Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Five Great Powers Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Friday, July 25, 1919, at 3:30 p.m.
- America, United States of
- Hon. H. White.
- Mr. Jr. Harrison.
- British Empire
- The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, O. M., M. P.
- Mr. H. Norman.
- Sir Ian Malcolm, K. C. M. G.
- M. Clemenceau.
- M. Pichon.
- M. Dutasta.
- M. Berthelot.
- M. de St. Quentin.
- M. Tittoni.
- M. Paterno.
- Baron Makino.
- M. Kawai.
- America, United States of
|America, United States of||Capt. Chapin.|
|British Empire||Lieut.-Commander Bell.|
|France||Capt. A. Portier.|
|Interpreter—Prof. P. J. Mantoux.|
1. Mr. White stated that before dealing with the questions on the Agenda he would like to communicate to the Council some information that had been received with regard to General Boehm’s visit to Vienna. The information in question had been transmitted through Mr. Hoover whom he requested the Council to ask for information. Allied Action in Hungary
(At this moment Mr. Hoover entered the room.)
Mr. Hoover stated that the proposal in question had been submitted to the Allied representatives at Vienna by General Boehm, who had been the Commander-in-Chief of the Bolshevik Hungarian armies. General Boehm had stated that if he could be suitably supported by the Allies and given certain assurances, more particularly on the subject of raising the blockade, and the importation of foodstuffs, together with the re-opening of traffic on the Danube, he on his part, would be ready to set up a social democratic government with himself as temporary dictator. Bela Kun would be deposed from [Page 255]power; all terrorist actions would cease, and order would be restored.
Mr. Balfour stated that he had seen Mr. Hoover on the previous evening who had communicated the contents of the telegram to him, and that, moreover, he had had the advantage of discussing the matter with his Military Experts. He now wondered whether the best way of getting rid of Bela Kun was by means of military intervention. It was now possible that the best solution lay in adopting the suggestions contained in Mr. Hoover’s telegram. As the Hungarians had now assumed the offensive and had crossed the Theiss they opened their flank to an attack from the south by the Serbian and French armies. It was evident that it would be preferable to conduct military operations with Hungarian assistance, but the following question presented itself. Was it possible to place full confidence in General Boehm? Even though it were possible to place full confidence in him, he would not be disposed to enter into an elaborate political arrangement with him. He thought that it would be best to direct General Boehm to carry out his promises by means of the army which he stated was under his control, and to tell him to confine his action to establishing some kind of military dictatorship with a view to calling a Constituent Assembly which should be in a position to express its will freely. Such a solution had a great advantage. In each of our countries there are sections of opinion which, without being actually Bolshevik, have none the less a certain sympathy for Bolshevik programmes. Those portions of the public were most strongly opposed to military action against the Bolsheviks. All these disadvantages would be avoided by proceeding through General Boehm. He would be given the moral support of the Allies, who would promise him the guarantees demanded, if he was actually in a position to set up his dictatorship and to convene the Assembly which would determine the future of Hungary. The one question which had to be determined was whether confidence could be placed in General Boehm’s promises. Before deciding, it was necessary to have a formal assurance to the effect that he was able to carry out his promises, because, if he were not, fresh delay would be caused by entering into further discussions, which would prejudice the opportunity of successful military action which now presented itself.
M. Clemenceau stated that he believed it would be well to take this question up again on the following day, in order that the Council might have time to reflect upon it. He considered it would be well to have Marshal Foch at the meeting in order that he might give his advice on the military situation.
Mr. Balfour observed that the important question was to know whether the Allies could have complete confidence in General Boehm.[Page 256]
Mr. Coolidge1 stated that he had with him a copy of a telegram which he had personally sent three months ago. In this he had stated that General Boehm was very popular in Hungary, that he had a strong political party supporting him, that his political views did not tend to the extremists and other parties of the Left, but rather inclined to those of the Right. He further observed that General Boehm was not a military man, but was none the less popular in army circles and with the working classes and that, if the situation had not changed since the time in question, he still had a powerful political faction behind him.
