation.

The other observations relate to the renunciation by Germany of the Treaties of Bucarest8 and Brest-Litovsk.9

The German Delegation claims the annulment of the engagements incumbent on Germany by reason of these Treaties, as well as of the advantages stipulated in her favour.

These observations are not well founded.

In fact, Article 292, which the German Financial Delegation seems to have overlooked, abrogates purely and simply these Treaties, of which moreover the German Delegation declares (General Remarks, Part VII) that “there can be no further argument”, since “Germany has already renounced the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Peace of Bucarest was never ratified.”

The Allied and Associated Governments have, moreover, searched in vain in the Peace of Bucarest for “engagements made by Germany”.

Article 260.

The Allied and Associated Governments are of the opinion that the cession of the rights and interests of German nationals in every enterprise of public utility and in every concession in Russia and in the countries formerly allies of Germany impose on the latter one of the obligations which are the least harmful to her.

These rights and interests are not indispensable to the existence of Germany, and their transfer can cause no serious disturbance in her commercial and industrial life.

The Allied and Associated Governments have been able, moreover to appreciate, in the course of the war, what use Germany was capable of making of the control she possessed over her allies and over Russia, and they consider that they have the right to withdraw from Germany all devolution of public authority in these countries.

Article 261.

The Allied and Associated Governments reserve the right to demand from Germany the transfer of all her credits on Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey.

[Page 463]

But Article 243 provides that the amount of these credits shall be entered to Germany’s account under the category of reparations at such value as the Reparation Commission shall deem suitable.

Article 262.

The obligation to pay in specie cannot be interpreted as an obligation to pay in actual gold.

On the other hand, the Allied and Associated Governments cannot admit that Germany should pay “in the currency of the country in which the injury has been committed.”

The countries which have suffered heavy damage must, to rebuild their ruins, have recourse to the aid of the Allied and Associated countries, and will have to incur heavy expenditures abroad; it would be inadmissible not to leave them the choice of claiming payment in the currency of which they may stand in need.

Moreover, the bonds to be issued by Germany on account of the sums due for reparation must have a very wide market, and their interest must be payable in several currencies.

Finally, whenever it is a question of defining an obligation to pay, it must be done in a fixed currency.

Article 263.

In a note of May 29, 1919, the German Delegation has made certain observations relative to this article.

The product of the sale of São Paolo Coffee at Trieste having been deposited in the Bleichroder Bank, the Allied and Associated Powers cannot accept the suggestion of the German Delegation that these sums should not be included in Article 263.

At the same time the Allied and Associated Powers recognise that the words “with interest at 5% from the day of deposit” should be changed as follows: “with interest at the rate or rates agreed upon”.

The Allied and Associated Powers are willing, moreover, to omit the word “compulsory” from Article 263, if the Delegation of the German Government so desires.

The German Government having refused to authorise the withdrawal of these sums and having agreed to return them “intact” at the end of the war, the Allied and Associated Powers must insist that the reimbursement be effected at the rates of exchange existing at the time that the deposits were made.

[Page 464]

Appendix II to CF–69

WCP–991

Draft Reply of the Commission on Belgian and Danish A fairs to the Remarks of the German Delegation on the Conditions of Peace

Belgium

The territories of Eupen and Malmedy were separated from the neighbouring Belgian lands of Limburg, Liêge, and Luxemburg in 1814–15, when they were assigned to Prussia in making up the number of people on the Left Bank of the Rhine taken over as an effect [offset] for certain renunciations in Saxony. No account was taken of the desires of the people, nor of frontiers, of geography or language. Nevertheless, this region has continued in close economic and social relations with the adjacent portions of Belgium, and in spite of a century of Prussification the Walloon speech has maintained itself among several thousand of its inhabitants. At the same time the territory has been made a basis for German militarism by the construction of the great camp of Elsenborn and various strategic railways directed against Belgium. These reasons seem sufficient to justify the reunion of the territory to Belgium, provided the petitions to this effect are sufficiently supported by the population of the district. The Treaty makes provision for consulting the population under the auspices of the League of Nations.

