Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/25
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 Wednesday, August 6, 1919, at 3:30 p.m.
- America, United States of
- Hon. F. L. Polk.
- Mr. L. Harrison.
- British Empire
- The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour.
- Mr. H. Norman.
- Sir George Clerk.
- M. Clemenceau.
- M. Pichon.
- M. Dutasta.
- M. Berthelot.
- M. de St. Quentin.
- M. Tittoni.
- M. Paterno.
- M. Matsui.
- M. Kawai.
- America, United States of
|America, United States of||Capt. Chapin.|
|British Empire||Major Caccia.|
|France||Capt. A. Portier.|
|Italy||Lt. Col. A. Jones.|
|Interpreter—Professor P. J. Mantoux.|
1. At the suggestion of Mr. Balfour (see Annex “A”) it was agreed to modify the text of the decision taken by the Conference on the 1st August, 1919, (H. D. 21, Item I1), and to request Marshal Foch to submit a report on the military measures necessary order to oblige the German Government to surrender the persons guilty of breaches of the Laws of War. Surrender of Officers Guilty of Breaches of the Laws of War
(It was agreed that no compensations should be demanded from the German Government. The revised text of the decision taken by the Conference on the 1st August, 1919, would therefore read as follows:—
It was decided—
- That no immediate reply to the German Government’s request should be given.
- That the Military Representatives at Versailles in collaboration with Marshal Foch should investigate the accuracy of the statements contained in the communication of the German Government, and [Page 548]should utilise all available sources of information at their command.
- That Marshal Foch should report to the Council on the military measures that might be enforced in order to oblige the German Government to comply with the Clauses of the treaty relating to the surrender to the Allies of officers guilty of breaches of Laws of War.)
2. Mr. Polk said that before the questions on the Agenda paper came under discussion, he wished to communicate to the Supreme Council the latest information received from Budapest. Situation in Hungary
(Mr. Polk then distributed copies of the documents included in Annex “B”.)
M. Clemenceau said that from the telegram sent on the 5th August by Mr. J. A. Logan,2 it would appear that the Roumanians had proposed an armistice to the Hungarian Government. He did not think that the Hungarians [Roumanians?] had been authorised by the Allied and Associated Powers to take such action.
M. Tittoni thought that the Roumanian Government had merely put forward certain proposals.
Mr. Balfour said that the Roumanian Government regarded itself as absolutely independent, and had acted and put forward its conditions as if the Allied and Associated Governments did not exist. Technically, Roumania was quite independent since Marshal Foch had not been placed in command of the Roumanian troops. Roumania had quarrelled with the Allies: M. Bratiano had left Paris thoroughly discontented, and he was now acting as the head of one independent State dealing with another equally independent State.
Mr. Polk informed the Conference that he had that morning had a long conversation with Mr. Misu, shortly after the receipt of the documents he had just distributed. He had communicated the contents of those documents to Mr. Misu and had explained to him that Roumanians action amounted to an attempt to conclude a separate peace. He (Mr. Polk) had pointed out that he did not consider it right that the Roumanians should obtain the delivery of the war material referred to in the document under consideration. Mr. Misu had replied that the measures taken were dictated by military necessity. He further stated that Roumania had not been treated with justice in regard to the matter of reparations. He maintained that the Belgians, whose territory had similarly been invaded, had been permitted to appoint a representative on the Commission of Reparations and had thereby been able to look after their interests. On the other hand, Roumania had not been permitted to appoint a representative on that Commission.
Mr. Balfour suggested that Mr. Misu should be invited to attend in order to discuss the question under reference. Mr. Misu was a [Page 549]very sensible man with whom it might be possible to arrive at an agreement.
M. Clemenceau saw no objection to Mr. Misu being heard by the Council.
Mr. Polk thought it would be preferable for Mr. Balfour in the first place to have a private conversation with Mr. Misu. He thought that procedure would yield better results.
Mr. Balfour agreed that talking alone gave opportunities for the excuse of a certain flexibility of conversation that could not be got in a formal conference. On the other hand he thought a greater impression would be produced by an interview with the Council as a whole. He proposed, therefore, that Mr. Misu should be received in that room. Otherwise, that M. Clemenceau be authorised to speak on behalf of the Conference.
M. Tittoni enquired whether it would be possible for the Generals forming part of the Allied Mission to Budapest to start at once.
M. Clemenceau thought that a telegram should at once be sent to the Roumanian Government stating that the Council did not recognise the right of Roumania to conclude an Armistice. Should the Roumanians fail to accept those instructions, the situation would become exceedingly grave.
Mr. Balfour pointed out that the Armistice proposed by the Roumanians would in addition deprive the Commission on Reparations of material and property which belonged to the whole of the Allies.
Mr. Polk added that Mr. Hoover had also drawn attention to the fact that by withdrawing 50% of the rolling stock from Hungary, the Roumanians would thereby render the distribution of supplies impossible.
(Marshal Foch, General Bliss, General Weygand, General Belin and Col. Georges entered the room.)
M. Clemenceau said that the Supreme Council had decided that the four Generals should forthwith be sent to Budapest. He enquired what measures Marshal Foch had taken to give effect to that resolution.
Marshal Foch replied that the four Generals who were to form part of the Military Mission to Budapest were scattered, consequently the following measures had been taken—General Graziani, being under the orders of General Franchet d’Esperey, a telegram had been transmitted to him through General Franchet d’Esperey together with copies of instructions. General Franchet d’Esperey had also been asked to forward copies of these documents to General Mombelli who was said to be at Sofia.
