Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/52 HD–52

Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Fire Great Powers Held in M. Pichon’s Room at the Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Thursday, September 11, 1919, at 11 a.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. F. L. Polk.
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison.
    • British Empire
      • Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour.
    • Secretaries
      • Mr. H. Norman.
      • Mr. P. Kerr.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
      • M. Pichon.
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta.
      • M. Berthelot.
      • M. de St. Quentin.
    • Italy
      • M. Scialoja.
    • Secretaries
      • M. Paterno.
      • M. Barone Russo.
    • Japan
      • M. Matsui.
    • Secretary
      • M. Kawai.
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Mr. C. Russell.
British Empire Capt. E. Abraham.
France Capt. A. Portier.
Italy Capt. Rossi.
Interpreter—M. Camerlynck

The following were also present for the items in which they were concerned:

  • America, United States of
    • Dr. Scott.
    • Mr. Gibson.
    • Mr. A. Dulles.
  • British Empire
    • Rt. Hon. G. N. Barnes.
    • Mr. C. J. B. Hurst.
    • Colonel Kisch.
    • Mr. Hodgson.
  • France
    • M. J. Cambon.
    • M. Colliard.
    • M. Fromageot.
    • M. Laroche.
  • Italy
    • M. Ricci-Busatti.
    • M. Stranieri.
    • M. Brambilla.
    • M. di Palma.

[Page 183]

1. Mr. Balfour said that he wished to draw the attention of the Council to an urgent matter. He did not suggest the matter should be discussed immediately, nor did he wish himself make any statement on the subject. He wished to hand in a document which he had himself received on the previous day from General Seely.1 This document gave an alarming account of the development of aircraft industry in Germany. Internal civil aviation was being developed on an immense scale and German companies were buying up old army aeroplanes. The first difficulty which arose in this connection was whether those aeroplanes belonged to the Allies or to the purchasing companies. There was the additional risk that under the guise of civil aviation Germany was merely creating a strong offensive force, more especially as civil aviation was being heavily subsidised by the Government. He suggested that the French General Staff should study this matter and in the hope that this would be done, he begged to hand the document to the Chairman. (Appendix “A”.) It was also worth noticing that German aircraft industry had already obtained a footing in neutral markets and it was certain that the foundation of German air power was the development of the aircraft industry. It appeared that the best military brains of Germany were being employed in the construction of aeroplanes. Aircraft industry in Germany

M. Clemenceau said that he would have the matter examined by the French General Staff.

(It was agreed that the question of aircraft construction in Germany should be reported on by Allied experts, and again brought up before the Council.)

2. (The Members of the Drafting Committee entered the room.)

Mr. Hurst read the draft contained as Appendix “B”.

M. Clemenceau said that he had one observation Reply to Note of to make. In the proposals made on the previous day, it had been suggested that the German Government should be given 15 days to obtain from the Legislative Assembly a repudiation of the Articles infringing the conditions of the Treaty. He did not lay any particular stress on the period of 15 days, but he thought some fixed period should be laid down. If the German Delegation protested that the period allowed them as too short, and asked for an extension, he would agree to it, but he did not think it proper to leave it to them to estimate the period themselves. Reply to Note of German Delegation Relating to Article 61 of the German Constitution

Mr. Hurst asked whether M. Clemenceau referred to a period for the signature of the instrument itself.

[Page 184]

M. Clemenceau said that he referred to the ratification of the instrument by the German National Assembly.

Mr. Balfour observed that the German Government was asked to undertake and present the instrument to the Assembly at its next Meeting.

M. Clemenceau said that he would prefer, instead of the words “when it next assembles”, to say “within 15 days after the coming into force of the Treaty”, that was to say, upon ratification by three of the Great Powers.

Mr. Polk asked how soon the German Delegation was to sign the proposed declaration.

(It was decided to introduce into the text, the word “forthwith” in this connection.)

M. Clemenceau observed that the German Delegation must have time, if they required it, to telegraph to Berlin. He also informed his colleagues of a telegram received that morning to the effect that the National Assembly was being summoned at Weimar to reconsider the provisions of the Constitution complained of. This was not official news, but informal information he had received.

