Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/96½


Notes of a Meeting Held at Mr. Lloyd George’s Residence, 23 Rue Nitot, Paris, on Saturday June 28, 1919, at 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
      • Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B.—Secretary.
      • Prof. P. J. Mantoux.—Interpreter.

1. President Wilson read a draft of instructions to the United States Delegation which he had prepared.

M. Clemenceau said he did not think that the Allies ought to insist on the evacuation of Fiume. They had no right to demand this. What they had a right to complain of was the assumption that the Italians were masters there and could issue orders in the name of the King of Italy. Asia Minor: Proposed Statement to the New Italian Delegation

Mr. Lloyd George said that Italy had no more right to issue proclamations at Fiume in the name of the King of Italy than France had in the name of the President of the Republic, or Great Britain in the name of King George.

President Wilson said the difficulty was to make the Italians recognise this. All the evidence we had was that the Italians had issued orders and proclamations for the action of their troops in the name of the King of Italy.

Mr. Lloyd George said he understood that it had been arranged informally on the previous day that President Wilson on the one part and Great Britain and France on the other part were to present M. Tittoni on his arrival with written memoranda explaining the attitude of their respective Governments. He thought this would make it easier for Mr. Lansing and Mr. Balfour who, though plenipotentiaries, were not Heads of States, in dealing with Italy.

President Wilson said he had thought the best plan would be to give written instructions to his colleagues who could then inform the Italian Delegation that they had instructions in this sense.

Mr. Lloyd George thought their position would be stronger still if [Page 739] they were left a document which they were to hand to the Italian Delegation.

President Wilson thought it possible that M. Tittoni might use the document in the press to the disadvantage of the Allied and Associated Powers.

Sir Maurice Hankey, at Mr. Lloyd George’s request, read aloud a draft statement to M. Tittoni on behalf of the British and French Governments, prepared by Mr. Balfour. The draft was not quite complete.

Mr. Lloyd George thought the draft was admirable, but pointed out that the operative words were lacking. He would like to conclude the memorandum by stating that it was no use to have a discussion with the Italian Delegation while their troops remained in Asia Minor, and that before any discussion of Italian claims took place, we must insist on their moving out.

(Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to ask Mr. Balfour to draft the last paragraph in the sense of Mr. Lloyd George’s remarks, combined with the first paragraph of President Wilson’s instructions to his colleagues.)1

  1. For the final text of this document, see appendix I to CF–99A, p. 760.