M. Tittoni, intervening, said that General Mombelli was now actually in Turin. He would therefore himself send him copies of the instructions. General Montpelli [Mombelli?] had, as a matter of [Page 550]fact, already been warned and would be ready to start within six hours after receipt of orders to that effect.
General Weygand said that he had forwarded to General Bliss the instructions intended for General Bandholtz, the American Representative. In regard to the British General, he believed him to be at Pressbourg, and he had consequently asked General Sackville-West to forward the necessary instructions. He had, however, just learnt that General Gorton had already reached Budapest. It would therefore be necessary to forward his instructions to that town.
Mr. Polk wished to call attention to a certain matter connected with the instructions to be issued to the four Generals. Yesterday M. Tittoni had proposed an amendment in order that the Generals might fully realise that the instructions given them should be carried out in agreement with the Hungarian Government: that is to say, the required results were to be obtained rather by persuasion than by the issue of orders. The text of the telegram which he had received that morning from General Weygand did not appear to contain that amendment. He proposed, therefore, that the words “in agreement with the Hungarian Government”, should be inserted in paras. (b) and (d).
General Weygand thought that the first paragraph of the instruction fully met Mr. Polk’s view, since it was therein clearly stated that the mission should place itself in communication with the Hungarian Government in order to obtain certain concessions which were detailed in paragraphs which followed. He thought that sentence clearly indicated that an agreement should be reached between the mission and the Hungarian Government.
Mr. Polk agreed that his objection had been fully met.
M. Clemenceau suggested that the Council should proceed to draft the text of a telegram to be sent to the Roumanian Government, stating that the Allied and Associated Governments would not admit her right to conclude an independent armistice with Hungary; that such an armistice would not receive recognition, particularly as it was intended to take away large quantities of material, the joint property of all the Allies and not of Roumania alone.
Mr. Balfour said he had prepared a draft telegram.
(After a short discussion, the following draft telegram was approved:—
“Supreme Council have learnt that Roumanian Military Authorities at Buda-Pesth have imposed Armistice on Hungarian Government, to be accepted at a few hours’ notice. Terms of this armistice render it impossible for Hungarian Government to fulfil armistice concluded with Allied Powers on November 13th.3 Moreover, terms [Page 551]in themselves pay no regard to rights of reparation of other Allies. Supreme Council desire formally to record their refusal to recognise right of Roumanian Commander-in-Chief to impose any armistice without authority of Allied and Associated Powers.”)
(At this stage M. Misu and M. Vaida-Voevod entered the room.)
M. Clemenceau said that the Council had invited M. Misu and M. Vaida-Voevod to attend in order to consider the situation in Hungary, which was very grave. The Roumanians had seized Budapest.
M. Misu, intervening, said that he had received no official communication on the subject.
M. Clemenceau, continuing, said that information which left no doubt on the matter had been received from various sources. Furthermore, the Supreme Council had learnt that the Roumanians had proposed an armistice to the Hungarian Government.
M. Misu said he had received no information on that subject, with the exception of the telegram which Mr. Polk had shown him that morning.
M. Clemenceau, continuing, said that the Supreme Council had just decided to send a telegram to the Roumanian Government.
(M. Clemenceau then read the telegram above quoted.)
M. Misu said he would forward a copy of the telegram to his Government, laying stress on the view expressed by the Council.
M. Clemenceau said that the Allied and Associated Powers had given many proofs of goodwill to Roumania. M. Bratiano had not always received these in the spirit in which they had been meant. The situation to-day, however, was very grave, and he was authorised to say that the Supreme Council were determined that the Armistice of Versailles4 should be respected and executed everywhere.
M. Misu drew attention to the fact that the situation had entirely altered in consequence of the last attack made by the Hungarians.
M. Clemenceau remarked that the relative position of the Entente and Roumania had in no way altered.
M. Misu, continuing, said that Mr. Polk had that morning communicated to him a list of the material which had been demanded by the terms of the alleged armistice. He wished to point out that the Roumanians demanded the delivery of this material solely in the general interest. This material was being taken over solely with the view of disarming Hungary, since it was essential to disarm her as rapidly as possible. The measures so taken would not, however, in any way prejudge the eventual distribution between the Allies of the material so obtained.[Page 552]
M. Clemenceau said he wished to read to the Roumanian Delegation a copy of the instructions which had been sent to the Allied Generals who were proceeding to Budapest.
M. Misu said he had received the text of the telegram that morning, and had already telegraphed the same to his Government. On the other hand, the Council should not lose sight of the fact that Roumania had been treated unjustly by the Commission on Reparations from which she had been excluded. Roumania had consequently not obtained the authority to seek out the material which had been looted from her territory by her various enemies.
M. Vaida added that the Roumanians had merely claimed the return of their own property.
M. Clemenceau enquired how the Roumanians could pick out their own personal goods from the mass of material in question?
M. Vaida pointed out that the Roumanian rolling stock had been taken by the Bolsheviks with the result that at the present moment Roumania only possessed some 50 locomotives. On the other hand, Roumania had been obliged to incur serious expense in order to maintain the army at a time when their Allies had already begun to demobilise. Mackensen, during the course of his retreat, had carried off a large quantity of material, which had subsequently fallen into the hands of the Magyars. The Roumanian Delegation had on several occasions requested the Conference to return this material, but no answer had ever been vouchsafed. It was essential that the material in question should be returned with as little delay as possible; otherwise the marks and signs, which would enable the Roumanians to recognise their property, would disappear. Should this material at once pass into the possession of the Roumanians, he thought it would be quite as safe as if it remained with the Magyars, and should it subsequently be proved that the engines, which would be used to revictual his unhappy country, in reality belonged to any particular one of the Allies, the Roumanians would be ready to surrender them without a murmur. The Council would undoubtedly agree that the material in the hands of the Roumanians would be a safer guarantee than if left in the hands of the Magyars.