Mr. Balfour asked whether the Council had any reason to believe that General Boehm was solely actuated by personal ambitions, and was working for his own selfish interests.
Mr. Coolidge stated that he did not believe this to be the case, for the reason that General Boehm had mentioned in the course of his conversations, three men whom he, Mr. Coolidge, knew personally, and whose names he had mentioned in his telegram and in whom he had the greatest confidence.
Mr. Hoover asked whether the Supreme Council could not at once establish a general principle, and declare that it was ready to sustain any non-terrorist Government and furnish supplies of food to it. By doing this the Council would in no way bind itself adversely, even though the movement instituted by General Boehm should fail. Military operations should always be preceded by a political declaration. The important thing he believed was to make such a declaration at once.
Mr. Balfour asked whether the proposition tended [extended?] to raising the blockade and furnishing food supplies to the country without undertaking military operations.
M. Clemenceau stated that the difficulty was not in going to Budapest, but as to what steps should be taken thereafter.
Mr. White stated that he would prefer to have the military operations carried out by the Hungarians themselves.
Mr. Balfour observed that he would prefer to see a written proposition before taking a definite decision on the matter, and asked whether Mr. Hoover could not submit a report to the Council on the following morning.
M. Clemenceau stated that he would request Marshal Foch to be present at the meeting which could be fixed for 10.30 the following morning, and that the proposals of Mr. Hoover could then be examined.
Mr. Balfour observed that he would like to know what was the decision from the point of view of international law in which Hungary [Page 257]now stood in regard to the armistice. She had accepted the Allies conditions, and yet at the present moment was attacking one of the Allied Powers, and he felt that in acting thus she had re-opened hostilities against all the Allies.
(It was decided that the question of further action on the part of the Allied and Associated Governments in Hungarian affairs, in view of the latest information received with regard to General Boehm’s proposals, should be discussed by the Council on the following day, and that Marshal Foch and Mr. Hoover should attend.)
2. (M. Cambon2 entered the room.)
M. Cambon said that the Supreme Council had granted the governments of Poland and Czecho-Slovakia a period of ten days in which to attempt to settle between themselves the question of Teschen, and that this period expired to-day. The representatives of these governments had not yet reached a satisfactory solution. A dispatch received from Warsaw indicated that the Polish Government wished to obtain an extension of time. He had brought this matter to the attention of the Czecho-Slovak and Polish Sub-Committees, and these bodies were disposed to grant the extension. He had also taken the matter up with M. Benes and M. Moski [Dmowski?], and these latter were also disposed to grant the extension but believed that the same should be short. He stated that it was therefore proposed to grant an extension of ten days. If, on the expiration of this, no agreement had been reached the matter should be decided by the Supreme Council. He believed that the Governments at Prague and Warsaw were doing everything in their power to reach an agreement, as they had already constituted two small committees for the matter, and these were at present studying the question. Extension to the Poles and Czecho-Slovaks Regarding Question of Teschen
Mr. White stated that he thought that the Czecho-Slovak and Polish Committees ought to take advantage of the extension of time by themselves examining the question and preparing a solution for the Supreme Council, in the event of the two governments concerned not being able to come to an agreement.
(It was decided that a further period of ten days should be granted to the Governments of Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, to arrive at an agreement between themselves on the Teschen question.
It was further agreed that the Czecho-Slovak and Polish Committees should in the meantime examine the question in order that the Council should be in a position to decide, if no agreement should be reached by the aforesaid Governments.)[Page 258]
3. (At this point the military representatives of the Supreme War Council and General Thwaites entered the room.)
Military, Naval & Aerial clauses of the Bulgarian Treaty (Mr. Hoover and Mr. Coolidge left the room.)
M. Clemenceau stated that the Council had received the proposed Military, Naval and Aerial Clauses of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty, which had been prepared by the Supreme War Council at Versailles. (Appendix A.) He requested General Belin to inform the Council regarding the matters upon which the experts had differed.
