Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/78


Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Five Great Powers Held in M. Pichon’s Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, on Wednesday, October 29, 1919, at 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. F. L. Polk
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison
    • British Empire
      • Sir Eyre Crowe
    • Secretary
      • Mr. H. Norman
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
      • M. Pichon
    • Secretaries
      • M. Berthelot
      • M. de St. Quentin
    • Italy
      • M. Scialoja
    • Secretary
      • M. Barone Russo
    • Japan
      • M. Matsui
    • Secretary
      • M. Kawai
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Capt. B. Winthrop
British Empire Capt. G. Lothian Small
France M. Massigli
Italy M. Zanchi
Interpreter—M. Mantoux

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

  • America, United States of
    • General Tasker H. Bliss
    • Mr. E. L. Dresel
    • Colonel J. A. Logan
    • Mr. A. W. Dulles
  • British Empire
    • General Groves
    • Air Commander Smith
    • Captain Fuller
    • Lieut. Commander Dunne
    • Lieut. Colonel Kisch
  • France
    • Marshal Foch
    • General Weygand
    • M. Henry Berenger
    • M. Laroche
    • Commandant Levavasseur
    • M. de Celle
    • Capitaine de Corvette Fabre
    • M. Kammerer
    • Capitaine Roper
    • General Niessel
  • Italy
    • M. Stranieri
    • Lieut. Col. Piccio
    • Capt. de Corvette Ruspoli
  • Japan
    • M. Shigemitsu

1. (The Council had before it a report from the Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies dated October 23, 1919 (See Appendix “A”), a note in three parts from the British Delegation dated October 23, 24 and 25, 19191 (See Appendix “B”) and a letter from the Minister of Finance to the Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies (See Appendix “C”). Violations by the Germans of the Armistice Clauses

General Weygand read and commented upon the report dealing with the violations of the clauses of the Armistice, the preparation of which had been entrusted to the Armistice Commission at Cologne.

Captain Fuller read and commented upon the notes from the British Delegation dealing with violations of the Naval Clauses of the Armistice.

M. de Celle read and commented upon the letter from the Minister of Finance to the Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, and added thereto the following observations:

The Germans were to have supplied a complete list of the plunder and thefts committed by them; there were numerous omissions in the lists supplied. It had been indicated clearly to the Germans that in matters of specie and personal property omission might occur only in exceptional cases and that they should be made known within twenty-four hours of their discovery. The despatch of a new truckload of property had just been made known to them. They had to acknowledge that the German delegates in Paris were actually doing their best to give satisfaction.

Similarly, the documents which Clause 13 of the Protocol of Spa, dated December 1st, 1918,1a had in mind, concerning notes issued by towns during the German occupation (list of printed notes, lists of notes whose issue had been authorized, list of notes actually issued, list of water-marked paper stocks, etc.,) had not so far been supplied, notwithstanding the formal promise made by Germany to send them before December 10th, 1918. Those lists were of extreme importance in order to discover and suppress possible forgery.

Lastly, as for the recovery of objets d’art, if those that belonged to public museums had been restored this was not the case with objets d’avt or furniture taken from private houses. The Germans [Page 803] professed that there had been no official storage of these objects: they knew, however, that the experts who had superintended their collection had worked publicly and that furniture and pictures had been carefully packed for transport. It was impossible to admit, as the Germans pretended, that the vanished furniture had been used merely for furnishing posts of command or dugouts.

M. Clemenceau asked whether a member of the Council wished to make any remark.

Sir Eyre Crowe wished for the moment to leave aside the two most serious violations of the Armistice, namely, the question of the Baltic Provinces and the Scapa Flow incident, to which he intended to return. As for the other violations it was important to adhere to this: that obligations incurred by the terms of the Armistice be retained when the Treaty came into force. Guarantees to this effect were necessary. If their legal advisors were of the opinion that the stipulations of the Armistice would no longer subsist with the coming into force of the Peace Treaty, it was absolutely necessary to oblige the Germans to sign a special Protocol assuring to the Powers every possible guarantee corresponding to the guarantees of the Armistice.

Mr. Polk agreed with Sir Eyre Crowe that the legal advisers should be consulted.

M. Scialoja found the difficulty to arise out of the fact that the conventions of the Armistice, while constituting a veritable treaty, had been imposed in military form. He thought there were grounds for preparing a Protocol enumerating all the obligations still to be fulfilled, but what sanctions would the Council still wield since the coming into force of the Treaty would deprive it of the sanctions which the Armistice afforded? It was necessary that the Protocol itself incorporate sanctions.