(After a few slight verbal alterations, the draft reply and declaration as contained in Appendix “B”, were accepted.)

3. (The Members of the Commissions on Polish and Czecho-Slovak Affairs entered the Room.)

M. Cambon said that in accordance with the directions of the Council on the previous day, the two Commissions had met in the afternoon. The majority maintained their original opinions. He then read and explained the report of the Meeting contained in Appendix “C”. Question of Teschen

Mr. Balfour said that he feared the result of the plebiscite in Teschen would be to deprive Czecho-Slovakia not of 40% of the coal, but of 100%. The territory was Polish and the Commission had attributed it to Czecho-Slovakia, because of the railway running through it connecting Bohemia and Slovakia. This railway would almost certainly become Polish property. Surely this was far more contrary to the interest of the Czecho-Slovaks than anything the Commission had proposed. Nevertheless, as M. Benes appeared to accept a plebiscite, it must be assumed that he knew his own business best.

M. Cambon said that neither M. Benes nor M. Dmowski could be brought to accept either of the lines suggested in the Commission. Both, however, agreed to accept the plebiscite.

M. Scialoja said that it was impossible for the Council to refuse the plebiscite if both claimants agreed to it.

[Page 185]

(It was then agreed that a plebiscite should be held in the Duchy of Teschen and in the districts of Spisz and Orava in accordance with the proposals of the Joint Commissions (Appendix “C”) The detailed organization of this plebiscite was referred for examination and report to the Joint Commission.)

4. (At this point, the members of the Labour Commission entered the room.)

M. Clemenceau said that, on the previous day, he had come to an agreement with Mr. Barnes. It had been agreed that the Congress should be left free to invite the attendance of the German and Austrian Delegates or not. As it was practically a foregone conclusion that the Congress would invite them to attend, the French Government would facilitate the granting of passports in anticipation to the Germans or Austrians, who might be delegated to go to Washington. Admission of German & Austrian Delegates to the Labour Congress at Washington

Mr. Barnes said that he had received information that President Wilson was willing to invite the German and Austrian Delegates to Washington.

Mr. Polk said that this was not quite correct. The President said that he was willing that the Labour Congress should decide whether or not the German and Austrian Delegates should be admitted. He, himself, as Head of the American Delegation, had undertaken that no passport difficulties would be made on the American side, to prevent the Germans and Austrians from going to Washington, in the hope of being admitted to the Labour Congress.

Mr. Barnes said that he was not sure that these arrangements would be satisfactory to the Germans and Austrians.

M. Clemenceau said that they should take what was being done as a sign of goodwill. He was himself making a step in the direction of conciliation, since, in the Council of Four, he had decided adversely.2 Now that Peace was signed, he was ready to yield to some extent. He had been assured by the French Labour Representatives that they would be satisfied with the very thing he was now offering.

M. Scialoja said that Italian labour opinion required an implicit invitation to the Germans and Austrians. Otherwise, Italian working men would not attend the Congress. There were two distinct questions involved. The first was admission to the Congress and the second was admission to the International Organisation of Labour. As to the second, it must be left to the Congress to decide and each State could give its representatives instructions. The first, however, which involved the right to be heard in the Congress, could only be decided by the Council.

[Page 186]

M. Clemenceau said that nothing would ever prevail upon him to extend an invitation on behalf of the Council to German and Austrian Delegates to attend the Labour Congress. He would not submit to pressure from Italian socialism, which had been consistently against the war and pro-German.

Mr. Barnes observed that the Council had already decided that Germany would be admitted to the second meeting of the Labour Congress. Consequently, Germany would, ipso facto, be let into the International Labour Organisation.

M. Clemenceau said that that was no doubt the case. What he refused to do was to invite them, in the name of the Council, to attend the Congress at Washington. He was prepared to leave the question to the Congress.

Mr. Balfour said that he was of the same opinion, but he would ask Mr. Barnes whether the abstention of the Italian Socialists would have any effect on Labour Organisations in other countries.