M. Clemenceau feared he had explained himself badly. The exact question that he wished to place before the Delegates was the following. The Council would not permit Roumania to conclude an Armistice which would in any way hinder the Hungarian Government from executing the terms of the Armistice which she had already concluded with the Allies. For some months past the Principal Allied and Associated Governments had endeavoured to enforce the execution of that Armistice. It had been agreed to enforce that Armistice, and even if possible to enlarge its scope by agreement, [Page 553]in order to obtain a more complete disarmament. The Roumanians had now seized Buda-Pest. Nevertheless, the conditions of the Armistice concluded with the Entente would have to be fulfilled. The Allied and Associated Governments intended shortly to make peace with Hungary, and they could not allow the action of Roumania to retard the conclusion of peace. With that object in view, the Generals had been sent to Buda Pest.
M. Misu said that he would transmit the wishes of the Conference to his Government.
M. Clemenceau pointed out that these were not the wishes, but the final decisions of the Conference. Furthermore, the Council wished to know as soon as possible what action Roumania intended to take in the matter. In regard to the material, he wished to point out that the Allied and Associated Governments had no desire to deprive Roumania of that portion of the material to which she was entitled: but the whole must enter into the common pool. That was the principle which Roumania was required to accept.
M. Misu pointed out that it was a matter of urgency that the Inter-Allied Commission should proceed to Buda Pest with as little delay as possible. The Commission would then be in a position to obtain particulars, and to give the necessary instructions.
M. Clemenceau expressed the view that the situation at present in Hungary was so confused that it would be necessary, in order to avoid all misunderstanding, that all questions should be settled directly between the Conference and the Roumanian Government.
Mr. Balfour said that he could add very little to what had been said by M. Clemenceau. It was quite clear that Roumania had been cruelly treated both by Germany and by Hungary. Without doubt, she would never recover all that she had lost, since an act of spoliation necessarily involved an act of destruction, and it would be impossible to get back material which had been destroyed. Roumania would doubtless find herself in the same situation as Serbia, Belgium and France. It was equally true to say that the Magyars had taken from the Roumanians the greater part of their rolling stock, but the fact that rolling stock constituted the material which Europe most urgently required in order to reconstitute her economic life should not be lost sight of. Consequently, in spite of her rights, Roumania should realise that in the general interest this material must be distributed in an equitable manner for the benefit of all parties.
In regard to the proposed Armistice he wished to invite attention to the following paragraph which the Roumanian Government desired to impose on Hungary, namely:—
“The factories existing in Hungary which may have served for the manufacture of arms and munitions of all kinds must be demolished [Page 554]to the benefit of Roumania. This operation shall be carried out by Roumanian specialists with the help of Hungarian Officers”.
He need hardly point out that in Hungary, as in all Allied countries, every factory and every workshop had been utilised for the production of war material. Consequently, the whole of the Hungarian factories would have to be handed over to Roumania. Such a solution was impossible for Hungary, and he thought that it would be equally unacceptable to the Allied and Associated Governments, since it contravened the principles which had hitherto guided the Conference in their labours.
Mr. Vaida said that the opportunities of presenting their case to the Conference which had hitherto been offered to the Roumanian Delegation had been so few and far between that he could not allow the present opportunity of making a statement to escape. He wished to impress upon the Conference the fact that the Magyars had never complied with the conditions of the Armistice of the 13th November, 1918. The Entente had for many months past struggled against the situation so created, and had on frequent occasions issued instructions which the Roumanian Government had always accepted whatever might have been the consequences entailed. On the other hand, the Allied and Associated Powers had never been able to compel the Hungarians to accede to their wishes. Finally, the Hungarians had attacked Roumania thereby annulling the Armistice. In spite of the Armistice, the Hungarians had treated the Roumanians as enemies and compelled the latter to take military measures to defend themselves.
He wished on this occasion to beg the Conference to make certain alterations in the terms of the existing Armistice. He would ask the Conference to add to the instructions to be issued to the Generals a clause to the effect that the Armistice of the 13th November having been broken no longer existed, and that it must be replaced by a new Armistice to be imposed in Budapest by the representatives of the Entente. Many of the clauses of the Armistice of November, 1918, could no longer be carried out: others had no further value. Yesterday, the Hungarians were the enemies of Roumania, to-day they were conquered, and Roumania in the future desired that they should become her friends. He begged the Conference therefore, to reconsider the text of the telegram which it was proposed to send to the Roumanian Government and to modify it so as to add a sentence which would prove to his Government that it could still count on the same goodwill as the Conference had extended to himself personally. Every telegram issued by the Conference was invariably at once published in the newspapers of Vienna and Budapest. Consequently, it was essential that the message should not be open to the interpretation [Page 555]that the Conference desired to blame Roumania when a word of encouragement would cause hopes to arise, which would lead more easily to the desired goal.
M. Clemenceau promised that this request would receive the favourable consideration of the Conference.
Mr. Misu added that the Roumanian Delegation merely asked for some sign of goodwill.