In the neutralized territory of Moresnet which Prussia claimed under the Treaty of Vienna,9a the Prussian claim of sovereignty has never been admitted by Belgium. The Treaty settles this dispute in favour of Belgium and at the same time awards to Belgium, in compensation for the destruction of Belgian forests, the adjacent domanial and communal woods in Prussian Moresnet.

Schleswig

In Schleswig, taken from Denmark by Prussia in 1864, Prussia promised by the Treaty of Prague in 186810 that the populations of the northern districts should be ceded to Denmark if by a free vote they expressed a wish to be united to Denmark. In spite of repeated demands on the part of the inhabitants, no measures have ever been taken by Prussia or the German Empire to carry out this promise, and the Government of Denmark and the people of Schleswig have asked the Peace Conference to secure for them a plebiscite. This the Treaty now guarantees. At the request of the Danish Government provisions have been drawn up for the evacuation of the territory as far as the Rider and the Schlei by German troops and the higher [Page 465]Prussian officials, and for the temporary administration of the territory and the holding of the plebiscite by an impartial International Commission representing Norway and Sweden as well as the Allied and Associated Powers. Besides the two northern zones in which a plebiscite has been requested by the Danish Government, it has seemed wise to extend the plebiscite to the rest of the evacuated territory, reaching to the historical Danish frontier of the Dannevirke, in order that the widest and freest opportunity might be given for the self-determination of the population, and that a clear expression of its political sympathies might remove all occasion for future agitation and uncertainty. On the basis of the plebiscite thus held in these three zones the International Commission will recommend a definite frontier between Germany and Denmark, the line being drawn with due reference to geographical and economic conditions.

Article 34

Germany renounces in favour of Belgium all rights and titles over the territory comprising the whole of the circles (Kreise) of Eupen and Malmedy.

During six months after the coming into force of the present Treaty, the Council of the League of Nations will send to the communes of Eupen and Malmedy delegates, who will collect in whatever manner they shall decide, the free and secret expression of the wishes of those of the inhabitants who desire to see the whole or part of these territories continue to remain under German sovereignty.

It will be the duty of the League of Nations to decide upon the result of this enquiry. Belgium undertakes to accept the decision of the League of Nations on the subject, founded upon the results of this public expression of opinion and to make any transfer of territory which may be required of her in consequence thereof.

The Commission on Belgian and Danish Affairs has considered to what extent Article 114 of the Treaty should be amended in order to give satisfaction to the wishes expressed by Denmark.

Considering first, that the question is essentially of a technical nature, second, that it is both legitimate and politic to take into account to the largest possible extent the desires of Denmark, and third, that it is necessary to ensure to the Allied and Associated Powers the full benefit of the rules laid down in Articles 254, 255 and 256;

The Commission would be glad if the Supreme Council would invite the Financial Commission to propose a draft, taking into account these various considerations.

Paris 13 June. 1919.

[Page 466]

Appendix III

WCP–992

From: The President of the Financial Commission.

To: The President of the Peace Conference.

The Financial Commission has examined the draft Article which the Danish Government proposes to substitute for Article 114 in the draft Treaty with Germany.

In the first place, this draft proposes to alter the rules laid down for the repartition of the debt of the German Empire and the German States among the States to which German territory is to be ceded.

The Financial Commission only laid down the principles contained in Article 254, after a detailed examination of the question, and after having discussed all the possible methods of repartition. They are of the opinion that the reasons put forward by Denmark are insufficient to cause them to alter the decisions already taken.

In the second place, Article 256 of the draft Treaty provides that “the value of the property belonging to the German Empire or to the German States—shall be fixed by the Reparation Commission and paid to the credit of the German Government on account of the sums due for reparation.”

The Financial Commission is of opinion that it is impossible to limit the complete liberty of the Reparation Commission and to lay down that the property shall be reacquired at its “pre-war value.”