Mr. Barnes said that it would have a certain effect. He had tried to anticipate it by telling British Labour Organisations that the admission of the Germans and Austrians depended upon the representation of Labour and Socialism in the Congress. This would be an inducement to Labour and Socialist representatives to attend the Congress.

Mr. Polk said that he did not think the question was one the Council should decide.

M. Scialoja said that he was not a defender of the Socialists. There were in Italy, as in other countries, moderate and extreme Socialists. The Italian Government wished to support the former rather than the latter. He thought that public opinion should be made to feel that the Council was not opposing moderate demands.

M. Clemenceau said that the Congress would almost certainly invite the Germans and Austrians to attend, and he would himself state in the Chamber of Deputies that the decision taken was taken in a conciliatory spirit.

(It was decided that the question of the admission of German and Austrian Delegates to the forthcoming Labour Congress at Washington should be left to the decision of that Congress. In the meantime, the Allied and Associated Governments would put no obstacles in the way of German or Austrian Delegates desirous of proceeding to Washington, in anticipation of a decision in their favour.)

5. Mr. Barnes said that confirmation by the Council was asked for a resolution passed by the Labour Committee on the 4th June, 1919, [Page 187] (See Appendix “B”, to H. D. 413). In spite of a Rights & decision taken some two or three months earlier, the principle embodied in this resolution had not found a place in the Treaty with Austria. The Italian Delegation had therefore suggested that a resolution be adopted by the Labour Commission. The resolution had been taken and it was hoped that the Council would endorse it. Rights & Privileges of Allied workpeople Admitted to Enemy Territories and Vica Versa

Mr. Polk said that, as the proposal involved questions of law, he was not prepared to state off-hand the attitude of the American Delegation.

M. Clemenceau said that German workmen at present engaged to work on the devastated districts of France, brought with them their own rights and privileges.

Mr. Balfour asked whether foreign workmen going to England were also to have their own rights.

Mr. Barnes said that the case did not arise in England, as a foreign workman was granted British rights even to the extent, after a certain period, of receiving a share in the National Health and Unemployment Insurances and Old Age Pensions.

Mr. Polk said that he could not, for the time being, express an opinion, but he had no objection to the principle.

Mr. Barnes observed that it was only the principle of reciprocity that was involved. It did not become binding on any given State, unless that State made individual agreements with another State.

M. Clemenceau said that he was ready to vote the resolution.

(Subject to an announcement, at a future date, of the views of the American Delegation, the resolution passed by the Labour Committee on June 4th (See Appendix “B”, H. D. 41,) was accepted as a general principle of the Conference.)

6. M. Dutasta said that the Drafting Committee requested instructions as to the language in which the Air Convention should be drafted. Should it be, like previous Conventions, in French, English and Italian, the French text prevailing in case of divergence, or in French and English, each having equal authority, as in the case of the Conventions signed at Versailles? Language of Air Convention

M. Scialoja said that, as the Convention was very important for Italy, he desired an Italian text.

(After some discussion, it was decided that the Air Convention should be drawn up in English, French and Italian, the text in the two former languages having equal authority.)

[Page 188]

7. After some discussion, it was agreed:—

That the Bulgarian Delegation should be invited to receive the Treaty in the Salle de L’Horloge, at the Quai d’Orsay, and that the Greek and Roumanian observations just received should be discussed at the next meeting of the Council. Presentation of the Treaty to the Bulgarian Delegation

8. M. Clemenceau said that he had received a letter from M. Pachitch (Appendix “D”) stating that as the Government had resigned, the Delegation was bound to wait or authority before signing the Treaty of Peace with the Austrian Republic. Signature of the Austrian Treaty by Representatives of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes

9. Mr. Polk drew attention to a telegram received from Budapest (see Appendix “E”).

M. Clemenceau said that he was not at all disposed to offer the Hungarian Government financial credits, nor was he prepared to see the Government of the country handed over to the Allied Generals at Budapest. He agreed, however, that it was desirable to send the Mission instructions. Instructions to Inter-Allied Mission at Budapest

It was decided that the question of sending further instructions to the Inter-Allied Mission at Budapest should be placed on the Agenda.