(Mr. Misu and Mr. Vaida-Voevod then withdrew.)
M. Clemenceau expressed the view that the remarks made by the Roumanian representatives were just, and that a sentence should be added to the draft telegram to give effect to their wishes.
M. Tittoni pointed out that Mr. Vaida-Voevod had also declared that the Hungarians had no further claim to the maintenance of the first Armistice, and that the four Allied Generals should be charged with the duty of dictating new conditions.
(After a short discussion it was decided to insert in the telegram above quoted the following sentence:—
“Fully recognising the just claims of Roumania and her devotion to the common cause”.)
(It was agreed:—
(1) To transmit the following telegram with all due urgency to the Roumanian Government through the French Chargé d’Affaires at Bukarest:—
“The Supreme Council had [have?] learnt that the Roumanian Military Authorities at Budapest have imposed Armistice on Hungarian Government to be accepted at a few hours notice. The terms of this Armistice render it impossible for Hungarian Government to fulfil Armistice concluded with Allied and Associated Powers on November 13, 1919. Moreover, the terms in themselves paid no regard to rights of reparation of other Allies. The Supreme Council, whilst fully recognising the just claims of Roumania and her devotion to the common cause, desired formally to record their refusal to recognise the right of Roumania’s Commander-in-Chief to impose any Armistice without authority of the Allied and Associated Powers.”
(2) To forward instructions to the four Generals, members of the Military Mission to Budapest, to proceed thither without delay.
3. M. Clemenceau said he wished to communicate to the Conference, for information, the following telegram dated Constantinople, 4th August, 1919:— Results of the Decision of the Conference in Regard to Smyrna
“The High Commissioners of Great Britain, France and Italy on the 3rd August, 1919, transmitted to the Turkish Government, the decisions of the Supreme Council in regard to the delimitation of the Greek and Italian zones of [Page 556]occupation5 and in regard to the creation of a Commission of Enquiry into the events which have taken place in consequence of the occupation of Smyrna.6
“The Grand Vizier received this communication with great satisfaction and declared that the Conference had thereby increased by 50 per cent, the authority of the Government.
“An official communiqué dated on the 4th August ends as follows:—“Without doubt the humanitarian decision of the Peace Conference will fill everyone with gratitude.”
4. M. Clemenceau read the following telegram, dated 5th August, 1919, which he had received from the French Ambassador in Washington, in reply to the request made by the Conference to the American Government on the subject of the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovaks in Siberia:— Repatriation of Czecho-Slovaks in Siberia
“The American Government possesses no tonnage which could serve for the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovaks, and does not believe that any other country is in a position to supply tonnage for that purpose. In view of the fact that the matter relates to the repatriation of people who would no longer fight, it enquires whether it would not be possible to send these people to the Black Sea passing through the region occupied by General Denikin.
The American Government is considering at the same time the repatriation which must soon take place of the 200,000 German-Austro prisoners still in Siberia.”
M. Clemenceau, continuing, said that the Conference were faced with a cruel situation. The Military Experts at Versailles, to whom the question had been referred, had reached the conclusion that the Czecho-Slovaks could only be repatriated by the sea route. To the demand for tonnage made to the American Government, the reply was that no tonnage was available, and that the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovaks could only be made by the land route. The Conference felt obliged, therefore, as a last resort, to turn to the Japanese Government to whom the question had already been submitted.
M. Matsui said that during the course of the Meeting at which this question of repatriation had first been discussed, the view had been expressed that the Czecho-Slovaks should be withdrawn from the Trans-Siberian railway and placed on the right of Koltchak’s army, in order to reinforce the latter. It had then been suggested that the Japanese Government should furnish military contingents in order to relieve the Czecho-Slovaks along the Transiberian Railway. Later, the situation had altered, and it had been found that the Czechoslovaks could not be used to reinforce Koltchak’s army since they desired to be repatriated and refused to fight. The situation having thus altered, Baron Makino had telegraphed to the Japanese Government [Page 557]for fresh instructions. No reply had yet been received. He did not wish to prejudge the question, but he felt compelled to inform the Conference that he did not think the Japanese Government would be in a position to accept the proposal. He was led to that conclusion by the refusal of his Government to comply with a similar request made by the Roumanian Government, who had asked for tonnage to repatriate the Roumanians at present in Siberia, whose numbers fell far below those of the Czecho-Slovaks. Nevertheless, his Government had been unable to obtain the necessary tonnage.
M. Clemenceau gathered that, under the circumstances, it would apparently be impossible to repatriate the Czecho-Slovaks either by the land or by the sea route. On the other hand, all information went to show that they could not spend the winter in Siberia.
M. Tittoni enquired how the Czecho-Slovaks at present obtained their supplies?
Mr. Balfour replied that they received their supplies from America via Vladivostock.
M. Clemenceau enquired whether the ships which brought these supplies did not return empty, and, if so, whether they could not be used for repatriating the Czecho-Slovaks.
Mr. Balfour thought that the steamers were not suitable for employment as troopships.
M. Clemenceau thought that the men would prefer to be repatriated in discomfort rather than not to be repatriated at all.
Marshal Foch expressed the view that the shortest route would be via Vladivostock and Vancouver and thence across the Atlantic to Europe. He enquired whether the ships which came to fetch the American troops could not be used for bringing the Czecho-Slovaks across the Atlantic.
