Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Tuesday, August 26, 1919, at 11 a.m.
United States of America
- Hon. F. L. Polk.
- Mr. L. Harrison.
- Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour
- Mr. H. Norman
- Sir G. Clerk
- M. Pichon.
- M. Berthelot.
- M. Tittoni.
- M. Paterno.
- M. Matsui.
- M. Kawai.
- United States of America
|United States of America||Captain Chapin.|
|British Empire||Lieut. Com. Bell.|
|Italy||Lt.-Colonel A. Jones.|
- Interpreter—M. Meyer
- The following also attended for the items in which they were
United States of America
- Mr. Woolsey
- Mr. J. F. Dulles.
- Mr. L. Nielsen.
- M. Loucheur
- M. Tardieu
- M. Jules Cambon
- M. Clementel
- M. Sergent
- M. Hermitte
- M. Massigli.
- Mr. J. W. Headlam-Morley
- Colonel Peel
- Mr. Nicolson
- Count Vannutelli-Rey.
- M. Russo
- M. Brofferio
- M. di Palma
- Col. Castoldi.
- United States of America
1. M. Pichon circulated a telegram from General Dupont (see Appendix “A”).
Upper Silesia Mr. Balfour said that he did not understand the delay referred to in the telegram. It stated that General Dupont could not act in the absence of precise instructions. In stating that he could have taken action had instructions [Page 928] been given to him earlier and with more precision, he was criticising the procedure of the Council in a manner which did not appear justifiable.
Mr. Polk said that as the instructions1 given to the three Generals delegated by the Inter-Allied Commission at Berlin had been drawn up after M. Loucheur and Mr. Hoover had been heard by the Council, he proposed that this new telegram should be referred to them for comment.
M. Tittoni asked whether the Coal Committee had started.
M. Loucheur replied that the Coal Committee had started last night, and that the French representative, at present in Warsaw, would meet them at Ostrau. This fact, however, did not alter the question at issue. The German Delegation had agreed that the Committee of three Generals should be sent. It had also stated that the German Government would not ask for Allied troops, for the occupation of Upper Silesia, for reasons connected with their internal politics. As the news before the Council was at present contradictory and confused, he thought that the previous decision should be maintained, which was, that the Generals should proceed to Silesia and join Colonel Goodyear; after this had been done, they were to forward a report. The Coal Committee, on the other hand, could only deal with the technical problems, connected with the distribution and production of coal: the Silesian problem did not come within its functions. He would consult with Mr. Hoover on the subject of the telegram before the Council.
Mr. Balfour asked whether General Dupont opposed the Allied policy.
M. Loucheur said that he did not, and re-read the telegram in confirmation of his statement. Von Lersner had said that the German Government agreed to the despatch of the Generals. This was a statement of fact, whereas General Dupont’s telegram was only a statement of personal opinion. The German representatives at Versailles might be made to confirm Von Lersner’s previous statement.
Mr. Balfour said that he understood that General Dupont was opposed to the measures proposed by the Council.
M. Loucheur replied that General Dupont did not oppose the Council’s decision, but only stated that it would cause more excitement than tranquillity.
Mr. Balfour said that such a statement implied a very severe criticism of the Council’s policy.
M. Loucheur replied that a decision had been arrived at to the effect that Generals should be sent, and this decision had been communicated to the Polish Government with a request to make it publicly [Page 929] known. If this decision were reversed, the Government at Warsaw must be immediately informed. Colonel Goodyear had varied his opinion. It appeared to be eminently necessary, that the Council should obtain clear and reliable information upon the situation, which was, at present, confused.
M. Tittoni remarked that in his opinion there were two points calling for the Council’s attention. First, the actual intentions of the German Government should be ascertained. Secondly, as General Dupont stated that the presence of the Generals would cause excitement, this point should also be considered.
(It was agreed that the previous decision of the Council, with regard to the despatch of the Allied Generals to Silesia should be up-held, and that M. Loucheur and Mr. Hoover should consult together upon the latest telegram from General Dupont (see Appendix “A”) and report on any measures that it called for.)