Mr. Polk observed that Roumanians were under the impression that the United States alone, among the Allied and Associated Powers, raised objections against their conduct in Hungary. This impression had not been set right by Allied representatives on the spot. It was desirable that the Roumanian Government should be informed that the Council had acted only upon information received from the Inter-Allied representatives.

M. Pichon observed that as M. Clemenceau signed all the telegrams sent in the name of the Council, France was incurring a great deal of unpopularity in Bucharest, where it was supposed that France was particularly antagonistic to Roumanian ambitions. It had therefore been pointed out to the Roumanian Government that these telegrams emanated from the Council of the Five Principal Allied and Associated Powers and not from M. Clemenceau as French Prime Minister.

Mr. Polk said that he thought it was the people on the spot who had created the impression that America alone was responsible for Roumanian troubles.

The Meeting then adjourned.

[Page 189]

Appendix A to HD–52

[Brigadier-General P. R. G. Groves, Aviation Adviser, British Delegation, to the Under Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force (Seely)]

Copy. AS/C/595

Dear General: The attached letter to General Masterman4 from the German Aviation authorities contains the information you asked me to let you have regarding the German proposals to start civil aviation with war machines. The proposals may be summarised as follows:—

Six aerial post lines to be started from Cologne. The estimated number of aeroplanes required for one of these lines, viz., Cologne to Berlin, is 170. The Company has already bought 140 aeroplanes and other aircraft material from the German Government. It is claimed that these aircraft are exempt from delivery to the Allies as they are new and have never been used for warlike purposes.

As regards the above proposals, the six aerial post lines are, of course, capable of indefinite expansion. The estimated number of aeroplanes required for the Cologne-Berlin line, viz. 170, includes one-third for repair. This percentage for repair is insufficient, and the total number required would be at least 200. There would, of course, be no limit to the reserve which could be built up, and it is highly probable that several thousand aeroplanes would be required for the efficient working of these routes.

The 140 aeroplanes which the Company has bought from the German Government are the property of the Allies, as under the Air Clauses Germany is required to surrender all her naval and military aircraft, and these machines are all of military types.

The whole question, I think, hinges upon this point, namely, the type. So far as our information goes, Germany has not produced any distinctly civil types of aeroplanes since the Armistice. A Gotha which has been built since the Armistice, and has not been fitted with bomb-racks is, nevertheless, a Gotha, and could be adapted for war uses within 24 hours.

Although the Germans have consulted us with regard to the scheme outlined in the attached letter, they have already started civil aviation on a somewhat extensive basis, and there appears to be no doubt that the machines employed are converted war machines.

Furthermore, Germany has, as you are aware, carried out a wholesale exportation of her aircraft to neutral Powers, and this exportation [Page 190] is still in progress despite various remonstrances which have been made by the Armistice Commission and latterly by Marshal Foch, acting under instructions of the Supreme Council.

Owing to the delay in the ratification of the Treaty, the Air Clauses have already been to a large extent circumvented, and if Germany is permitted to regard a military machine adapted to civil purposes as a civil machine, the Air Clauses of the Peace Treaty will have little value.

A survey of the whole aeronautical position in Germany at the present moment would be lengthy, and in many respects incomplete, owing to lack of sufficient data, but I think there is sufficient information to warrant the following conclusions:—

That civil aviation in Germany is being heavily subsidised.
That the German aircraft industry, aided by the German Government, has attained considerable footing in neutral markets. It is to be remembered that Germany’s aircraft industry is the foundation of her air power.
That the military brain of Germany intends to develop German air power under camouflage of civil aviation.

As regards (3), I do not think this can be prevented, as the Supreme Council was not willing to adopt the measures recommended for its prevention by the Advisory Aeronautical Commission. But I think that it is possible to delay the development of German air power by enforcing the air clauses to the letter. In order that this shall be done, it will be necessary for the President of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control, viz, General Masterman, to be given a free hand, and to receive strong support from the Supreme Council.