M. Clemenceau urged that some solution should be found.
Mr. Polk said that if the Council would adjourn the question for a few days, he would again refer the matter to his Government.
(It was decided that Mr. Polk should telegraph again to the American Government7 to urge the necessity of supplying the tonnage required for the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovaks, the American proposals to send the men across the territories occupied by General Denikin having been found to be unworkable.)
5. M. Clemenceau said that the following telegram dated 3rd August, 1919, had been received from the French Military Attaché at Stockholm:— Situation in the Baltic Provinces Action of General von der Goltz
“From information supplied by our Military Mission at Libau, the Germans, far from evacuating Courland, as promised, continue to reinforce them [Page 558]selves by fresh drafts and additional materiel. They at present possess 35,000 men in that region.
Von der Goltz is determined not to leave. He encourages the entry of Russian Bolshevists, and German Spartacists who have considerable funds at their disposal. He counts on their action to provoke a revolutionary movement which would give him the excuse for intervention.
The situation is extremely critical and will become more so after the 10th August, the date from which the American revictualling must cease except for the children at Riga. Unless the Ulmannis Government receives at once the arms, material and money which the British Mission had caused it to expect, it cannot maintain itself beyond the 15th August, and will be replaced by extreme Socialists. This will bring about a Bolshevik Revolution. The Germans will then intervene as saviours and definitely occupy the country.”
M. Clemenceau, continuing, called on Marshal Foch to express his views on this question.
General Weygand said that the Conference had decided on the 30th July,8 to accept the proposals made by General Gough. The telegram giving effect to that decision had only been dispatched by Marshal Foch on the 1st August. The telegram to the French Military Attaché at Stockholm had been dispatched on the 3rd August, and he doubted whether Marshal Foch’s telegram which had to be forwarded through General Nudant in Berlin, could have reached General von der Goltz by the 3rd August.
On the other hand, that morning, Marshal Foch had received the following telegram from General Gough:—
“Please thank Marshal Foch for the firm attitude taken by him in regard to von der Goltz. Should the latter carry out the orders now sent him, many of the difficulties will have been overcome. I shall do all that is possible in regard to the Lithuanian Polish question.”
He (General Weygand) thought it would be best to await the receipt of later information.
(It was decided to postpone the consideration on this question until the receipt of further information.)
6. Mr. Matsui proposed that the Japanese Delegation should be authorised to appoint a Japanese Officer to form part of the Allied Commission appointed on August 4th, 1919 (H. D. 23)9 to negotiate between the Polish and German Governments. Appointment of Allied Commissioners Negotiating Between the German and Polish Governments
(It was agreed that a Japanese Officer should be nominated to represent Japan on the Allied Commission for negotiation between the German and the Polish Governments.)
The Commission on New States were anxious that a copy of the Treaty should be communicated to the Czecho-Slovak Delegation, and he had been deputised to obtain the sanction of the Council to this procedure being adopted. The Treaty had been unanimously accepted by the Commission on New States, but it was considered politic that the Czecho-Slovak Delegation should at once have an opportunity of expressing their views. Treaty Between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Czecho-Slovak State
(It was decided to approve the draft of the Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and Czecho-Slovakia as submitted by the Committee on New States; the draft to be submitted to the Czecho-Slovakian Delegation by the Secretariat-General.)
8. Mr. Headlam-Morley said that the Commission on New States had proposed that the Treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers and Roumania (Annex “D”) should also forthwith be communicated to the Roumanian Delegation. Treaty Between the Principal Allied and Associated Power and Roumania
The treaty dealt with matters of very great complexity. The Commission had therefore refrained from entering into direct negotiations with the Roumanian Delegation. It was now considered expedient that the draft Treaty in its final form, should forthwith be communicated to the Roumanian Delegation, with the intimation that though the general principles had been accepted, the Roumanian Government would have the opportunity of making their observations on matters of detail. He pointed out that the same procedure had been followed with advantage in the case of Poland.
Mr. Polk enquired whether any reservation had been made by any of the representatives on the Commission.
Mr. Headlam-Morley replied that the American representative had made a reservation in regard to the clause dealing with navigation on the Dniester.
Mr. Polk said that he could only accept the Treaty with the reservation on the question of the Dniester. President Wilson himself was greatly interested in this question.
Mr. Hudson suggested that the clause dealing with the Dniester should not be communicated to the Roumanian Delegation. The Dniester was situated in Russian territory.
Mr. Polk stated that for that very reason, the inclusion of this clause might convey the idea to the Roumanians that the Council accepted their claims in Bessarabia.
Mr. Headlam-Morley maintained that if the Dniester were not [Page 560]mentioned, great difficulties might subsequently arise. He suggested that in communicating the Treaty to the Roumanian Delegation, a forwarding letter should be sent explaining that certain questions could not be definitely decided until the frontiers of Czecho-Slovakia had been settled.
(It was decided to approve the draft of the Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and Roumania as submitted by the Committee on New States; the clause concerning the Dniester River to be revised by the Committee to meet the objections of the American Delegation; the draft thus revised to be submitted to the Roumanian Delegation at once by the Secretariat-General.)