2. Mr. Polk said that he wished to call attention to the Resolution of the previous day (See H. D. 38, Minute 12) with regard to the report of the Commission of Enquiry on the incidents at Fiume. He wished to know whether the report dents at Fiume in question had been adopted in principle or in detail. He had understood that only the principles of the report had been accepted by the Council, and that the Council had not agreed, or committed itself, to carry out the details of execution recommended by the Commission, such as the sending of American troops to Fiume. He was unable to agree to the sending of these troops at once, without consulting his Military Advisers, and therefore limited his action in the matter to accepting the report in principle. Report With Regard to the Incidents at Fiume
Mr. Balfour said that he agreed with Mr. Polk. The report raised two questions. The first dealt with the despatch of troops. According to the Resolution, responsibility for this rested entirely with the French and with the Italians, to the exclusion of Great Britain and the United States. The second question was raised by the wording of Resolution No. 11 in the report, which concerned the general economic policy of the Allies. The sentiments expressed in this Resolution were admirable, since everybody wished to assist the Italians. He thought, however, that they were misplaced in a report of this kind.
M. Tittoni said that before the report had been discussed in the Council, he had had a private exchange of views with M. Clemenceau, and they had agreed to accept, and to take action, on the conclusions of the report affecting their countries. With regard to Resolution 11 of the report, he understood that it had been inserted by the American delegate on the Commission of Enquiry. He took the opportunity of thanking him for the sentiments expressed.[Page 930]
M. Pichon in support of Mr. Tittoni’s remarks, read the resolution of the previous meeting. He noticed, however, that the report of the Commission of Enquiry on incidents at Fiume had involved the despatch of Allied troops, and he had been of the opinion that everybody present had assented.
Mr. Balfour said that the previous resolution of the Council had been examined by his experts, and that by its wording excluded the despatch of British troops. His objection, therefore, was that, whilst executive action was called for in Fiume, Great Britain and the United States appeared to be excluded from participation in it.
M. Pichon said that he could not regard Great Britain and the United States as being excluded from participation in the executive measures at Fiume. He failed to see how the previous resolution could be interpreted as a separate agreement between France and Italy, since both these countries had merely accepted a report drawn up by the four Inter-Allied Generals.
Mr. Polk said that he differed from Mr. Balfour’s conclusions. France and Italy had special obligations between themselves in the matter; by recognizing them, they did not disregard the obligations of other Powers, such as Great Britain and the United States.
M. Tittoni agreed with Mr. Polk.
Mr. Polk said that the resolution did not imply the existence of a special agreement between France and Italy. Though assenting in principle, he could not accept the details of the report without further consultation with his Government.
Mr. Balfour said that it would be sufficient to alter the resolution to read:
“It was agreed to accept in principle, the conclusions of the Commission’s report.
The French and Italian Governments undertook to give effect to these recommendations, in so far as they were specially concerned.”
His second point had been that it was not proper for a Commission of this description to include, in its resolutions, a general recommendation with regard to economic assistance for Italy. The incidents at Fiume were quite independent of such considerations, and the Generals ought not to have raised the question, however natural their desire to assist Italy might be. As long as his protests on the subject were recorded, he would be satisfied.
M. Tittoni remarked that the resolution to which Mr. Balfour had objected had not been brought forward by the Italian representative on the Commission.
Mr. Polk said that he accepted the report in principle as a recommendation to be made to the United States’ Government.[Page 931]
(It was agreed that the Resolution to Minute 1 of H. D. 38 should be amended so as to read:—
“It was agreed to accept, in principle, the conclusions of the Commission’s Report. The French and Italian Governments undertook to give effect to these recommendations in so far as they were specially concerned.”)
3. At the request of Mr. Polk, Captain Portier, on behalf of the Joint Secretariat, read out Resolutions passed at the previous meeting of the Council (see H. D. 38, Minute 63). Reply to the Austrian Delegation on the Peace Treaty. (a) Frontiers
The resolution with regard to Gmünd was confirmed.
The Resolution with regard to Marburg and Radkersburg was amended so that Radkersburg should be deleted.
The Resolution with regard to Carinthia was accepted and confirmed.
