Paris Peace Conf. 180.03201/28


Notes of a Meeting Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Tuesday, July 1, 1919, at 4 p.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. R. Lansing.
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, M. P.
    • Secretary
      • Mr. H. Norman.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta.
      • M. Berthelot.
      • M. de Bearn.
      • Capt. de St. Quentin.
    • Italy
      • M. Tittoni.
    • Secretary
      • M. di Martino.
    • Japan
      • H. E. Baron Makino.
  • Also Present
    • France
      • M. Pichon.
      • M. Loucheur.
    • Japan
      • H. E. Viscount Chinda.
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Lieut. Burden.
British Empire Capt. Abraham.
France Capt. A. Portier.
Japan M. Saburi.
Italy Lieut. Zanchi.
Interpreter—Prof. P. J. Mantoux.

1. M. Clemenceau said that he thought the first business the Council should deal with was to nominate a Committee to watch the execution of the clauses of the Treaty with Germany when ratified. Nomination of Committee To Supervise the Execution of the Treaty With Germany

Mr. Balfour said that he had intended to nominate Sir Eyre Crowe.

M. Clemenceau said that his nominee was M. Tardieu. The Committee was to have no executive power but should [Page 2] superintend the work of all Commissions dealing with the details of the provisions of the Treaty. The Committee would report to the Council from time to time what progress was being made and what further action might be needed.

Mr. Lansing said that he would have to consider what nomination to make.

M. Tittoni said that he could give the name of the Italian member on the following day.

Baron Makino nominated M. Otchiai.

(It was agreed that the nominations should be made at the Meeting on the following day.)

2. M. Clemenceau said he would ask M. Loucheur to explain the functions of a Committee to deal with the Reparation clauses of the Treaty and to explain the necessity for its labours to begin at once, seeing that the Germans had already made certain enquiries regarding the execution of the provisions concerning the occupied districts. (See Annex A.)Reparation Committee

M. Loucheur said the proposal was to nominate a Committee with one member and one assistant from each of the following five nations:—France, Great Britain, United States, Italy and Belgium.

M. Tittoni asked whether the Committee would deal with devastated districts of all fronts including the Italian.

M. Loucheur replied in the affirmative, but added that it was not intended to form the Committee at once in its final shape. Each Government would be able to consider the question at leisure, especially as there would be a big staff and a very large organisation. What he proposed for the time being was a Committee to prepare the ground. It was to this Committee that he suggested that each of the Powers mentioned should nominate one delegate and one assistant. During the intermediate period between the nomination of this Committee and the formation of the ultimate organisation, he thought that this body should be authorised to converse with the Germans with the object of shaping a plan for procedure in the future. Subcommittees to deal with Finance, Rebuilding, etc. could be set up at a later time.

Mr. Balfour said that he understood that this Committee would have a double function:—

To organise the future Reparation Commission provided for in the Treaty.
To deal with the Germans and the problems raised by them in the meantime.

He further asked why Serbia was excluded.

M. Loucheur said that it was intended that Serbia should take the place of Belgium whenever the question of Serbian devastated territory [Page 3] arose. Japan would take the place of Belgium in matters regarding the Far East and damage at sea. The preliminary organisation, however, should, he suggested, be done by nominees of the five Powers first mentioned. There would, therefore, be four permanent members in the final Commission and one changeable member. He would ask that the nominations should be made within 24 hours, and that the Committee should meet on the afternoon of the 3rd. July, 1919.

(It was agreed that the nominations should be made at the Meeting on the following day.)

3. Mr. Lansing said that he had not brought a second American Delegate with him under the impression that this was to be a Council of Five. Constitution of the Council

M. Clemenceau said that it was indeed to be a Council of Five, but he had asked M. Pichon to come as he would himself have to leave the Meeting.

Mr. Lansing said that his experience was that in a Council of Ten, in practice one delegate spoke. The other did not, but by sitting in the Council he became acquainted with the whole course of the work, and was therefore prepared at any moment to take charge, should his colleague for any reason be unable to attend.