General Belin stated that no differences of opinion between the military experts existed with one exception, that the Italian military representative had made one reservation, which was indicated on the draft, regarding the method of recruiting. Briefly the Italian military representative insisted upon the reservation which he had already made for the Austrian and Hungarian States, namely:—that the Bulgarian army should be organised on a basis of one year compulsory service.
M. Tittoni said that this was a question of detail which he did not wish to press.
(It was decided that the report of the Military Representatives with regard to the Military, Naval and Aerial Clauses of the Peace Treaty with Bulgaria should be accepted.)
4. (At this point the Military Representatives left the room, and M. Larnaude3 entered.)
Clauses of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty Relating to Responsibilities M. Clemenceau asked M. Larnaude to explain the question.
M. Larnaude stated that he merely wished to outline the manner in which the Committee had discussed the question. They had found themselves faced by Articles 227, 228 and 229 of the German Peace Treaty, and the question had come up whether these Articles should be adopted as they stood in the Bulgarian Treaty. The Greek, Serbian and Roumanian Governments had opposed this, as indicated in the Report presented by the Committee. (Appendix “B”.) They feared that their good faith would be questioned adversely and therefore preferred that persons guilty of crimes against their citizens should be brought to judgment before international tribunals and not before national military tribunals of each of the Powers whose citizens had been injured, as was the case in the German Treaty. The American Delegates had made certain reservations and the French Delegates, whom he represented, had merely requested that note be taken of the position which they held with regard to this proposal. The French Delegates believed that it [Page 259]would be difficult and dangerous to adopt a different method of punishing the same criminal acts, should they agree to the proposal to grant to Bulgaria international guarantees of impartiality, which they had refused to grant to Germany.
M Clemenceau observed that it would be well to know whether the same differences of opinion existed in the Council.
M. Larnaude stated that the United States and France had made certain reservations, but that the British Government supported the Greek, Serbian and Roumanian proposals.
Baron Makino observed that the Japanese Delegates had also made reservations, having reiterated those which they had already made regarding the Treaty with Germany, and that he wished to take the same position as his experts on the Committee.
M. Larnaude stated that the Japanese Delegates had merely renewed the reservations which they had previously made, in regard to the prosecution for breaches of the laws and customs of war of enemy Heads of States, before a tribunal constituted by the opposite party.
M. Tittoni said that, if the question arose theoretically as to a choice between two tribunals, the Council might hesitate, but, as the Greek, Serbian and Roumanian Governments themselves believed that they might be suspected of bad faith, and therefore requested the support from an international government, it seemed to him difficult for the Council to refuse them its support.
M. Clemenceau observed that another question was involved, namely, that of the precedent established in the German Treaty.
M. Tittoni answered that, in the case of Germany, the good faith of the Allies’ judgment was not questioned and no one of the Allies thought of it. In the case of Bulgaria, the very Powers themselves who were interested in the matter had brought the question up.
M. Clemenceau remarked that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers had had the courage to undertake their responsibilities, and that the Council should reply that the Governments now in question should take theirs.
M. Tittoni stated that he did not wish to carry his point of view as the solution of the matter. It did not vitally concern him.
Mr. Balfour said that the Council must not lose sight of the fact that the Greek, Serbian and Roumanian Governments considered themselves competent to try the Bulgarian prisoners actually in their hands before military courts, but that they did not believe themselves competent to try persons who might be turned over to them under the terms of the Treaty.
M. Larnaude said that the point in question had not been missed and that he had drawn the attention of the representatives of these [Page 260]various Governments to the fact that they were open to the charge of inconsistency. One of these latter, however, M. Politis,4 had stated that the number of persons to be brought before military courts was not great.
Mr. White stated that it was for this reason that they wished to place the responsibility of trying the numerous persons who were to be handed over to them by the Treaty upon the Great Powers. It had been stated that the Serbians had a list comprising from 15,000 to 20,000 persons.
M. Larnaude stated that he did not wish to enter into a discussion, but only to explain the point of issue. He did not see why there should be any difference between the two countries, and that justice should be applied everywhere in the same manner.