9. Mr. Headlam-Morley read the following report submitted to the Council by the Commission on New States:—
“Complying with the direction of the Supreme Council under date of 21st [29th?] July, 1919,11 the Commission on New States has studied the comments of the Austrians on the clauses concerning the Protection of Minorities, as included in the Conditions of Peace, and the Commission has the honour to submit to the Supreme Council the attached draft of a reply to the Austrian counter-proposals. Reply to the Note of the Austrian Delegation on the Protection of Minorities
“The Commission favours the revision of Articles 79 and 87 of the Conditions of Peace to which the Austrian comment has taken particular exception. This revision would have the effect of bringing the Austrian Treaty into conformity with the Treaty already signed with Poland, and the Treaties to be signed with Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Jugo-Slavia, Greece, and Bulgaria, in that which concerns the League of Nations enforcement of the guarantees to minorities. The Commission on New States had previously made an informal suggestion that this course should be adopted. The Austrians, in their comment, have stated the objections which the Commission had anticipated. As originally presented to Austria, Articles 79 and 87 are far from clear and are perhaps not altogether consistent. In the opinion of the Commission, the suggested revision will in some points constitute a distinct mitigation of Austria’s terms, for the following reasons:—
- Whereas the former Article 79 conferred jurisdiction on the League of Nations over all obligations in this part of the Treaty, the revision would limit the jurisdiction of the League of Nations to the provisions regarding racial, religious and linguistic minorities.
- Whereas the former draft outlined no definite procedure for the League of Nations and made it possible that appeals might be prosecuted by interested minorities, or even individuals, the revised draft would limit the League of Nations jurisdiction to disputes between States, and would prescribe a definite procedure to be followed. By recognising the jurisdiction of the International Court, the judicial feature of disputes is emphasised [Page 561]and the possibility of political interference to which the Austrians object is greatly diminished.
- Whereas the former Article 87 required the consent of the Council of the League of Nations for any modification of those clauses, meaning the unanimous consent of the Council, the revised draft would allow a modification to be made if it received the assent of a majority of the Council of the League of Nations.
“The Commission on New States is convinced that the suggested revision will more effectively serve the purpose of the Allied and Associated Powers in including these clauses in the Austrian Treaty, at the same time that it more clearly meets the views of the Austrians, as expressed in their counter-proposals.”
Mr. Headlam-Morley, continuing, said that the Commission on New States had prepared a Draft reply to the Austrian counterproposals giving effect to the conclusions contained in the report just read (Annex E).
(It was agreed:—
- To accept the draft reply to the Austrian Counter-Proposals on the protection of Minorities, submitted by the Commission on New States (Annex E)
- To forward the same to the Editing Committee for incorporation in the final and comprehensive reply to the Austrian Counter-Proposals.
10. Mr. Headlam-Morley said that M. Venizelos had submitted a report (Annex F) dealing with certain difficulties in the Balkans by the encouragement of voluntary emigration. M. Venizelos’ proposals had been discussed unofficially by the Committee on New States, who considered these to be so good as to justify their extension to all the Balkan States. It had been suggested that an Inter-Allied Commission should be appointed by the League of Nations to control the proposed emigration. The Commission now sought permission from the Council to discuss the question in the first place with M. Venizelos and subsequently, should an agreement be reached, with the various Balkan States concerned. The Commission on New States had drawn up a report (Annex F) which bad already been submitted to the Council. Proposal by M. Venizelos To Deal With Certain Problems by Voluntary Emigration
M. Tittoni said he would accept the proposal provided a strict control were established so that the suggested emigration should not be used by the Governments concerned as measures of expulsion.
Mr. Headlam-Morley pointed out that the proposal to create a strong Commission of control under the League of Nations had been brought forward with the very object of preventing any such abuses.
M. Clemenceau expressed the view that since the question had not been placed on the Agenda paper, it should be adjourned for further [Page 562]consideration at a later date.
(It was agreed to adjourn to a later date the further consideration of the report submitted by the Commission on New States on the proposals submitted by M. Venizelos on the subject of encouragement of voluntary emigration in the Balkan States.)
(Mr. Headlam-Morley then withdrew. Mr. Laroche12 entered the room.)
11. M. Laroche read the note submitted by the Committee on Political Clauses on the subject of the eventual restitution to the Allies of Rolling Stock moved beyond the Armistice frontier in violation of the Armistice of Villa Giusti13 (Appendix “G”). Note From the Committeee on Political Clauses on the Eventual Restitution to the Allies of Rolling Stock Moved Beyond the Armistice Frontier in Violation of the Armistice of Villa Giusti
(It was agreed to refer the question raised by the Italian Delegation (Appendix “G”) to the Military Representatives of the Supreme War Council at Versailles for examination and report.)
12. M. Laroche read the note submitted by the Committee on Political Clauses respecting the desirability of reconciling the Clauses of the Treaty of Peace with Austria with those of the Treaties to be concluded with the Allied States formed out of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. (Appendix “H”.)Desirability of Reconciling the Clauses of the Treaty of Peace With Austria With Those of the Treaties To Be Concluded With the Allied States Formed Out of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
(It was agreed to accept the proposals contained in the note above referred to (Appendix “H”) and to authorise the Committee on Political Clauses to prepare as soon as possible in conjunction with the Drafting Committee and the Commissions concerned, the new text of the Clauses of the Treaty with Austria therein referred to.)
(M. Laroche then withdrew.)
13. M. Dutasta read the following Note, dated Paris, July 30th, 1919, addressed by M. Tittoni to the President of the Peace Conference on the subject of the dispatch of war material to the Serb-Croat-Slovene State. Reference to the Supreme War Council at Versailles of the Dispatch of War Material to the Serbo-Croat-Slovene State
“Confirming declarations made yesterday to the Supreme Council, I have the honour to inform you that the Italian Delegation has telegraphed to the competent authorities in order that necessary steps be taken to avoid every obstacle to the passage through Italy of French trains transporting merchandise including these the destination of which was Serbia, as well as the military trains agreed upon between France and Italy.