Yours sincerely,

P. R. C. Groves

Major General The Rt. Hon. J. E. B. Seely,
C. B., C. M. G., etc.,
Under Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force.



Memorial About the Opening Up of an Aerial Post Service Between Cologne, Hanover and Berlin

The German “Flugverkerr-Aktiengesellschaft” has obtained the approval of the German Government to establish an aerial post service on 6 lines. The same are:—

From Cologne to Berlin.
Cologne Hamburg.
Cologne Breslau.
Cologne Munich.
Cologne Stuttgart.
Cologne Bâle.

[Page 191]

For this purpose the Flugverkerr-Aktiengesellschaft has bought in Germany from the German Government the following unused aeroplane material:—

60 L.V.G. Cells. Type C. VI.
30 Aeroplanes C. VI with Bz. IV ue.
100 F.D.H. C.VII ditto.
10 F.D.H. C.III ditto.
200 Motors Bz. IV ue.

In accordance with paragraph 202 of the Peace Treaty, these machines are exempted from delivery because, being perfectly new, they were never used during the war for warlike purposes and they are not destined for warlike purposes, because the Army is demobilized.

If the flying service is to be established in the near future, it is necessary that the Allies confirm the release of this aeroplane material.

In the first place it is intended only to open up the line Cologne–Hanover–Berlin. The connections by rail and post are unreliable on account of the general condition; but the linking up of the most important places in the occupied and unoccupied territory is for the German authorities of the greatest interest. At the same time it is intended to carry not only the German post but also the post of the occupation authorities.

It is intended to organize the aerial post service Cologne–Hanover–Berlin as follows:—

1. 17 intermediate stations are to be established on the line Cologne–Hanover–Berlin. Every intermediate station has at the disposal aeroplanes as well as motor cars, in order to be able to continue an interrupted flight without loss of time for the postal service.

2. In the first place the orientation of the aeroplanes takes place by land orientation; by installing the sending off and receiving apparatuses in the aeroplanes and by erecting arrow stations, it will by Spring be possible to direct the aeroplanes automatically by means of wireless telegraphy.

3. The following aeroplane material is needed for the line Cologne–Hanover–Berlin:—

17 Stations each with 2 aeroplanes 34 aeroplanes.
3 Principal stations each with 15 aeroplanes 45
For every day service 2 times 12 aeroplanes = 24 aeroplanes to be changed from day 48
Total 127 aeroplanes.

The least to be considered as being in repair is one-third, therefore 170 aeroplanes would be required. This great number of aeroplanes is necessary in order to make it possible to provide every intermediate station accordingly, and in order to be able to dispose of the necessary reserve machines.

[Page 192]

4. The postal service will be arranged in such a way that the line will in each direction be covered 12 times per day. It is of the utmost interest that the line Cologne–Hanover–Berlin is opened up as early as possible. After release of the aeroplanes by the Allies the aerial post service will be started 4 weeks after its approval.

In order to be able to examine the correctness of the Company’s statement about the material at disposal, and in order to keep control that the aeroplanes have all been rendered useless for any military purposes, it is suggested that the Allies appoint a control Officer at the expense of the Flugverkerr-Aktiengesellschaft.

Captain. German General Staff Officer,
Bridgehead, Cologne.

Appendix B to HD–52

[Reply to the Note of the German Delegation Relating to Article 61 of the Germcm Constitution]

By their Note of September 2nd,5 the Allied and Associated Powers have brought to the notice of the German Government a clause in the new German Constitution respecting German relations with Austria which is in direct contradiction with the provisions of the Treaty of Peace relating to the same subject.

The German Government by its Note of September 5th,6 reply that no article whatever be its plain grammatical meaning can really be in contradiction with the Treaty of Peace, because there is another clause in the Constitution which says that nothing the Constitution contains can affect the Treaty. By this ingenious device the German Constitution could eventually be so amended as formally to contradict every provision which the Treaty of Peace contains. It might for example, enact that a German Army of several million men was to be maintained by conscription; and when the Allied and Associated Powers pointed out that this was not in conformity with the Treaty which narrowly limited the German Army and forbade conscription, the German Government could reply that if so, the Constitution itself in Article 178 provided a sufficient remedy for the evil by laying it down that nothing in the Treaty could be affected by the Constitution.