M. Clemenceau said that he had no objection to raise if it were desired that two delegates from each nation be present.

Mr. Balfour said that the mere presence of a large number made a physical difference. He thought conversation was simpler and more informal at a gathering of five. Even a silent Delegate interposed between each of the spokesmen cramped the conversation. There had been many objections no doubt to the procedure in the Council of Four, but there had been this great advantage.

M. Clemenceau asked whether Mr. Lansing insisted on his point of view. He himself shared Mr. Balfour’s.

Mr. Lansing said he would not insist, but he felt the advantage of having a second delegate present. The day’s proceedings could be talked over with the second delegate with much advantage to both. He pointed out that there must always be others present in the room. He was strongly in favour of having enough secretaries present to make a full and agreed record of what took place.

M. Tittoni said that he saw good reasons for both points of view, but he was prepared to agree to a Council of Five if his colleagues desired it.

Mr. Balfour suggested that a start be made with a Council of Five, subject to alteration if necessary.

(This was agreed to.)

4. Mr. Lansing asked whether the decisions reached by the Council were final. Finality of Council on Decisions

M. Clemenceau replied in the affirmative.

[Page 4]

5. Mr. Lansing said that a number of Notes had been received from the Austrian Delegation. None of them had yet been replied to. He would suggest that Commissions be appointed to deal with each section of the Treaty affected by any of the Austrian Notes. He had prepared a draft resolution on this subject (see Annex B). Reply to Austrian Notes

M. Clemenceau said that what Mr. Lansing desired was being done.

Mr. Lansing said that he did not allude to Committees employed on completing the unfinished portions of the Austrian Treaty. What he proposed was Committees to deal with the Austrian counter proposals to the portions of the Treaty which had been presented.

Mr. Balfour said he understood that the same Committees which had prepared the answers to the German Notes were preparing answers to the Austrian Notes.

M. Dutasta explained that there was a Section dealing with the Geographical questions, another dealing with the points relating to the League of Nations, another with the points raised concerning private property, in accordance with a decision taken by the Council of Four.

Mr. Lansing observed that the American Delegation knew nothing of this. The American Experts on Austrian affairs were not the same as the Experts on German affairs.

M. Dutasta said that the Secretariat-General had informed the Secretaries of the various Delegations asking each to nominate suitable delegates. Nominations had already been made for the Committee on Geographical questions, and the Committee was to meet on the following day.

(It was agreed that M. Dutasta should make a full report on the situation on the following day.)

M. Clemenceau said that the following subjects had been suggested:—

Agenda for Future Meetings Frontiers in the following areas:—

The Banat.

M. Dutasta said that the frontiers in the Banat had been fixed and the decision had been communicated to the Jugo-Slavs and to the Roumanians. The frontiers in Bukovina had also been settled but not yet communicated.

It was decided that the communication should be made.

M. Tittoni enquired whether the frontiers had been only recommended by Commissions or whether they had been fixed by decisions of the Council?

[Page 5]

M. Clemenceau said that they had been fixed by the Council.1

M. Clemenceau asked whether anything had been done regarding Bessarabia.

M. Dutasta replied that as this subject concerned Russia, no decision had been made but the matter had been studied by the Roumanian Commission.

Mr. Balfour thought that it was unnecessary to reach a decision concerning Bessarabia as no Treaty of Peace had to be made either with Russia or with Roumania. He thought that there were many questions of importance of which no doubt the Bessarabian question was one, but he thought the Council should first deal with whatever was required to bring about peace with the enemy States.

M. Tittoni thought that the Council should make an effort to eliminate elements of disturbance and that the area in question was very disturbed.

M. Clemenceau said that he agreed with M. Tittoni. Mr. Balfour’s proposals followed the logical order, but facts were louder than logic. He thought the Council should attempt to suppress disorder as much as possible. He suggested that M. Tardieu should be heard on the following day for half an hour on Bessarabia. No decision need be taken there and then.

Mr. Balfour said that if that half hour was not required for other purposes, he would be delighted to hear M. Tardieu.