Mr. Balfour stated that the proposal originally submitted to the Council of Four with regard to Germany was that an international tribunal, such as was now demanded by the Greek, Serbian and Roumanian Governments, should be set up. In spite of the favourable view taken by the Committee, the Council had actually decided otherwise. He did not know why the modification had been adopted, but it must certainly have been based upon strong arguments. For this reason, he was not inclined to adopt a contrary principle.
M. Tittoni said that the decision would be a matter of indifference to him.
M. Clemenceau then stated that he proposed to adopt the same formula as had governed the German Treaty.
(It was decided that the Clauses relative to Responsibilities in the Peace Treaty with Bulgaria should be drafted on the same principle as that governing the corresponding clauses in the Peace Treaty with Germany (National Military Tribunals competent to judge the crimes committed by the Bulgarians.) See Articles 228–230 of the German Peace Treaty.)
5. (At this point M. Larnaude left the room and M. Tardieu entered.)
The Report of the Committee Supervising the Execution of the Peace Treaty With Germany on the Subject of Belgium M. Tardieu stated that the Committee supervising the execution of the Peace Treaty with Germany did not foresee any difficulty in the nomination of five members by the Allied and Associated Powers to the Committee of Seven Members, who, by virtue of Article 35 of the Peace Treaty with Germany, should lay down locally the new frontier between Belgium and Germany. There was, therefore, no special recommendation to be made. It would be sufficient if the Allied and Associated Powers would nominate their [Page 261]representatives, in order that the Committee might start work as soon as possible.
(It was decided that, at the next meeting of the Supreme Council, each Delegation should nominate its representative on the Committee provided for under Article 36 of the Peace Treaty with Germany, for the purpose of determining, locally, the new boundary line between Germany and Belgium.)
6. M. Tardieu stated that Article 48 of the Peace Treaty provided for the nomination of three members by the League of Nations, who could act in a Commission of five members, which should be charged with the duty of delimiting locally the boundary line of the Saar Territory as laid down in the Treaty. He admitted that it was not impossible, theoretically, for the League of Nations to make the necessary nominations within the fifteen days following the signature of the Treaty. The Convention in question was part of the Treaty, and the Powers represented on the Council of the League of Nations were named; the Committee supervising the execution of the Peace Treaty thought, however, that it would be difficult in practice for nations whose members were on the Council of the League of Nations, and who should not have ratified the Treaty, to be able to nominate representatives to the Committee. If such a participation were impossible, the Delimitation Committee might be nominated in the manner foreseen in the Peace Treaty, but the Supervising Committee thought that the necessary nominations might be made temporarily by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. Such a procedure would make an agreement with Germany necessary, since nominations made in this manner were not foreseen in the text in the Treaty. The ratification of the Pact of the League of Nations would take place as soon as possible. The Committee therefore recommended that the Supreme Council should come to a decision on the subject. Report of the Committee Supervising the Execution of the Peace Treaty With Germany on the Delimitation of the Saar Basin
Mr. Balfour stated that the League of Nations had certain defined duties with regard to the Basin of the Saar, but the League could only act after ratification. It followed that the American Government, which did not appear to be able to give the necessary ratification in a short time, would be prevented from taking its place on the Commission for some while. It was therefore proposed that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers should make a temporary nomination; it was open to question, however, if they had the right to do so.
M. Tardieu stated that they had not such a right without arriving at an agreement with Germany.
Mr. Balfour stated that he did not favour any request being made of Germany, but, that in the case in question, he thought no difficulty would arise.
M. Tardieu stated that at the present moment there was no use in [Page 262]approaching the German Government, but that the Council could agree to the principle which should be applied when the time came.
Mr. White stated that he could not take any decision with regard to the ratification without referring to President Wilson.
M. Pichon stated that the point was important, since the American Government had the duty of convening the Council of the League of Nations.
M. Tardieu stated that the text of the telegram to be sent to President Wilson could be made out.
(It was decided:—
That M. Tardieu, at the next meeting of the Supreme Council, should present a draft telegram for transmission to President Wilson, on the subject of the Commission for the delimitation of the Saar Basin.)