(b) Nationality Questions Mr. Headlam-Morley said that it was important that all answers to the Austrian note should go back to the Editing Committee for final revision and coordination. With regard to nationalities, the question was extremely complicated. The Drafting Committee had completely revised the Nationality Clauses in the Peace Treaty. The new draft of the Treaty, as amended by them, had not yet been submitted to the Council, but, by virtue of the fact, that, on the previous day, the Council had accepted the principles laid down by the Committee on Political Clauses, the Editing Committee were committed ipso facto to the existing draft of the Nationality clauses, as drawn up by the Drafting Committee. The Editing Committee were, however, compelled to introduce a few minor amendments into the replies to the Austrian notes.
M. Tittoni remarked that the Editing Committee should only be free to introduce modifications of form, and not of substance, into the replies to the Austrian note.
(It was agreed that the Resolution taken on the previous day with regard to the Nationality Clauses in the Austrian Treaty, should be accepted, but that the words “subject to such modifications of form as the Editing Committee might introduce, in order to bring them into agreement with the clauses drawn up by the Drafting Committee” should be added.)
The resolution passed on the previous day was accepted and confirmed.
(c) Austrian Interests Outside Europe M. Loucheur said that Part IV of the Austrian Treaty had been accepted on the previous day, but that he feared there had been a [Page 932] misunderstanding on the point. The Italian Delegation had thought that it applied only to Austrian property in Morocco and Egypt. He thought, however, that it applied to all Austrian property wherever situated.
M. Cambon said that the title showed that the Austrian Peace Treaty referred only to Austrian property outside of Europe.
Mr. Headlam-Morley said that he had withdrawn his reservation quoted in Appendix “F” to H. D. 38.4 He had, at the same time, pointed out to the Editing Committee that no provision existed in the Treaty, with regard to the Diplomatic buildings in Europe belonging to the Austrian Empire. He did not know what would happen to all these embassies after the final dismemberment of Austro-Hungary, and feared they might be the cause of a great deal of most improper wrangling. Giving an example, he asked whether the Austro-Hungarian Embassy in Paris belonged to the present Austrian State. He thought that diplomatic buildings should be held as sacred, and hoped that no exception would be made in the present Treaty to this generally accepted rule. For this reason he had desired that a special Convention should be drawn up between Austria and the new States formed out of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, to settle the point with order and decency.
M. Loucheur said that he could not accept Mr. Headlam-Morley’s statement, since there was a most formal stipulation in the Peace Treaty with Austria with regard to the disposal of public buildings belonging to the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. He gave as an example the Palazzo Venezia at Rome, for which special provision had been made, showing clearly that the sacred character attributed to diplomatic buildings by Mr. Headlam-Morley had not been acknowledged. It was the intention of the French Government, to sell the diplomatic buildings of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire situated in French territory.
Mr. Headlam-Morley said that he wished to protest most emphatically against the example of the Palazzo Venezia being quoted in this connection. The building in question had been decided to be a Venetian Palace. It had never been thought that, by making special provision with regard to it, the clause which did so would alter the accepted character of diplomatic buildings.
M. Pichon said that the title to Part IV of the Peace Treaty “outside Europe” made it unnecessary to proceed with the consideration of Mr. Headlam-Morley’s reservation, and added that he wished to limit the discussion to a consideration of Part IV of the Austrian Peace Treaty, and to exclude such general questions as Mr. Headlam-Morley wished to raise.[Page 933]
Mr. Balfour asked why Austrian property outside and inside Europe was to be treated in different ways. He did not know why the similar clauses in the Peace Treaty with Germany could not be followed.
