Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/35½


Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Tuesday, May 27, 1919, at 11 a.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd-George, M. P.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
      • Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. (Secretary).

Mr. Lloyd George stated that General Botha had come to him that morning and had indicated that he was very dissatisfied with the attitude of the Poles in regard to the Polish-Ukrainian Armistice. He had asked M. Clemenceau to discuss Armistice this alone with President Wilson and himself because to speak quite frankly, he had some reasons to believe that M. Clemenceau was not fully informed as to the attitude taken by the French authorities. He had grounds for the belief that the French Minister in Warsaw had encouraged the Poles in their recent attack on the Ukrainians. A fact which rather confirmed these suspicions was that General Botha reported that he had been unable to secure the attendance of the French representatives at meetings of the Armistice Commission, and this had occurred so frequently that it was difficult to believe that it was not deliberate. Then he quoted General Haller’s highly indiscreet speeches, indicating among other things, that Danzig must become Polish. Further, he said that he had that morning received a report to the effect that General Franchet d’Esperey on the 20th May had ordered forces up towards Czernovitz with a view to junction with the Poles, which seemed to indicate an attempt to squeeze out the Ukrainians. Finally, he thought it very curious that the Council had been informed that M. Paderewski was returning to Paris last Friday and they had been put off from day to day and almost from hour to hour with reports that he was expected immediately, whereas in fact he was now in Prague. He was anxious that M. Clemenceau should ascertain whether the agreed telegram had ever been despatched to General Haller. It was very curious that no reply had been received. The Polish Ukrainian Armistice

[Page 61]

President Wilson recalled the old plan of the so-called sanitary cordon which the Military Authorities had proposed to establish against the Bolsheviks, and which had been rejected. He thought it possible that the Military Authorities were, nevertheless, trying to carry out this plan in fact.

M. Clemenceau expressed incredulity, but promised to make the fullest possible enquiry.

(It was agreed:—

That Colonel Kisch should attend at the Ministry of War at 2.30 in the afternoon where General Albi and General Mordacq would also be present.
That the attached telegram, drafted by President Wilson, the despatch of which had been reserved pending M. Paderewski’s return, should be sent at once to Warsaw. Sir Maurice Hankey was directed to take the necessary action.)

Appendix to CF–35A


From:—The President of the Peace Conference.

To:—General Pilsudski, Head of the Polish State, Warsaw.

The Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers feel that it is their duty to call the attention of the Government of Poland to facts which are giving them the greatest concern and which may lead to consequences for Poland which the Council would deeply deplore. The boundary between Poland and the Ukraine is under consideration and is as yet undetermined, and the Council has more than once informed the Polish Government that they would regard any attempt either by Poland or by the Ukrainian authorities to determine it, or to prejudice its determination, by the use of force, as a violation of the whole spirit and an arbitrary interference with the whole purpose of the present Conference of Peace, to which Poland, at least, has consented to leave the decision of questions of this very sort. The Council has, therefore, more than once insisted that there should be an armistice on the Ukrainian front, arranged in Paris and under the advice of the Council itself. Full conferences in that matter have been held between a carefully selected Inter-Allied commission and representatives of Poland and the Ukraine, and terms of armistice drawn up which have been formally approved by the Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. The representatives of the Ukraine have accepted those terms, but the Polish military authorities, while acquiescing in principle, have in effect insisted upon such conditions as would amount [Page 62] to a settlement of the very questions in controversy, and have continued to use force to maintain their claims. This has inevitably made the impression on the minds of the members of the Council that the Polish authorities were in effect, if not in purpose, denying and rejecting the authority of the Conference of Peace. The Council feel it their duty, therefore, in the most friendly spirit but with the most solemn earnestness, to say to the Polish authorities that, if they are not willing to accept the guidance and decisions of the Conference of Peace in such matters, the Governments represented in the Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Governments will not be justified in furnishing Poland any longer with supplies or assistance. If it is her deliberate purpose to set at naught the counsel proffered by the Conference, its authority can no longer, it is feared, be made serviceable to her. The Council will, of course, insist upon an absolute cessation of hostilities on the part of the Ukrainian military forces.

Paris, May [27], 1919.