7. M. Tardieu stated that the Committee had submitted a Note (see Appendix “C”), which had been sent to the various Delegations. Note From the Drafting Committee on the Subject of the Sale of State Property in Slesvig
The Committee proposed a slight modification to the text submitted to the Supreme Council. A formal assent was all that was necessary. (It was decided:—
That the Drafting Committee’s proposed modification in the text of the notification to be sent to the German and Danish Governments on the subject of the sale of State property in Slesvig should be adopted.)
6. M. Tardieu suggested that a Note dated 8th July had been received from the German Delegation on the subject of the preparatory measures which should immediately follow the ratification of the Peace Treaty, in order that the clauses of the Treaty with regard to the Eastern Provinces of Germany, should be carried out. (See Annex “D”.)Evacuation of Territories Ceded by Germany to Poland
The Committee supervising the execution of the Treaty submitted a draft reply (see Annex “E”).
(It was decided that the draft reply to the German Delegation, submitted by the Committee to supervise the execution of the Peace Treaty with Germany, with regard to the opening of negotiations between the Allied and German Governments, on the subject of the preparatory measures to be taken for enforcing the provisions of the Treaty dealing with the cession of the Eastern Provinces of the German Empire, should be accepted.)
9. M. Tardieu stated that the German Delegation had sent a Note dated 16th July 1919 (see Annex “F”) asking that the names and powers of the Allied Commissioners for Eastern Prussia, should be communicated to the German Government. The Committee had drafted a reply (Annex “G”). Allied Commissioner for East Prussia[Page 263]
(It was decided that the draft reply to the German Delegation, submitted by the Committee, to supervise the execution of the Peace Treaty with Germany, with regard to furnishing the German Government with the names and powers of the Allied and Associated Commissioners in East Prussia, be accepted.)
10. (At this point M. Tardieu left the room and Mr. Ignace6 entered.)
Clauses in the Peace Treaty With Bulgaria With Regard to Prisoners of War Mr. Ignace stated that the clauses inserted into the Peace Treaty with Bulgaria and submitted by the Committee (see Annex “H”) were only a repetition of similar clauses in the Austrian Treaty with the exception of Article 9, which provided for an Inter-Allied Committee of Enquiry to examine the question of subjects of the Allied and Associated Powers not yet repatriated. The Inter-Allied Committee would further examine the cases of those persons who desired to remain in Bulgaria, and would investigate criminal actions which might be punished. The Article provided for the manner in which the Committee should be constituted. It lays down also that its enquiries shall be communicated to each Government concerned, and after that, to the Tribunal provided for in Article 3 of the Treaty. He had just learned that the Supreme Council had decided that there should be no Inter-Allied Tribunal, but that each Government should judge actions coming under the above head, by means of a Military Court.
M. Clemenceau stated that it had been decided to act in the same way as had been done in the case of Germany.
Mr. Ignace stated that it would be sufficient to make a slight modification in the text of Article 9, and to suppress the second paragraph, numbered 2.
(It was therefore decided
That the proposed Articles for the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria, presented by the Prisoners of War Committee should be accepted with the exception of the second paragraph numbered 2 in Article 9, which should be deleted.)
(At this point Mr. Ignace left the room.)
11. M. Clemenceau read the Austrian Note dated 21st July, (see Annex “I”). He drew attention to the statement in the Note:—
Austrian Reply on the Subject of the Delivery of Arms and Munitions to the Czecho-Slovaks“That all arms and munitions demanded hitherto are being handed over to the Royal Italian Armistice Mission at Vienna. The Mission in question has undertaken to transmit the materials to the Czecho-Slovakia Government, which procedure has been decided upon with the full consent of the representatives of the Allied and Associated Powers at Vienna”.
He drew attention to the fact that he had no knowledge of this.
Mr. Balfour stated that he also had no information and would like to have certain points cleared up. He asked whether the arms and munitions had been handed over to the Head of the Italian Mission only, or to the French and Italian representatives conjointly?