As for the war material destined to Serbia, as I had the honour to ask of you in my note of the 20th instant, as well as at yesterday’s [Page 563]session, I would be infinitely obliged to you if you would be good enough to submit the question as soon as possible to the Inter-Allied Council of Versailles.
Please accept, etc. …”
Mr. Polk drew attention to the fact that Mr. Lansing had maintained the view that the Allied and Associated Governments had no right to prevent the material going to Serbia; but he, personally, would raise no objection to the question being discussed by the Military Representatives at Versailles.
(It was agreed forthwith to submit the question above referred to, to the Military Representatives, Supreme War Council, Versailles.)
(At this stage General Groves14 entered the Room.)
14. General Groves said that under the Peace Treaty, Germany was forbidden to have any Naval or Military Aviation, and was required to surrender all her service aircraft to the Allied and Associated Powers. The Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control appointed to supervise the carrying out of the Air Clauses would not be able to begin work until after ratification of the Treaty. Reports received from the British Military Commission at Berlin and from other sources (See Appendix I), showed that Germany was circumventing the Air Clauses by the following means:— Note From the Air Commission Asking That Measures May Be Taken to Prevent the Germans From Disposing of their Air Material
- She had sold and continued to sell her aircraft and aircraft material to various neutrals.
- She was adapting her aircraft to commercial use.
- She was also negotiating to sell to private companies for the sum of 400,000 marks some 500 aircraft engines captured from the Allies.
With regard to (1), namely, the sale of aircraft to neutrals, that entailed the securing of neutral markets at the expense of the Allies. Those markets would also support the German Aircraft Industry, which was the production of her air power, and also the basis of her commercial aeronautical development, which will be in competition with that of the Allied and Associated Powers. It was therefore suggested that this sale shall be forbidden through the Supreme Council, and that Germany shall be called upon to refund to the Allies the sums which she had already made out of such sales.
With regard to (2), that is, the conversion to commercial use of service types of aircraft, a service type of aircraft could be converted to commercial use by slight structural alterations within 48 hours. Such aircraft could equally well be re-converted to service use within the same period. It was suggested that the German Government shall be informed that the Allies are aware that service types are being converted [Page 564]to commercial use, and that the President of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control shall be the sole judge as to whether any aircraft is of a service type or otherwise.
With regard to (3), (i. e. the sale of aircraft material captured from the Allies), under the Military Clauses all war material captured from the Allies was to be returned. This material was required by the Allies, particularly the engines.
It was, therefore, suggested that the German Government should be informed that the 500 engines referred to shall be delivered to the Allies at once, at a place to be specified, and all other material of this description shall be handed over to the Inter-Allied Commission of Control.
Mr. Balfour enquired whether the fact that the German Government had sold a certain number of captured aircraft engines to private firms re-acted in any way to the detriment of the Allies from a commercial point of view.
General Groves replied in the negative. He would point out, however, that the engines in question were in very good order; they had been well looked after; and they were urgently required by the Allies.
(It was agreed to accept the proposals made by General Groves, namely:—
- That the sale of aircraft and aircraft material to neutral Powers shall be forbidden through the Supreme Command, and that Germany shall be called upon to refund to the Allies the sums which she has already made out of such sales;
- That the German Government shall be informed that the Allies are aware that service types of aircraft are being converted to commercial use, and that the President of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control shall be the sole judge as to whether any aircraft is of a service type or otherwise;
- That the German Government be informed that the 500 engines sold to private companies shall be delivered to the Allies at once at a place to be specified, and all other material of this description shall forthwith be handed over to the Inter-Allied Commission of Control.)
(General Groves withdrew, and Colonel Morgan15 entered the room.)
15. Colonel Morgan pointed out that the situation referred to in M. Pachitch’s letter (Annex “J”), on the subject of the immediate liberation of prisoners of war had already been covered by a decision of the Supreme Council taken on May 23rd,15a and, if that decision were duly acted upon, no difficulties should arise. Liberation of Prisoners of War Formerly Belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Army, Now Nationals of an Allied or Associated State
M. Tittoni said that the Supreme Council had on May 23rd passed the following resolution:— [Page 565]
“The Heads of Governments agree that all war prisoners, formerly nationals of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, now subjects of an Allied or an Associated Nation, should be immediately liberated in a measure to conform with transportation possibilities, and where the frontiers of the States shall have been definitely fixed. In any event, they should not be liberated later than the prisoners of war who are subjects of the new Austrian States.”
Since that date, the Italian Government had taken every possible step to give effect to that decision, with the result that 80,000 prisoners had been repatriated even though the frontiers of the new States had not yet been definitely fixed. 60,000 prisoners still remained in Italy. The Italian Government had no wish to keep those men: but, owing to want of coal at the present moment, fewer trains were running than in wartime. The immediate repatriation of all prisoners of war no doubt deserved every consideration: but the essential needs of the population must in the first place receive attention. His Government had done, and would continue to do, all in their power to repatriate the prisoners in question at the earliest possible date.
(The Supreme Council took note of M. Tittoni’s statement.)