The above, one may say, is an imaginary case, but it is justified when one reads in Article 112 of the German Constitution, as at [Page 193] present drafted, that no German nationals can be surrendered for trial before a foreign tribunal, when the Treaty stipulates in precise terms that certain persons charged with offences against the laws and customs of war are to be surrendered for trial before a foreign tribunal.

According to the Germany reply, Article 178 was introduced in order to avoid “all possible contradictions between the provisions of the Constitution and the conditions of the Peace Treaty”. The intention is excellent if it relates to those doubtful and accidental contradictions which the ingenuity of lawyers may detect in the language of two long and complicated documents. But, in this case it is not a question of doubtful and accidental contradictions. Those of which the Allied and Associated Powers make complaint are assuredly open and manifest, and can be hardly other than deliberate. No one can believe that the framers of the German Constitution, when they inserted Article 61 and settled the terms of Article 112, were not aware that their wording was irreconcilable with the engagements into which Germany had solemnly entered only a few weeks before.

This condition of things cannot be allowed to endure.

The German Government itself admits and declares that if the Constitution and the Treaty clash, the Constitution must give way.

In view of this admission, the Allied and Associated Powers call upon the German Government to place on record without further delay in the diplomatic instrument of which the text is enclosed herewith, the explanation which it has made to the Allied and Associated Powers in its answer of September 5th, 1919. This instrument must be signed at Versailles forthwith, by an authorised representative of the German Government, in the presence of representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, and must be duly approved by the competent German legislative authorities within 15 days of the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace.


Draft Declaration

The undersigned, duly authorised and acting in the name of the German Government admits and declares that all the provisions of the German Constitution of August 11th, 1919, which are in contradiction with the terms of the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, are null and void.

The German Government admits and declares that the second paragraph of Article 61 of the said Constitution is therefore null and void, and in particular that Austrian representatives cannot be [Page 194] admitted to the Reichsrat, except so far as the Council of the League of Nations in accordance with Article 80 of the Treaty of Peace should consent to such a change in the international status of Austria.

The present Declaration will be approved by the competent German legislative authority within 15 days of the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace.

Done at Versailles the day of September 1919 in the presence of the undersigned representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

Annex C to HD–527

Joint Report Presented to the Supreme Council by the Commission on Polish Affairs and the Commission on Czecho-Slovak Affairs on the Question of Teschen

In fulfilment of the resolution taken by the Supreme Council on September 10,8 the Commission on Polish Affairs and the Commission on Czecho-Slovak Affairs met on the afternoon of September 10th to re-examine the question of Teschen. As a result, they were obliged to recognise the impossibility of defining a frontier line between Czecho-Slovakia and Poland acceptable to all the Delegations.

While the majority of the Commission (American, British, Italian and Japanese Delegations) declared that they still adhered to the conclusions of the Report of August 22nd,9 the French Delegation proposed a fresh line which the majority found themselves unable to accept.

I.—Majority Report. (American, British, Italian and Japanese Delegations.)

The Supreme Council took exception to two points in the Report of August 22nd:—

it divides the Karwin coalfields between Poland and Czechoslovakia;
it is less favourable to Czecho-Slovakia than was the Report of April 14th.

As regards the first point, the majority of the Commission respectfully submits that this objection applies to several other frontiers which follow ethnical lines of division. The objection, moreover, is not a vital one, provided that the two nations concerned give proof [Page 195] of their mutual goodwill with regard to the settlement of the economic interests involved. Examples may be found in the case of the following coalfields:—

The Franco-Belgian coalfield, which crosses the frontier between Valenciennes and St. Ghislain.
The coal mines north of Aix-la-Chapelle, of which the chief mining area extends across the Dutch-German frontier.