M. Clemenceau stated that the arms and munitions belonged to all the Allies.
Mr. Balfour said that he would like to know how long it was since the delivery of arms and munitions had been taking place, what quantity had been handed over, and how much was still to be delivered.
M. Clemenceau stated that it was also necessary to know who had consented to the procedure.
(It was decided:—
To send the following telegram to the representatives of the Allied and Associated Powers at Vienna with regard to the delivery of arms and munitions to the Czecho-Slovaks:—
“The Austrian Delegation has replied to a communication from the Peace Conference, wherein the aforesaid Government was directed to deliver up its war material in the following terms:—
All the arms and munitions demanded up to date are at present being handed over to the Royal Italian Armistice Mission at Vienna. This Mission has undertaken to transmit the materials in question to the Czecho-Slovak Government with the knowledge and consent of the representatives of the Allied and Associated Powers at Vienna. The Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers therefore request that it may be informed:—
- Who gave the consent referred to in the Austrian reply and in what form?
- Whether the arms and munitions delivered by the Austrian Government have been handed over to the Royal Italian Mission only, or to the French and Italian representatives conjointly.
- Since what date has this delivery taken place.
- What are the total amounts of the different classes of war material, and what proportion of them have been delivered.”)
12. After a short discussion it was decided that the texts of the following draft instructions for the Interallied Commission of Enquiry into the events in Asia Minor should be accepted. The enquiry of the Committee should take as its subject matter the acts which had taken place during and after the occupation of Smyrna, Aidin, Aivali and the adjacent regions by the Greek troops. These acts had been reported in the form of a complaint by the Sheikh-ul-Islam.7 The enquiry was to be extended to all events relative to the above from the date of occupation to the present moment. The Committee was to determine the responsibilities and to submit its report to the [Page 265]Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers, together with such conclusions as it might consider relevant as soon as possible. Instructions To Be Given to Committee on Enquiry Into the Events in Asia Minor
13. (At this moment M. Seydoux entered the room.)
Blockade of Russia M. Seydoux stated that the question had to be resumed from where it had been left off at the last discussion.7a The American reply had not been received.
Mr. White stated that the American Government thought that it could not collaborate with the Allies in the Blockade of Russia since it was not in a state of war with Bolshevik Russia. The President had sent him a reply (see Annex J) in the above sense. The President thought that the practical difficulties of commerce would prevent any suitable assistance being given to Soviet Russia.
M. Seydoux said that the President’s reply put the Supreme Council into a difficult position for it had been desired to block the Gulf of Finland. The Scandinavian Governments had made requests to be authorised to renew commercial relations with Petrograd. No reply had been given, since it was thought that Petrograd would soon fall. This, however, had not taken place. Since that date Koltchak had been informed that the Allied and Associated Powers were ready to support him;8 this had, in fact, been done. He asked whether it was now possible to authorise certain nations to assist Koltchak’s enemy by their commerce. The Swedish Government had demanded quite openly that it might be allowed to re-open commercial relations with the Government of Lenin. By acceding to this, Lenin would be assisted, and by taking the measures necessary, might distribute what he received in whatever manner he chose. The excuse of assisting unfortunate peasant populations could not be brought forward. A new note had been received moreover to the following effect: The French Minister at Copenhagen who has been informed of the questions laid before the Supreme Council by the Blockade Committees in Paris and in London, on the subject of commercial relations with Bolshevik Russia, reports that the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs stated, in an official letter addressed to the English Minister, that the Danish Government would not assist the exportation of any merchandise from Denmark to Soviet Russia, before the deliberations on the subject, now going forward in Paris, had been concluded.
Mr. Balfour stated that he knew nothing of this communication.
M. Seydoux said that information had been received from Stockholm to the effect that the Swedes had not renewed their request and had not despatched vessels since they knew that they would be stopped. They had not been undeceived. The questions might be [Page 266]raised again at any time however, and it would be difficult to know how to deal with them.
M. Clemenceau stated that the discussion with President Wilson should be taken up again since new arguments could now be brought forward. Everyone had to undertake a certain amount of responsibility. Should they not, therefore, submit the questions afresh and wait for his reply.
