Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/72½


Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Monday, June 16, 1919 at 5:15 p.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson
      • Mr. Norman Davis
      • Mr. McCormick
      • Mr. Hoover
      • Captain Smith
      • Mr. Dulles.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
      • The Rt. Hon. Lord Cunliffe
      • Lord Sumner
      • Lt-Col. the Hon. S. Peel, D. S. O., M. P.
      • Mr. Dudley Ward, M. P.
      • Mr. E. W. Sutton.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
      • M. Loucheur
      • M. Sergent
      • M. Cheysson
      • M. Jouasset.
    • Italy
      • M. Sonnino
      • M. Crespi
      • Captain Jung.
    • Japan
      • Baron Makino.
Lt-Col. Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. (Secretary)
Professor P. J. Mantoux (Interpreter).

The Council had before them the Financial, Economic and Reparation Clauses proposed for insertion in the Treaty with Austria.

1. President Wilson drew attention to a proposal from the American Delegation, which was read by Mr. Davis, for the insertion in the Economic Clauses providing for the protection of certain German-Austrian assets in the ceded territories, ceded Territory in the same way that German assets in the districts ceded to Poland had been protected in the Treaty with Germany. Austrian Private Property in Ceded Territory

Mr. Lloyd George expressed himself as in complete agreement with these proposals. He said he had had a communication from the British representative in Vienna pointing out that Vienna had been and is the financial centre of the groups of territories which formed the Austro-Hungarian Empire and that if the Economic Clauses were allowed to stand in their present form the banks of Vienna would collapse. Moreover it was scarcely in the interest of the new States to destroy those banks.

Mr. Davis pointed out that widely extended insurance interests were also in question.

It was agreed that a Sub-Committee composed of Mr. Baruch, M. Crespi, M. Loucheur, and Col. Peel should draft provisions in accordance with Mr. Davis’s proposals for insertion in the Economic Clauses.

[Page 511]

2. Sir Maurice Hankey pointed out that a clause respecting buildings of historical value which had been passed by the Council on June 4th (Minutes C. F. 44/1)1 had been omitted. Buildings of Historical Value

It was directed that the clause should be inserted in the Financial Clauses.

3. M. Loucheur then called attention to the fact that the Reparation Clauses had been passed by the Council subject to the conclusion of satisfactory agreements with the New States as to the payment of contributions by the New States or the adjustment of their claims. (Minutes June 4th C. F. 44/1.)2 M. Loucheur explained that he had lately been entrusted with the negotiations to this end. He had approached the Roumanians and proposed that they should not be required to take over any of the Austrian war debt or pre-war debt and should not be ask [asked] to pay any contribution to the cost of the war and that in return for this they should renounce all claim to reparation. He had not yet had a reply but was disposed to think they would agree. He thought the Serbians would also agree to an arrangement on the same lines though there would be a balance of payment due to them as their claim for reparation was greater than in the case of Roumania. Negotiations in a favourable sense were also in progress with Italy in respect of the Trentino. He had not yet negotiated with those States which had no claims against the enemy, viz:—Poland, and Czecho-Slovakia, as he wished to settle first with Serbia and Roumania. He asked for two days more in which to conclude the negotiations. Payment of Contributions by the New States

M. Sonnino asked who was, then, to be responsible for the prewar debt and war debt in the ceded Austrian territories.

M. Loucheur said that he imagined the Austrian Government would be responsible.

Mr. Lloyd George said that he could not agree with this proposal. He did not understand that it had ever been suggested and he was sure that the Austrian Government was quite incapable of sustaining such a burden.

Mr. Davis said that he also had not understood that this proposal was to be made and pointed out that it would involve the re-casting of the Financial Clauses.

(It was agreed that M. Loucheur should explain his proposals to the Sub-Committee appointed to consider the amendment of the Financial Clauses.)

  1. Ante, p. 169.
  2. Ante, p. 171.