With regard to the objection to the fact that the Report of August 22nd is less favourable to Czecho-Slovakia than the Report of April 14th, the attention of the Supreme Council is respectfully drawn to the following points:—

The Report of April 14th was not a unanimous Report.
The solution proposed in the Report of April 14th was not supported by the Interallied Commission at Teschen.
The Report of August 22nd is ethnographically much more favourable to Czecho-Slovakia than to Poland, in that the whole Czech population of the Duchy, except 10,400, is incorporated in Czecho-Slovakia, while 62,000 Iroles are lost to Poland.
Since April 14th, the date of the first Report, the Treaty of Peace with Germany has been ratified by Poland. The majority of the Commission believes that the Poles of the Duchy of Teschen, living as they do on the border of the territory over which Poland already exercises sovereign authority, will no longer be content to accept the solution which might have been imposed in April last.
Apart from the ethnographical results noted above, the proposed settlement assigns to Czecho-Slovakia the Jablunkau Pass railway, affording easy possibility of railway connection between the Mährisch-Ostrau mining basin and Slovakia.
As regards coal, it assigns to Czecho-Slovakia 60% of the coal basin of Teschen, and 69% of that portion of the basin which produces coking coal.

The majority of the Commissions find themselves unable to recommend a frontier alignment more favourable to Czecho-Slovakia than that of the Commissions’ Report of August 22nd, as any such recommendation would, in their opinion, involve grave injustice to Poland and lasting hostility between the two countries.

In the Report of August 22nd, moreover, the joint Commissions unanimously asked that, should the frontier proposed by them be accepted, the task of determining the economic and railway concessions which Poland should, in justice, concede to the Czecho-Slovak State, should be entrusted to them; these concessions would be guaranteed by a Treaty, the draft of which would be prepared by the Commissions.

If the solution proposed by the Majority is, despite the foregoing information, still unacceptable to the Supreme Council, the Majority considers that the only manner of arriving at an alternative solution of the question is by a plebiscite.

[Page 196]

The general lines of such a plebiscite which is in principle acceptable to both parties, are indicated below.

II.—Minority Report. (French Delegation.)

The French Delegation considers that the frontier, as defined by the majority of the Commission, does not take moral considerations sufficiently into account; may leave lasting germs of discord between the Czecho-Slovaks and Poles, and consequently does not possess those characteristics which are essential to a definitive delimitation between two Allied countries; its adoption would therefore fail to give the guarantees desirable from the point of view of the maintenance of general peace.

The French Delegation considers that these serious drawbacks would to a large extent be avoided if the frontier line proposed in the previous Report of the Commission were altered as follows:—

South of Teschen, in the Jablunkau district, the frontier would be carried more to the West so as to restore to Poland a fairly extensive stretch of land where the Polish element predominates, whilst leaving the Oderberg–Kaschau railway in Czecho-Slovak territory. The town of Teschen would be left to Poland.
North of Teschen the frontier would rejoin the Olsa; it would follow that stream until the neighbourhood of the Oderberg–Cracow line; it would then turn westward, the Oderberg–Cracow line remaining in Polish territory and the town of Deutschleuten being attributed to Czecho-Slovakia; following the railway line closely, the frontier would, south of Oderberg, rejoin the line proposed in the previous Report of the Commission.

The whole of the Karwin coalfield would thus be attributed to Czecho-Slovakia.

It should be noted that the number of Poles living in the territory lying between the blue line (frontier proposed in the last report) and the red line (frontier proposed on April 14th) in the district north of Teschen does not exceed 70,000; the additional number of Poles who would be attributed to Czecho-Slovakia if the French line were adopted would obviously be much below that total. The short time allowed the Commission in which to present its Report has made it impossible to ascertain the exact number, from which, moreover, the member of Poles to be restored to Poland in the south would have to be deducted, in order to obtain an exact idea of the position of the Polish element.

Failing the acceptance of this solution, and in view of the serious political results which it considers that the adoption of the line proposed in the Report of August 22nd (blue line) must involve, the French Delegation is of opinion that the only solution calculated [Page 197] to restore peace would be the consultation of the population by means of a plebiscite; all parties would have to submit to the result of the voting.