Sir Eyre Crowe maintained that for the very reason adduced by M. Scialoja, he had drawn the distinction between the more important and the less important violations of the Armistice: was not such sanction necessary for the less important violations?

M. Clemenceau thought that they did not wish to commit themselves to a perfectly futile manifestation; a definite date had to be fixed. As a matter of form it would be well to say that unless the obligations undertaken were fulfilled they would have to demand sanctions which, as it seemed to him, ought to be of a military nature for in reality there were no others. Therefore, in the Protocol a list of all the so-called secondary violations of the Armistice had to be prepared. He thought it hardly possible to say to the Germans that they would not have the Treaty come into force until after the execution of those clauses: it would be sufficient to say that if the clauses were not fulfilled, sanctions of military nature would be imposed. The questions of Scapa Flow [Page 804] and of the Baltic Provinces remained. In the former matter they had done nothing; on the latter they had decided upon a course of action the preceding day. Would it not be necessary to know what sanctions they would employ if the mission of General Niessel arrived at no success.

Mr. Polk asked whether it was intended to tell the Germans what sanctions would ultimately be applied.

M. Clemenceau said there certainly was no such intention. It would be sufficient to say that there would be some sanction: but of course the Germans would have to sign the Protocol before the Treaty would come into force.

Mr. Polk remarked that the Protocol should be submitted first to the Council, which would then have to discuss the question of sanctions.

M. Clemenceau agreed.

Mr. Polk inquired whether the Council had communicated to the Dutch Government the note2 sent to Germany relative to the delivery of ships she had sold to Holland.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the Dutch Government had been informed of such a note having been sent and told that if it claimed property rights in the ships in question, it would have to justify its claims before the Council.

Sir Eyre Crowe reverted to the violation of the Armistice committed in the Scapa Flow incident. The Council had been apprised some time ago of a British proposal on the subject. The sinking of the ships could be considered either the individual act of the officers and crews, or an act for which the German government was responsible. The British Delegation believed that there were grounds for holding the government responsible. In the latter case reparation was due for the value of the sunken ships, cost of salvage of the ships, cost of surveying the anchorage, buoying the wrecks and any subsequent expenses incurred, e. g., in clearing the anchorage of wrecks, etc. It was proposed further that reparation should be in kind, for example in the surrender of the five light cruisers that Germany still possessed and of floating docks, cranes, harbor craft, etc.; that the Germans should be asked further to supply to the Armistice Commission a complete list of this material, delivery of which the Armistice Commission would be authorized to accept.

M. Clemenceau said that they were agreed in considering the German Government responsible.

Mr. Polk stated that he did not yet have the report of his naval experts on the question and asked that it be adjourned.

Sir Eyre Crowe maintained that if they held the German Government responsible, they could, as the British Delegation believed, [Page 805] repatriate the German officers and seamen of the crews which had been taken prisoner on the destruction of the fleet.

M. Clemenceau proposed to discuss that question on the following day.

Sir Eyre Crowe wished to remark further that in the matter of the evacuation of the Baltic Provinces the terms of the Armistice were repeated in the body of the Treaty. In that respect, therefore, they did have guarantees.

It was decided:

to ask the Drafting Committee to prepare a Protocol to be signed by the Representative of the German government before the Treaty came into force and to contain, along with the list of the unfulfilled clauses of the Armistice, an undertaking by Germany to fulfil those clauses within a prescribed time under penalty of such measures which the Allied and Associated Powers would reserve to themselves in the event of noncompliance;
that the question whether the non-evacuation of the Baltic Provinces and the Scapa Flow incident were to be explicitly mentioned in this Protocol be provisionally reserved. (See appendices “A”, “B” and “C”).

2. General Niessel wished to point out to the Council that it would be difficult for his Mission to leave the Monday or Wednesday following; his Italian colleague had not yet arrived and General Turner’s officers would not be in Paris before the end of the week. Lastly there would be difficulties from the point of view of railroad transportation. Inter-Allied Baltic Provinces Military Commission

M. Clemenceau said that General Niessel would leave on Wednesday at the latest.

M. Clemenceau thought that they might agree provisionally that the expenses of the Mission would be divided between the Allies.

M. Berthelot explained that for the moment it was only a question of the immediate expenses of maintenance and voyage.

Mr. Polk said that it would be best that each Power supply the expenses of its own representatives.

It was decided:

that, subject to later examination of the question by the Supreme Council, each Power should pay the expenses of its representatives on the Inter-Allied Baltic Provinces Military Commission.

3. (The Council had before it a note from the New States Commission asking the Supreme Council for instructions (See appendix “D”).) Request for Instructions from the New States Commission Relative to the Bulgarian Counter-propositions

M. Kammerer read and commented upon the first part of the note.

M. Scialoja thought it preferable to insert in the Bulgarian Treaty a clause by which Serbia and Roumania would incur the same obligations as those of article 46 of the Treaty with Greece.