M. Loucheur said that the analogy of the German Peace Treaty was irrelevant. The old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had been dismembered into separate states, each one of which might ask for the embassies of the old Kingdom. Mr. Headlam-Morley had asked that the States affected should make a Convention between themselves. The question then arose, who actually were the States affected. Some of the diplomatic buildings might be regarded as belonging to the Throne of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. As such they could be liquidated, and the proceeds given to the Reparations Commission. He admitted, however, that special Conventions were necessary, but he did not see what would happen if the States concerned could not agree. As a particular example of the difficulties that might be raised, the old Austro-Hungarian Embassy at Constantinople was no longer suitable to the needs, either of Austria or of Hungary or of Czecho-Slovakia. It was evident that, in such a case as this, the Embassy in question ought to be sold and the proceeds placed at the disposal of the Reparations Commission. The old Austro-Hungarian Embassy in Paris belonged to the late Monarch, and the Treaty provided for the sale of property of this class. The Austro-Hungarian diplomatic property in Japan had already been sold. It would possibly be better to leave the States concerned to effect the sale of diplomatic buildings, and, if discord arose to allow the Reparations Commission to adjudicate.
Mr. Balfour said that he could not offer any opinion. But he failed to understand why Austrian property inside and outside Europe was dealt with under two separate sections. He did not see any distinction, either in law or in fact, between these two classes of property.
M. Loucheur said that he agreed with Mr. Balfour and would ask M. Gout5 for information on the point. He proposed that the Clauses in Section IV, dealing with Austro-Hungarian property in Morocco and Egypt, should be left untouched. With regard to the diplomatic properties of the old Empire in Europe, by the fact of the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they fell under the disposal of the Reparations Commission, which would sell them at the best prices obtainable.
(It was decided that the reply to the Austrian Delegation with regard to Part IV of the Peace Treaty (Austrian property outside Europe) should be accepted.)[Page 934]
(d) Military, Naval and Air Clauses M. Cambon said that he had received a comment from the American Delegation with regard to Article 154 in the Peace Treaty with Austria, on the subject of the enrollment of Austrians in foreign armies. (Appendix “B”.)
Mr. Polk said that he did not see how the restrictions imposed upon Austria by virtue of Article 154 could possibly be effected, since the Austrian Government had no power to carry them out. He was willing, however, to withdraw the American proposal, but wished to call the attention of the Council to the fact that restrictions of this kind could not, as a rule, be enforced.
M. Tittoni said that, by an elementary principle of jurisprudence, men lost their nationality by enlisting in the armies of a foreign State. Obviously, therefore, the Austrian Government would have no legislative power over Austrian citizens who enrolled themselves in foreign armies. How, therefore, could Article 154 be put into effect?
M. Pichon said that the Article had been drawn up on the basis of a similar provision in the German Peace Treaty.
(After some further discussion, the American proposal was withdrawn. The resolution passed on the previous day with regard to the Military, Naval and Air Clauses in the Peace Treaty with Austria was accepted and upheld.)
(e) Prisoners of War
(g) Reparations (The resolutions passed at the meeting on the previous day with regard to Prisoners of War, Penalties and Reparations were accepted and upheld.)
(h) Financial Clauses The Resolution passed at the meeting on the previous day on the subject of Financial Clauses was accepted and upheld.
(i) Economic Clauses: Part X M. Pichon said that the Council was called upon to consider the draft reply to the Austrian Delegation on the subject of Part X (Economic Clauses) of the Peace Treaty with Austria. (See Appendix “F”, H. D. 38.6)
M. Clementel said that Austria had been compelled by the Peace Treaty to extend all customs privileges, granted to the neighbouring States to the Allies. The Austrian Government had protested against this, and had said that they would be in the position of the Palace at Versailles deprived of its domains. They had asked to be able to grant special preferential treatment, in which the other Allies would not be included, to Czecho-Slovakia and Hungary. The Economic Commission had discussed this proposal, and had thought at first, that the special preferential treatment in question ought to be extended, not only to Hungary and Czecho-Slovakia, but to all new States formed out of the old Monarchy. M. Crespi, had [Page 935] in his turn, protested against this, and had said that such a provision would compel his own country to lay down special inner customs barriers. It had then been proposed to the Commission that the preferential treatment should be extended to all States which had acquired territory from any part of the old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This proposal would have included in a sort of “zollverein” countries extending from Poland to Italy, and would have established a customs union from Danzig to Sicily. It had occasioned a further protest from Czecho-Slovakia, the Delegates of which country had stated that they could not possibly compete on terms of equality with such a State as Italy, which, by the last proposal, would be included in the Customs Union. After some further discussion the Commission had agreed that the preferential rights should be limited to Austria, to Hungary, and to Czecho-Slovakia; but this proposal affected the Roumanians and the Jugo-Slavs adversely. After very lengthy discussions inside the Commission, with all the States concerned, the last proposal that he had detailed, had been accepted. If it were reversed, it would be necessary for the Economic Commission to take note of the new decision, and to discuss its consequences, which might be very onerous to the new States. The British counter-proposals seemed to him quite inexplicable in view of the fact that Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith7 had agreed with him, and had helped him to draft the final proposals. Large differences between the Peace Treaty with Austria and that with Germany had been introduced. In the first place, the Customs Union between Austria, Czecho-Slovakia and Hungary, had been accepted, the result of which would be that the thirty million inhabitants of these countries could transact their business with one another without restrictions. The second great difference was, that Germany would only be in a position to ask for equal treatment in the matter of customs from the Allies after five years, whilst Austria could obtain it in three years.