III.—Proposals of the Commission

In view of the fact that they are unable to recommend for the approval of the Supreme Council a frontier line accepted by the Five Delegations, and being nevertheless desirous of conforming to the instructions received to submit to the Supreme Council proposals unanimously adopted by their members, the two Commissions, although fully aware of the drawbacks of a solution of the kind, have decided to recommend the Council to settle the question by recourse to a plebiscite, should the Supreme Council not feel able to accept either of the two lines proposed. When questioned by the Commission, Messrs. Benes and Dmowski declared their readiness to submit to a decision of this kind. When a member of the Commission pointed out to Mr. Benes that the plebiscite might result in the establishment of a frontier less favourable to Czecho-Slovakia than that proposed by the Commission, the latter replied that even were an attempt made to impose the line of the Report of August 22nd he would claim a plebiscite.

The principle of a plebiscite being admitted by Czecho-Slovaks and Poles alike, and the results being accepted beforehand, it would be well to agree to it.

The plebiscite would take place under the following conditions:—

it would include the whole of the Duchy of Teschen;
the voting would take place by communes with the least possible delay;
the country would be occupied by Allied troops (one regiment of three battalions would apparently be sufficient;
the Duchy of Teschen would be temporarily administered by an Interallied Commission.
The latter Commission would define a frontier according to the results of the voting, and would submit it to the approval of the Conference.
The Commission would have authority to propose to the Conference any draft economic agreement between Czecho-Slovakia and Poland that might be necessitated by the result of the voting.
It should be noted in this connection that Mr. Dmowski today renewed to the Commission the declaration which he had made at a, previous meeting: “if Upper Silesia is attributed to her, Poland is ready to conclude with Czecho-Slovakia any agreements which the latter may desire for the supply of the coal which she requires.”
Finally, it would seem expedient to satisfy the Czecho-Slovak claims for the extension of the plebiscite zone tp the territories of Spisz and Orava.

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If the Supreme Council approves of the proposal which the Commission has the honour to submit, it will be necessary:—

to instruct the Commission to consider the method of procedure for the plebiscite and to draw up draft regulations for that purpose;
to call upon it to define the district known as the “territories of Spisz and Orava”, which does not correspond to any definite administrative area.

J. Cambon
Chairman of the Commission.

Annex D to HD–52

delegation of the
kingdom of the serbs, croats
and slovenes

Mr. President: Referring to my letter of this morning, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Royal Government has just resigned, and that this delegation feels itself obliged, therefore, to await from the new Government the authorization to sign the treaty of peace with the Austrian Republic.

Please accept [etc.]

P. Pachitch

His Excellency M. Georges Clemenceau,
President of the Peace Conference,
Quai d’Orsay.

Appendix E to HD–52

Following is text of telegram (translation) sent by the Inter-Allied Mission at Budapest to the Supreme Council under date of September 9th, 1919:

“In a letter copy of which will be sent you by next mail, President Friedrich informs the Commission that his Government has the confidence of the greater part of the country but he lacks the necessary support from the Entente.

That the Roumanian requisitions throw many workmen into idleness, compromising the next year’s harvesting—that the Roumanian occupation prevents the collection of taxes, elections, organization of armed force.

He asks that the Entente furnish him financial credit.

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He declares that if certain political parties are going to henceforth enjoy the support of the Entente and if the present Government is by this fact powerless to accomplish its duties, the Council of the Ministers will transmit the power to the Commission of Four Generals. The Commission demands instructions from the Supreme Council and considers it their duty to emphasize the embarrassing situation in which they are placed by receiving no response to their preceding telegrams. Inter-Allied Military Mission.”

  1. Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Seely, British Under Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force.
  2. CF–16, minute 14, vol. v, p. 681.
  3. Vol. vii, p. 963.
  4. President of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control.
  5. Appendix A to HD–45, p. 62.
  6. Appendix B to HD–49, p. 138.
  7. The English text filed under Paris Peace Conf. 181.213302/5 has been substituted for the French text which accompanies the minutes as annex C to HD–52.
  8. HD–51, minute 3, p. 174.
  9. Appendix C to HD–46, p. 87.
  10. Translation from the French supplied by the editors.