Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/96½

CF–96A

Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis, Paris, on Friday, June 27, 1919, at 4:30 p.m.

  • Present
    • Untied States of America
      • President Wilson.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
      • Mr. C. J. B. Hurst, C. B., K. C.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
      • M. Pichon.
Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. } Secretaries.
Captain A. Portier.

Note. During the 4 o’clock meeting,1 those mentioned above adjourned to an adjoining room, where a short meeting, recorded below, was held. The full meeting was then resumed.

1. Mr. Lloyd George said that Mr. Hurst had prepared a text of a Convention to give effect to the agreement in regard to the guarantee to be given by Great Britain to France. The draft was based on an American draft, but one important alteration had been made. The American draft made the agreement subject to approval by the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League of Nations. It had been pointed out, however, that in this case one member of the Council could interfere with the validity of the agreement. Consequently, in the British draft, it was made subject to the agreement of the majority of the Council of the League of Nations. The British & American Guarantee to France

President Wilson accepted the new draft and asked Mr. Hurst to arrange with Mr. Brown-Scott to make a corresponding alteration in the American draft.

Mr. Lloyd George said that M. Clemenceau must realise that he was not in a position to bind the self-governing Dominions, which had their own Parliaments, and this was provided for in the Draft Convention.

M. Clemenceau said that he quite understood this.

(Mr. Hurst was instructed to prepare a final draft.)

(The final draft is contained in Appendix I.)

Villa Majestic, Paris, 27 June, 1919.

[Page 736]

Appendix I to CF–96A

Assistance to France in the Event of Unprovoked Aggression by Germany

Amended Copy Read To and Approved by President Wilson, M. Clemenceau, and Mr. Lloyd George, 27.6.19.

Whereas there is a danger that the stipulations relating to the Left Bank of the Rhine contained in the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, may not at first provide adequate security and protection to the French Republic, and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty is willing subject to the consent of His Parliament and, provided that a similar obligation is entered into by the United States of America, to undertake to support the French Government in the case of an unprovoked movement of aggression being made against France by Germany; and,

Whereas His Britannic Majesty and the President of the French Republic have determined to conclude a Treaty to that effect and have named as their Plenipotentiaries for the purpose, that is to say:—

  • His Britannic Majesty
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • The President of the French Republic
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In case the following stipulations relating to the left bank of the Rhine contained in the Treaty of Peace with Germany signed at Versailles the 28th. day of June, 1919, by the British Empire, the French Republic and the United States of America among other Powers:

  • “42. Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine.
  • “43. In the area defined above the maintenance and assembly of armed forces either permanently or temporarily, and military manoeuvres of any kind as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilisation are in the same way forbidden.
  • “44. In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the Powers signatory to the present Treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world”.

may not at first provide adequate security and protection to France, Great Britain agrees to come immediately to her assistance in the event of any unprovoked movement of aggression against her being made by Germany.

[Page 737]

II

The present Treaty, in similar terms with the Treaty of even date for the same purpose concluded between the United States of America and the French Republic, a copy of which Treaty is appended hereto, will only come into force when the latter is ratified.

III

The present Treaty must be submitted to the Council of the League of Nations and must be recognised by the Council, acting if need be by a majority, as an engagement which is consistent with the Covenant of the League; it will continue in force until on the application of one of the parties to it the Council acting if need be by a majority agrees that the League itself affords sufficient protection.

IV

The present Treaty shall before ratification by His Majesty be submitted to Parliament for approval.

V

The present Treaty shall impose no obligations upon any of the Dominions of the British Empire unless and until it is approved by the Parliament of the Dominion concerned.

The present Treaty shall be ratified and shall, subject to Articles 2 and 4, come into force at the same time as the Treaty of Peace with Germany of even date comes into force for the British Empire and the French Republic.

In faith whereof the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Done in duplicate at the City of Versailles, on the . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . 1919.

  1. CF–96, supra.