M. Tittoni stated that it was known from an authoritative source that the Soviet Government was making a large number of Allied bank notes. If commercial relations were renewed it would facilitate the circulation of these false notes.
Mr. Balfour stated that Mr. White’s remarks submitted to President Wilson were very complete. On the other hand one or two important points had been omitted.
Mr. White had spoken of Koltchak and of the assistance that should be given to him. In his opinion the question was much more serious for at that moment British forces were fighting at Archangel. In addition to this the populations of the Baltic States were being organised and armed in order that they might fight against Bolshevism. So at the moment we were asked to assist our enemies by allowing them to receive arms, munitions and material of every kind, which although they were not sent to men with whom we were legally at war, were none the less being despatched to persons who were fighting against us. What would be the position of the League of Nations if it were in existence? Supposing that it had existed and decided, as the Supreme Council had decided, to assist Koltchak, Denikin and the Baltic States to fight against the disorder of Soviet Russia. How would it operate? Undoubtedly it would declare a blockade for no other means would be at its disposal. Englishmen, and soldiers in Koltchak’s and Denikin’s armies were being killed daily in the fighting against the Bolsheviks. If a state of war did not exist legally, it existed none the less in point of fact. The position of the Allied and Associated Powers was, however, difficult. If the question were examined from the political point of view, was it possible to ask peoples already pressed by heavy taxes to make new sacrifices in order that arms should be sent to our friends; whilst at the same time, arms were being allowed to pass into the hands of those against whom we were fighting.
Mr. White stated that he would have to consult an expert in international law. He desired, however, to draw attention to President Wilson’s reply. What the President had said was not an article of a Treaty binding upon all, and the other Powers were free to set up a blockade without American help.
M. Clemenceau stated that before arriving at any solution, he thought President Wilson should again be approached and he proposed [Page 267]that Mr. Balfour should draw up a telegram in the sense of his remarks.
Mr. Balfour stated that in reply to Mr. White, he recognised that President Wilson in his reply did not bind us, but he asked what position should we be in if an American vessel were to carry munitions.
M. Clemenceau stated that, if it became necessary to act without American assistance, President Wilson would have to be asked to give an undertaking to send no ships.
M. Seydoux stated that, in his opinion, this was a point which should be insisted upon. Assistance to the Bolshevik Government could not be justified by the argument that relief was being given to an unfortunate populace. The Government of Lenin was such that his agents centralised all foodstuffs and distributed them as they wished. Little or no food would be sent to the populace. The only result would be that Lenin’s Government would be strengthened.
(It was decided that Mr. Balfour should prepare, for the next meeting of the Supreme Council, a new dispatch to be sent to President Wilson on the subject of the Blockade of Russia.)
(At this point M. Seydoux left the room.)
14. M. Clemenceau stated that a declaration which was to be signed by the Austrian Plenipotentiaries had been submitted to the Conference. (Appendix “K”.)Agreement by the Austrian Government With Regard to Vessels Sunk by Their Naval Forces
(After a short discussion, the draft declaration was accepted.)
15. M. Tittoni stated that, as the Agenda had been worked off, he wished to draw attention to the grave situation in Italy with regard to coal. The stocks of that material would be practically exhausted in a fortnight. During the war an Inter-Allied body had decided on the manner in which coal should be distributed amongst the Allies. This body no longer existed. He asked whether it would be possible to re-constitute it and asked, further, that this should be done, because the situation in Italy was of the utmost gravity. Coal Question in Italy
Mr. Balfour stated that it was one of the most urgent questions of the immediate future.
Mr. White said that Mr. Hoover was in agreement with Mr. Balfour.
M. Clemenceau said that he proposed that M. Tittoni in collaboration with Mr. Hoover should make a proposal in writing.
Mr. Balfour stated that Mr. Hoover had reported on the coal situation in Europe in an extremely pessimistic sense. He thought that the cause of the evil was that workmen were no longer working. This was more particularly the case in Central Europe and Upper Silesia. The reduction of the number of hours had made the situation even worse. It had been improved by the fact that the German authorities [Page 268]had threatened to cut off the provisions from mining districts where production diminished. This measure had increased the quantity of mineral taken from the mines, but the progress had been short. It was, therefore, not a question of war but a social crisis.