Mr. Balfour said that the original proposal had been, that all the customs privileges of the States composing the old Austro-Hungarian Kingdom should be extended to the new States formed out of it; but, as these privileges would be based on the old limits of the States concerned, these latter would have been compelled to set up a political frontier, and another frontier for the purposes of customs. On the other hand, by including in the Customs Union, all countries enriched by acquisition of Austro-Hungarian territory, privileges greater than any ever possessed by the old Austro-Hungarian Empire Kingdom would be granted to them. These two proposals therefore, outlined the question now before the Conference.[Page 936]
M. Clementel said that Mr. Baruch8 and Mr. Taussig9 had agreed with the findings of the Economic Commission. If the agreement arrived at were reversed, a vast customs union, extending from Danzig to Sicily would be established. It was absolutely impossible to ask countries to set up customs barriers inside their own frontiers.
Mr. Balfour said that the Council must choose between limiting the privileges of the old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and extending them. He would have liked to have seen those privileges maintained as they had existed previously, but he recognized that this was no longer possible. The alternatives before the Council were (1) consenting to a vast extension of Customs Unions between States, or (2) curtailing the former privileges of the dismembered Monarchy. He felt that the compromise arrived at ought to be adhered to. The proposal of establishing an entirely new customs system over half Europe alarmed him.
Mr. Polk asked what Austria’s position after three years would be in the matter of customs.
M. Clementel replied that, unless the League of Nations thought that certain countries had not been sufficiently indemnified (Article 24), reciprocity with all countries might be granted to Austria.
(It was decided that the draft reply of the Economic Commission on the subject of the clauses dealing with Customs regulations, duties and restrictions, in the Peace Treaty with Austria, should be accepted.)
Mr. Balfour said that the Joint Secretariat in drawing up the Minutes of the previous day’s proceedings, had acquitted themselves most creditably of an extremely difficult task.
Mr. Polk said that the average correctness of the work of the Joint Secretariat had been exceedingly high throughout.
(j) Plebiscite in the Marburg Area M. Tardieu said that the resolution with regard to the Plebiscite in Marburg (See H. D. 38, Minute 6 (a) 210) had caused complete disagreement in the Central Territorial Commission. Two of the delegates had adopted the Plebiscite line of demarcation proposed by M. Tittoni. The others had disputed it, and had said that it was an artificial line which would give special advantages to the Austrians, and, if adopted, would effect what had been avoided in the Klagenfurt area. The Council must therefore decide whether they wished to uphold the new demarcation line, but he suggested the Central Territorial Commission should be heard on the subject.
M. Tittoni said that he regretted that the Central Territorial Commission had disagreed on the subject of the resolution under discussion. [Page 937] He had originally proposed the line of the River Drave. He had subsequently been shown a map, marked with a blue line and presented by the British Delegate. He had accepted the new line with the remainder of the Council, and his adherence to it had not been due to any personal opinion of his own.
M. Tardieu said that the Central Territorial Commission was opposed to taking the Plebiscite, inside the area defined by the blue line on the map, to which M. Tittoni had referred, because, as he had said before, it would give the Austrians an artificial majority.