[Page 806]

M. Kammerer suggested that if, in the Treaty with Bulgaria, the same terms were inserted which had prevented Serbia from signing the Treaty with Austria, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State would not sign the Bulgarian Treaty; the result would correspond to the second procedure suggested by the Commission.

Mr. Polk wondered, whether, if they made it possible to sign the Bulgarian Treaty without inserting therein the same terms as in the Austrian Treaty, they might not leave it optional to certain powers to sign one Treaty and not the other. It was most important, he thought, to tell the Roumanians and the Serbs that if they did not sign the Austrian Treaty neither would they sign the Bulgarian Treaty.

M. Kammerer agreed that the insertion of a new article might be possible; he thought, however, that it would be disagreeable to the states concerned for the Council to tell them that they could not sign the Bulgarian Treaty before signing the Austrian Treaty.

Mr. Polk did not see that they had to modify a treaty so as to satisfy a power that refused to sign.

M. Pichon considered the second method preferable; they would inform the Roumanians and Serbs that they could not sign the Bulgarian Treaty unless they signed the Austrian Treaty. The Council would thus be in possession of a further means of bringing pressure to bear upon them.

Sir Eyre Crowe considered that there should be on the agenda of an early sitting of the Council, the question of the signature of the Austrian Treaty by the Roumanians and Serbs.

M. Pichon said Mr. Trumbic had arrived and that General Coanda had left Bucarest the previous day. According to a telegram he had received that morning, he thought the signature probable.

Sir Eyre Crowe’s information did not give him the same impression.

Mr. Polk was in a similar situation. He had the feeling that the Roumanians wished simply to gain time.

M. Kammerer read and commented upon the second part of the report of the New States Commission.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked what right Bulgaria had to set up as champion of the Turkish cause.

M. Kammerer explained that it was not Turks properly speaking, but Turkish subjects who had taken refuge in Bulgarian territory. The Italian Delegation was afraid that Serbia was preventing their exercising that right of option which the 1913 treaty3 gave them, but which the outbreak of war had made impossible. There was no doubt that the insertion of special clauses in the Treaty would be unpleasant enough for Serbia.

[Page 807]

Sir Eyre Crowe maintained that it was always dangerous to modify a treaty once it had been signed, and that the Allied and Associated Powers had already signed the Minorities Treaty.

M. Kammerer explained that it was the Italian Delegation that insisted upon that solution.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked if there were any evidence to show the Turks intended returning into Serbian territory?

Mr. Polk explained that it was a question of Macedonian refugees.

M. Pichon asked whether, instead of changing the text of the Treaty, a procedure which as Sir Eyre Crowe had pointed out, presented serious disadvantages, they could not demand of Serbia written declarations on the point?

M. Kammerer was of the opinion that Serbia would prefer that solution.

M. Scialoja pointed out that in the Bulgarian Treaty a clause could be inserted analogous to that in which Greece was placed by Article IV of the proposed Greek Treaty.4

M. Kammerer said that the Commission had judged that this involved difficulties and that there was no point in concealing the fact that the insertion of a clause of such nature in the Bulgarian Treaty would be extremely disagreeable to the Serbs.

M. Scialoja maintained that Serbia would have to restore to its refugees the right of option which the outbreak of war had prevented them from exercising in the prescribed time.

M. Pichon believed that Serbia should make the declaration in a letter.

(It was decided:

that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers should make known to the Roumanian and Serb-Croat-Slovene Delegations that these latter countries would not be allowed to sign the Treaty with Bulgaria before having signed the Treaty with Austria and the Minorities Treaty;
that the Serb-Croat-Slovene Government be asked to make known by written declaration that it would authorize its Ottoman subjects who, owing to the war, had not been able to avail themselves in the prescribed time of the right of option envisaged by the Treaty of 1913, to take advantage of that right. (See Appendix “D”).)

4. (The Council had before it a note from the British Delegation dated October 27th (See Appendix “E”).)

(After a short discussion Request for instructions From the Chairman of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control in Germany

It was decided:

to refer to the military representatives at Versailles, for examination and report, the request for instructions addressed to the Supreme Council by the Chairman of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control in Germany. (See Appendix “E”.)

[Page 808]

5. (The Council had before it a draft note to the German Government, prepared by the Polish Commission (See Appendix “F”).)

(It was decided: Note to the German Government on the Municipal Elections in Upper Silesia

to approve the draft note to the German Government on the question of municipal elections in Upper Silesia as prepared by the Polish Commission. (See Appendix “F”).)