(It was decided that M. Tittoni should submit to the next meeting of the Supreme Council his proposals with regard to the re-constitution of the Inter-Allied Committee for the distribution of coal.)
16. M. Clemenceau stated that the Drafting Committee had brought the following note before them:— Languages of the Treaties
The Drafting Committee would be obliged if the Supreme Council would give information as to whether Treaties with the Serbian, (Croat-Slovene) State, and with Czecho-Slovakia and Roumania, all of which are to be signed at the same time as the Treaty with Austria should, like this latter, be drawn up in English, French, and Italian. The French text being authoritative in case of divergence.
(After a short discussion, it was decided that the proposal of the Drafting Committee to the effect that the Peace Treaties with the Serbian (Croat-Slovene) State, with Czecho-Slovakia, with Roumania and with Bulgaria, should be drawn up in three languages, the French text being authoritative in cases of divergence.)
17. M. Clemenceau said that the French Delegation had submitted a note with regard to the credentials of the German Diplomatic Agents. (Appendix “L”.) It had drafted a letter to the President of the German Delegation. (Appendix “M”). (This draft was accepted.)Credentials of the German Diplomatic Agents
(The Meeting then adjourned.)
Villa Majestic, Paris, 26 July, 1919.[Page 294]
- Prof. Archibald Cary Coolidge, chief of the Coolidge Mission to Austria.↩
- Jules Cambon, French representative and president, Commission on Czechoslovak Affairs and Commission on Polish Affairs.↩
- Fernand Larnaude, French representative, Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and the Enforcement of Penalties.↩
- Nicolas Politis, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and plenipotentiary to the Peace Conference.↩
- Edouard Ignace, French representative and president, Commission on Prisoners of War.↩
- Appendix A to HD–10, p. 200.↩
- HD–7, minute 3, p. 131.↩
- Appendix I to CF–37, vol. vi, p. 73.↩
- The Italian Military Representative nevertheless maintains his reservation already expressed in the case of the state of Austria and of Hungary that the Bulgarian Army should be organised on a basis of 1-year compulsory service. [Footnote in the original.]↩
- The Italian Military Representative maintains his reservation on the subject of recruitment, (See page i). [Footnote in the original. The reference is to the footnote on p. 269.]↩
- The Acting American Military Naval and Air Representatives make the following reservation:—“The use of the term “Allied and Associated Powers” in the text of the Military, Naval and Aerial terms shall not be construed to infer that the United States of America will be represented on the Commissions of Control, or otherwise participate in the enforcement of any of those articles.” [Footnote in the original.]↩
- vol. ii, p. 241.↩
- Brackets enclosing “high” throughout this document appear on the original.↩
- Annex 2 to Protocol No. 2, Preliminary Peace Conference, Plenary Session of January 25, 1919, vol. iii, p. 202.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Appendix B to HD–8, p. 162.↩
- Ibid., p. 163.↩
- vol. ii, p. 1.↩
- The translation is that found under Paris Peace Conf. 185.1141/9.↩
- Ante, p. 291.↩
- The translation is that found under Paris Peace Conf. 185.1138/39.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- The translation is that given in S–H Bulletin No. 547, July 24, 1919 (Paris Peace Conf. 184.611/604).↩
- HD–9, minute 2, p. 173.↩
- HD–7, minute 3, p. 131.↩
- Telegram No. 3152, July 15, 1919, Foreign Relations, 1919, Russia, p. 151.↩
- CF–74, minute 5, vol. vi, p. 530.↩
- For the President’s reply, see telegram No. 2594, July 18, 1919, Foreign Relations, 1919, Russia, p. 153.↩
- The translation is that given in S–H Bulletin No. 548, July 24, 1919 (Paris Peace Conf. 184.611/605).↩
- The translation is that given in S–H Bulletin No. 548, July 26, 1919 (Paris Peace Conf. 184.611/606).↩