Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of American, British and French Delegations Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Tuesday, July 8, 1919, at 5 p.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. R. Lansing.
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison.
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Lieut. Burden.
British Empire Capt. E. Abraham.
France Capt. A. Portier.
Interpreter—Professor P. J. Mantoux.

M. Clemenceau said that what he proposed to do was to send a French warship to Fiume. He wished to know whether his colleagues would agree. There was a French warship at Constantinople which could reach Fiume in four days. He would prefer to act in complete agreement with his colleagues.

Mr. Lansing said that there were no American troops in Fiume. There were, however, some Naval officers. He thought, perhaps it would be wise to obtain a report on the incidents from the British Admiral.

M. Clemenceau said that France had been insulted and that the French flag must be shown.

Mr. Lansing said that the Italian troops were, unfortunately, very much in the majority at Fiume. It was for this reason that the crowd had been encouraged to attack the French. He had this in his mind on the previous day when he suggested that the Allied troops should be reduced to equal contingents of police.

Mr. Balfour said that he saw no objection to the sending of a French man-of-war. In the meantime, he would do all he could to obtain the evidence of the British Admiral.

Mr. Lansing agreed. He thought, himself, that the Italians were to blame. American troops had also been insulted, but it might appear, on further investigation, that there were extenuating circumstances. Should this prove to be the case, M. Clemenceau would, no doubt, stop his warships by wireless.

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M. Clemenceau said that the ship must appear at Fiume. It could be withdrawn, if necessary, after 48 hours stay there, but the French flag must be shown.

Mr. Balfour said that he thought both the British and American Governments would act in a similar manner in similar circumstances.

Mr. Lansing said that he thought perhaps they would have done so without consulting their colleagues.

Mr. Balfour said that he understood that this action would not put a stop to the enquiry which had been proposed on the previous day.

M. Clemenceau said that he did not mean in any way to interfere with that decision. All he wished to maintain was that an enquiry alone would not be sufficient after what had occurred.

(After obtaining the agreement of his colleagues, M. Clemenceau gave orders for the despatch of a French Warship to Fiume.)

Villa Majestic, Paris, 8 July, 1919.