6. (The Council had before it a note from the British Delegation dated October 27th (See Appendix “G”).) Salaries and Allowances for the Administrator of Dantzig and His Staff and for the Administrative Staff of Memel

M. Pichon considered it logical to adopt the proposal, which conformed to previous decisions of the Supreme Council.

Mr. Polk asked who would fix the salaries.

M. Pichon said it would be a matter for deciding as in analogous cases.

(It was decided:

that the salaries and allowances of the temporary Administrator of the Free City of Dantzig and his staff, and of the Administrative Staff of Memel should be a charge upon local revenues (See Appendix “G”);
that the rate of these salaries and allowances should be fixed by the Sub-Committee on the Execution of the Treaty with Germany.)

7. (The Council had before it a report of the Commission entrusted with examining the question of the repatriation of German and Austrian prisoners from Siberia (See Appendix “H”).)

Captain de Corvette Fabre read and commented upon the report of the Commission. Repatriation of Allied Contingents and Enemy Prisoners From Siberia

Mr. Polk thought that the order of repatriation could be modified by financial considerations. As regarded the Czechs, an agreement had been arrived at, which placed the immediate expenses of repatriation on Great Britain, the United States and France. No account had been taken so far of the Poles, the Roumanians and the Serbs. Perhaps the United States would be led to assume responsibility for this repatriation. In any case, he was obliged to remark that the financial rulings of the United States Treasury Department forbade his government from participating in expenses of a provisional nature that might be subject to a later readjustment among the Powers; the United States could only make direct advances to the small nations concerned.

M. Pichon held that the thing to do at the moment was for each Power to appoint a financial expert and a political representative to be attached to the Commission actually existing.

Captain de Corvette Fabre remarked that the Commission was qualified to deal only with prisoners. It was therefore asking the [Page 809] Council to decide whether it would be competent to deal likewise with the volunteers of friendly nationalities who ought to be repatriated.

M. Kammerer insisted on the necessity of the Commission being empowered to deal with volunteers as well as prisoners. The two questions were bound together from the point of view both of transport and of finance.

Sir Eyre Crowe did not think his Government inclined to participate in the expenses of repatriating 250,000 German and Austro-Hungarian prisoners; they had the repatriation of their Allies to consider.

M. Berthelot held that distinction must be made between repatriation of their Allies and of prisoners belonging to one of the enemy powers: from the humane point of view these were alike; politically, there were raised questions of quite different kinds. The Council had already decided that the repatriation of enemy prisoners should wait until after that of Allied volunteers.5 They were informed that the Germans had already been trying to conclude private contracts with Japanese ship owners. If they were to let Japanese shipping companies repatriate enemies who were ready to pay a very high price, the effect would be disastrous, and it was important that M. Matsui should draw the attention of his government to the question.

M. Matsui stated that his government had informed him that the statement that ships had been chartered on behalf of Germany was incorrect. The Japanese government had no ships at its disposal; and private ship owners had concluded agreements to charter ships for the purpose of repatriating Czechs. Once the Treaty came into force it would be for each government to get into direct touch with the ship owners. He had already acquainted Tokio with that decision of the Supreme Council, which had in mind giving priority to the repatriation of the Allies.

M. Kammerer held that they could and, indeed, ought to leave to the Germans the care of arranging the repatriation of their prisoners. It was for the Commission only to make sure that that repatriation should not precede the repatriation of volunteers of friendly nationalities.

Captain de Corvette Fabre pointed out that it was exactly for that reason that the Commission had asked enlargement of its powers. It had been formed originally to organize the repatriation of German and Austrian prisoners of war, but had found itself confronted by a resolution of the Supreme Council which specified that the repatriation of those prisoners should not take place until after the repatriation of volunteers of friendly nationalities. So long as the repatriation [Page 810] of those volunteers had not been begun, the Commission could not work to any purpose.

Mr. Polk thought that the Commission could confine itself to examining the repatriation of prisoners without taking any executive steps.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked why the Commission should have to concern itself with German and Austrian prisoners of war at all. Article 215 of the German Treaty envisaged the setting up of a special commission, for the repatriation of prisoners. This question was its peculiar concern, and he understood that it was forming a Sub-Commission to take care of this particular case.

Captain de Corvette Fabre stated that the Commission referred to in article 215 had to deal exclusively with enemy prisoners taken by the Allied and Associated Powers; the repatriation of prisoners from Siberia taken by the Russians did not concern it. Indeed practically all the prisoners in Siberia had been taken by the Russians, and it would be impossible to repatriate them without authorization of the Government of Omsk which might wish to retain them as hostages.