Moreover, the compensation proposed by Denmark enters on the one side, the sums due by Denmark on account of the repartition of the debt and of the transfer of public property, and on the other hand, “the credits due to Denmark from Germany, resulting from the restoration of territory or from the world war”, seems to be contrary to the priority established over all the property and resources of the German Empire and States for the payment of Reparation and for charges resulting from the Treaty, (Article 248).

The Financial Commission is of the opinion that the Commission appointed to study the Articles dealing with Reparation should have been consulted on this matter. So far as they themselves are concerned, they are of opinion that the sums due by Denmark on account of the division of the debt and the cession of public property ought to be paid in full to the Reparation Commission.

There has, in addition, been referred to the Financial Commission the Note of the Danish Legation, proposing to provide in the Treaty for the Creation of “a mixed Danish-German Commission, the Chairman of which should be nominated by the Allied and Associated Powers, and to which there should be entrusted, reserving the final approval of the Reparation Commission, the final financial settlement; questions relating to the valuation of the different items to [Page 467]be brought into account, those referring to Danish Credits which result from the restoration of Schleswig as well as questions dealing with the restoration of works of art, collections, libraries and other artistic and scientific objects.”

The Treaty provides that a very large number of these questions should be examined by the Reparation Commission and that Commission has full powers to entrust to any such special Commission which it thinks fit to appoint, the examination of any particular question.

As to the other “questions that arise from the transference of the territories to the guarantee States” to be ceded in virtue of the Treaty, they must be regulated according to special Conventions. There is a general regulation laid down, not only in Article 114, but also in the Articles relating to the Czecho-Slovak State, to Poland, to Alsace . . . . . and any alteration of Article 114 would, it is thought, entail consequential amendments in Articles 79, 86, and 92. The question whether these amendments are desirable, is outside the competence of the Financial Commission.

Paris, 13 June, 1919.

Appendix IV

M–267

danzig

Sir Maurice Hankey: By instructions dated the 24th May the Drafting Committee was instructed to revise Articles 102 and 104 of the German Treaty in accordance with the original instructions as set out in the communication in question.

I am not certain whether it was realised when these instructions were forwarded that the effect was to eliminate the provision which had been inserted placing Danzig under the protection of the League of Nations.

The original instructions relating to Danzig were dated 22nd April. Shortly afterwards M. Paderewski urged that Poland should be authorised to send troops into Danzig for its protection in case of attack. This suggestion was rejected by the Council of Four who considered that responsibility for the protection of the Free City should rest with the League of Nations as it would be open to the League of Nations to authorise Polish intervention for the purpose if required. This decision was communicated in a letter dated 26th April to Mr. Headlam-Morley confirming decisions which had been reached by the Supreme Council in his presence that morning.11 Paragraph 2 was to the effect that responsibility for the protection of Danzig against [Page 468]external attack should be vested in the League of Nations. A copy of this letter was sent to the Drafting Committee and the wording of Article 102 was modified accordingly.

The decision of May 24th12 to restore the original proposals of the Danzig Committee entailed the suppression of this sentence as to the protection of the League of Nations and may lead to complaint by M. Paderewski to whom the decision had probably been communicated at the time.

C. J. B. Hurst
  1. See CF–29, vol. v, p. 913.
  2. For text of the letter covering the detailed replies to the German delegation, together with the accompanying memorandum, as handed to the German delegation on June 16, 1919, see p. 926.
  3. See appendix I to CF–22A, vol. v, p. 802, and CF–23, minute 3, ibid., p. 815.
  4. Appendix IA to CF–20, ibid., p. 738.
  5. British and Foreign State Papers, vol. lxii, p. 65.
  6. i. e., note printed post, p. 902.
  7. Post, p. 918.
  8. Foreign Relations, 1918, supp. 1, vol. i, p. 771.
  9. Ibid., Russia, vol. i, p. 442.
  10. British and Foreign State Papers, vol. ii, p. 3.
  11. Ibid., vol. lvi, p. 1050.
  12. See IC-176H, vol. v, p. 293.
  13. See CF–29, vol. v, p. 913.