M. Tittoni said that he did not oppose a hearing being given to the Central Territorial Commission, but he pointed out that the decision of the previous day had been arrived at after due deliberation. The question involved was one of procedure.
M. Tardieu said that the replies to the Austrian Delegation had not been properly co-ordinated, and confusion had resulted. Since the Plebiscite had been decided on, the area in which it was to be taken must necessarily be laid down. The Central Territorial Commission disagreed on the manner in which the line defined by the resolution of the previous day was to be established.
M. Tittoni repeated that he did not wish to refuse a hearing to the Commission, but thought that the resolution taken on the day previous still held good.
(It was decided that the Central Territorial Commission should be heard at the Council on August 27th, 1919, on the question of the Plebiscite in the Marburg area in Styria.)
4. M. Pichon drew the Council’s attention to a clause in the new Constitution of the German Reich; the articles in question dealt with the future relations between Austria and Germany in a manner which violated the provisions of the Peace Treaty. Violation on the Peace Treaty With Germany in the Constitution of the New German State
M. Berthelot read the Articles referred to. (Appendix “C”.) They showed that the German Government was making provision for the final inclusion of Austria in the new German Reich. This was in flagrant violation of Article 80 of the Peace Treaty with Germany, whereby that country formally recognized the independence of Austria. In addition to this, the articles of the new Constitution gave Austrian citizens the right of immediate representation in the German Reich, although only in an advisory capacity. The matter was rendered more difficult by the fact that the German Parliament was not at present in session, so that the urgent necessity of having this provision in the German Constitution altered, would be subject to delay. The German Constitution had been adopted in a final manner on August 11th. Previous to that date, a provisional vote had been taken, referring indirectly to the point now under discussion.[Page 938]
Mr. Balfour said that the problem now before the Council showed the extreme inconvenience of having no diplomatic agent at Berlin. Such a representative would have called attention to the article in question long before. The military representatives of the Allies at Berlin, were, of course, not concerned with such points.
M. Pichon said that he thought action was urgently necessary and that the Drafting Committee ought to draw up a formal protest as rapidly as possible.
Mr. Polk asked whether the articles in the new German Constitution could be communicated to each separate Delegation for examination and study. He agreed that the matter was extremely serious and that it demanded immediate action.
M. Tardieu said that, in his opinion, the news now before the Council made it more necessary than ever to uphold the proposal that he had made on the previous day. (See H. D. 38, Minute 9.11)
Mr. Polk remarked that no great result could be expected from the inclusion of M. Tardieu’s proposal in the Austrian Treaty, in view of the fact that Germany had not respected a similar obligation.
(It was decided that the question raised by Article 61 of the new German Constitution voted on the 11th August 1919, in the German National Assembly, on the subject of Austria should be discussed at the next meeting of the Council on the 27th August, together with such consequences as the aforesaid article in the German Constitution might have upon the Peace Treaty with Austria.)
5. Mr. Polk stated that he had no objection to the draft letter, prepared by the Communications Section Rumanian of the Supreme Economic Council, to be sent from Relative to President of the Peace Conference to M. Bratiano. (See H. D. 37, Minute 10, and Appendix “H”.12)Reply by the Communications Section of the Supreme Economic Council to the Rumanian Note Relative to Regulation of Traffic on the Danube
(The meeting then adjourned.)
Villa Majestic, Paris, 26 August, 1919.
- Appendix C to HD–36, p. 795.↩
- Ante, p. 836.↩
- Ante, p. 840.↩
- Ante, pp. 859, 923.↩
- Jean Gout, French representative, Sub-Commission on Political Clauses Relating to Countries Outside of Europe (For the Study of the Observations of the Austrian Delegation on the Conditions of Peace).↩
- Ante, pp. 859, 890.↩
- British representative, Economic Commission.↩
- Bernard M. Baruch, United States representative, Economic Commission.↩
- Frank W. Taussig, United States representative, Sub-Commission on Customs Regulations, Duties, and Restrictions.↩
- Ante, p. 840.↩
- Ante, p. 844.↩
- Ante, pp. 819, 828.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the Translating Bureau of the Department of State.↩
- Translation from the French supplied by the Translating Bureau of the Department of State.↩