16. Colonel Morgan explained that at the present moment there were 112,000 Turkish prisoners of war in Egypt. The safe custody of these men called for the maintenance of a considerable force. The British authorities felt they could not afford the man-power required for the purpose. The British War Office was therefore very anxious to repatriate the prisoners at the earliest possible date in anticipation of the signature of the Treaty of Peace with Turkey. The British Government considered that it could not authorise the execution of these measures without first obtaining the approval of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers thereto. Immediate Liberation of Turkish Prisoners of War in Egypt
(It was agreed to authorise the British Government to undertake the immediate liberation of the Turkish prisoners of war in Egypt.)
(The Meeting then adjourned.)
Villa Majestic, Paris, August 7, 1919.[Page 567] [Page 590] [Page 600]
- Ante, p. 449.↩
- Col. James A. Logan, Jr., member of the American Relief Administration at Paris.↩
- The reference may be either to the armistice with Austria-Hungary, signed at Villa Giusti on November 3, 1918 (vol. ii, p. 175), or to the military convention between the Allies and Hungary, signed at Belgrade on November 13, 1918 (vol. ii, p. 183).↩
- The reference may he either to the armistice with Austria-Hungary, signed at Villa Giusti on November 3, 1918 (vol. ii, p. 175), or to the military convention between the Allies and Hungary, signed at Belgrade on November 13, 1918 (vol. ii, p. 183).↩
- HD–8 and 10, pp. 154 and 191.↩
- HD–11, minute 4, HD–12, minute 5, and HD–13, minute 12, pp. 207, 238, and 264.↩
- Telegram No. 3546, August 7, 1919, 3 p.m., from the Commission to Negotiate Peace, Foreign Relations, 1919, Russia, p. 294.↩
- HD–19, minute 4, p. 404.↩
- Ante, p. 515.↩
- J. W. Headlam-Morley, British representative, Commission on New States.↩
- See HD–18, minute 1, p. 369.↩
- Jules A. Laroche, French representative, Committee on Political Clauses for Europe.↩
- Armistice of November 3, 1918, between the Allies and Austria-Hungary, vol. ii, p. 175.↩
- Brig. Gen. P. R. C. Groves, British representative, Aeronautical Commission.↩
- Lt. Col. John Hartman Morgan, British representative, Commission on Prisoners of War.↩
- CF–27. minute 1. vol. v, p. 873.↩
- HD–21, minute 1, p. 449.↩
- Translation front the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Lt Col. William B. Wallace, military and civil secretary to Gen. Tasker H. Bliss.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- Destined to be distributed to the Roumanian soldiers who cannot cultivate their land for the two following reasons: (a) They have been kept mobilized to safeguard the safety of the State against those who continually disturb the peace. (b) They have lacked the necessary means because these means had been appropriated by the enemy. [Footnote in the original.]↩
- Destined to be distributed to the Roumanian soldiers who cannot cultivate their land for the two following reasons: (a) They have been kept mobilized to safeguard the safety of the State against those who continually disturb the peace. (b) They have lacked the necessary means because these means had been appropriated by the enemy. [Footnote in the original.]↩
- See footnote on preceding page.↩
- Capt. Thomas T. C. Gregory, member of the American Relief Administration at Vienna.↩
- British and Foreign State Papers, vol. lxxxiii, p. 513.↩
- Ibid., vol. lxxxix, p. 65.↩
- Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, 1907 (Cd. 3556), vol. xcix, p. 353.↩
- British and Foreign State Papers, vol. lxvi, p. 19.↩
- Ibid., vol. cii, p. 214.↩
- Ibid., vol. cv, p. 219.↩
- Ibid., vol. lxxxii, p. 771.↩
- Ibid., vol. lxxxv, p. 750.↩
- Ibid., vol. lxxxvii, p. 806.↩
- Ibid., vol. xcii, p. 433.↩
- Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traiés, 3 sér., tome iii, p. 920.↩
- Ibid., 2 sér., tome xxii, p. 42.↩
- Ibid., 3 sér., tome ii, p. 878.↩
- Luigi Palma, Nuova Raccolta dei Trattati e delle Convenzioni (1881–1890), vol. 3, pt. 2, p. 783; see also Germany, Reichs-Gesetzblatt, 1887, p. 111.↩
- Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traité’s, 3 sér., tome ii, p. 888.↩
- British and Foreign State Papers, vol. lxxxvii, p. 78.↩
- Ibid., vol. lxxxix, p. 159.↩
- Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1909, vol. ii, p. 2066.↩
- Great Britain, Treaty Series, 1910, No. 21 (Cd. 5221).↩
- Ibid., 1909, No. 4 (Cd. 4530).↩
- Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1909, vol. ii, p. 2131.↩
- Great Britain, Treaty Series, 1912, No. 20 (Cd. 6326).↩
- Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1910–1923, vol. iii, p. 2918.↩
- Ibid., 1776–1909, vol. ii, p. 1935.↩
- Ibid., 1910–1923, vol. iii, p. 2953.↩
- British and Foreign State Papers, vol. lxxvii, p. 22.↩
- Ibid., vol. cii, p. 619.↩
- Great Britain, Treaty Series, 1914, No. 11 (Cd. 7613).↩
- Ibid., 1892, No. 13 [C. 6818].↩
- Ibid., 1913, No. 7 (Cd. 6804).↩
- British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xcvi, p. 839.↩
- Ibid., vol. cviii, p. 404.↩
- Foreign Relations, 1878, p. 895.↩
- The translation is that found under Paris Peace Conf. 185.4134/2.↩
- Translation from the French of note and its enclosures supplied by the editors.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the editors.↩
- HD–5 minute 4, p. 101.↩