Mr. Lansing asked who would represent the Russians.

M. Pichon suggested that M. Maklakof2 might be heard.

M. Tittoni said that if a Russian was to be heard, a Roumanian should also be heard.

Mr. Lansing suggested that if this were done, they should be heard separately.

This was agreed to, and it was decided that M. Tardieu be asked to make a report on the following day regarding Bessarabia and that M. Maklakof on behalf of Russia, and a Roumanian delegate be heard separately on the same subject.

Committee for Bulgaria Mr. Balfour observed that there could be no peace with Bulgaria without determining Bulgarian frontiers. He suggested that this subject be examined by a Committee. No Committee, however, could deal with the frontier between Bulgaria and Turkey since the whole Turkish question was still unsolved and was to be solved as a whole hereafter. He would suggest that the Committee be instructed to consider provisionally [Page 6] the Enos Midia line as the extreme frontier of Bulgaria on that side.3

It was agreed that on the following day nominations should be made for the special Commission regarding Bulgaria.

The Agenda for the following day was therefore:—

Nominations for Committee to supervise the execution of the Treaty with Germany.
Nomination of organising Committee for Separation.
Nominations for Committee on Bulgarian affairs.
Report of M. Dutasta regarding procedure in dealing with Austrian Note.
Hearing of M. Tardieu, M. Maklakof and a Roumanian Delegate regarding Bessarabia.

Mr. Lansing said that he would like to add two short proposals to the Agenda. He had prepared two draft resolutions (see Annex “C” and “D”.)

It was agreed that these draft resolutions should be considered and that the next meeting should take place at 3.30 on the following day.

Paris, July 1, 1919.

Appendix A to IC–200 [FM–28]


[The Head of the German Delegation (Von Lersner) to the President of the Peace Conference (Clemenceau)]

Mr. President: By order of the German Government, I have the honor to inquire of Your Excellency when and where the discussions relating to the occupied regions will begin.

Accept [etc.]

Baron von Lersner
[Page 7]

Appendix B to IC–200 [FM–28]

Draft Resolution

It is agreed

That Commissions of five members, one to be appointed by each of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, shall be set up to consider and prepare suitable replies to the various notes presented by the Austrian Delegation in regard to the clauses of the Conditions of Peace with Austria;

That the numbers of these Commissions shall correspond to the number of sections of the Conditions of Peace with Austria;

That the member appointed by the French Delegation on each of these Commissions shall be empowered to convene his commission at such time as he may deem advisable or as he may be directed; and

That the Secretary-General of the Peace Conference shall be instructed to refer to the appropriate commission immediately each note submitted by the Austrian Delegation.

Appendix C to IC–200 [FM–28]

Draft Resolution

It is agreed

That the modifications which were made in the Conditions of Peace with Germany as a result of the German counter-proposals or for any other reasons, shall, insofar as they may be applicable, be made ipso facto in the Conditions of Peace with Austria.

Appendix D to IC–200 [FM–28]

Draft Resolution

It is agreed

That the Secretary-General of the Peace Conference shall notify the Austrian Delegation that it will be allowed a period of not more than ten days, counting from the date upon which it will receive the last section of the Conditions of Peace, in which to make such counter-proposals or observations as it may see fit.

  1. See appendix IV to CF–79, vol. vi, p. 591.
  2. V. A. Maklakof, appointed Ambassador to France by the Russian Provisional Government; member of the Russian Political Commission at Paris.
  3. According to a correction issued on July 2, 1919, this paragraph should read as follows:

    Mr. Balfour observed that there could be no peace with Bulgaria without determining Bulgarian frontiers. He suggested that this subject be examined by a Committee. The Greek Committee, however, could not deal with the frontier between Bulgaria and Greece without knowing the boundaries of Turkey. The whole Turkish question was still unsolved and was to be solved as a whole hereafter. He would suggest that the Committee be instructed to consider provisionally the Enos Midia line as the probable frontier of the future State of Constantinople.”

  4. Translation from the French supplied by the editors.