M. Pichon acknowledged that they had no legal obligation towards enemy prisoners who had been retained in Siberia.

It was decided:

that the Commission entrusted by the Supreme Council with studying the repatriation of German and Austrian prisoners from Siberia should examine at the same time the question of repatriating the volunteers of friendly nationalities;
that, in view of the consequent extension of their powers and because of the complexity of the problems raised by the question of repatriation, each of the Allied and Associated Powers should nominate to the Commission representatives for political and financial questions. (See Appendix “H”.)

(The meeting then adjourned.)

Hotel de Crillon, Paris, October 29, 1919.

[Page 811]

Appendix A to HD–78

of the
allied armies
general staff
1st section



From: Marshal Foch.

To: President of the Council, President of the Peace Conference. (Secretariat General)

In compliance with the prescriptions of a resolution of the Supreme Council, under date of October 20th,6 I have the honor to enclose herewith the list of the Armistice clauses* which have not yet been executed by Germany.



armistice convention of november 117

Delivery of Railroad Material

Clause VII

This clause imposed on Germany the delivery of 5,000 locomotives and 150,000 cars.

At the present time there are still 42 locomotives and 4,460 cars to be received.

But it cannot be said that at the present time the Germans have not executed or are not executing the obligations imposed on them by that clause, as certain obligations necessitate delays concerning which the Germans advance explanations or excuses, and, furthermore, certain delays are caused by the very nature of the operations and differences of interpretation arising from the narrowness with which the Germans wish to apply the Protocol.

[Page 812]

armistice convention of november 11

Provisions Relative to the Eastern Frontiers of Germany (Clauses XII and XIV)

Clause XII:

Clause XII stipulates that the German troops in territories which before the war formed part of Russia must withdraw to Germany at such time as the Allies judged proper, consistent with the interior situation of these territories.

On June 18th the Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers ordered the German Government to evacuate Libau and Windau and to expedite the evacuation of all territories which, before the war, formed a part of the former Russian Empire.

In view of the procrastinations of Germany, the Supreme Council successively renewed these injunctions on August 1st, Aug. 24th, September 27th,8 and October 10th.9

In fact, the German Government continues to contend that it is powerless to enforce its orders on the troops in the Baltic. The orders for withdrawal supposed to have been given by the Government, were not executed. On the other hand, the local German Command favored the transfer of a large part of it[s] effectives into the Germano-Russian corps constituted under its protection. Reinforcements in men and material assistance continued to arrive from Germany.

Clause XIV.

Furthermore, and in violation of Clause XIV, the German troops have continued to exercise abusive requisitions in the Baltic countries; to paralyze the economic life and the organization efforts of these countries, disarming their contingents, mixing in their internal affairs and even having recourse to abuse of authority (coup d’état) by enforcing a government in Latvia, instrument to its cause (April 1919).

armistice convention of november 11

Financial Clauses

Clause XIX

Clause XIX provides, in particular, for “… the immediate delivery of all documents, specie, values, (of property and finance with all issuing apparatus) concerning public or private interests in the invaded countries”.

[Page 813]

It has been impossible to obtain complete statements of the specie and securities (bank values, property confiscated belonging to persons repatriated, removal of specie qualified as fines, bail funds, etc. …) removed, collected or confiscated by the Germans, whether in the invaded territories or in the prison camps. These lists are indispensable to the Restitution Service.

The Beaux Arts Protocol of December 17, 1918

The Beaux Arts Protocol of December 17, 1918, annexed to the Armistice Convention, enjoins Germany to restore all objects of art and documents of an artistic character removed from France and Belgium.

The restoration of the objects of art abandoned by the Germans in France, in Belgium, or in the territories of the left bank of the Rhine, at the time of their retreat, was effected without difficulty.

The restoration of the objects of art which had been transported into non-occupied Germany, on the contrary, is being operated with slowness on account of the difficulties of such operation, and also from lack of complacency [sic] on the part of the Germans, who surrender such objects reluctantly.

It cannot be said, however, that they are not executing this clause: its execution is being operated.

convention of january 16, 191910

(2nd renewal of the Armistice)

Clause III

Delivery by Germany of Agricultural Implements to France and Belgium

This clause imposed on Germany the delivery of agricultural implements in lieu of the supplementary railroad material imposed by virtue of the first Armistice renewal as a penalty for delay in delivery.

The deficit of the material which Germany was to have delivered to France by October 1, 1919, is actually as follows:

  • 40 “Heucke” ploughing outfits.
  • The personnel necessary to operate the apparatuses.

[Page 814]

All the tools which the German Government agreed to furnish before October 1st, by virtue of additif 3 of the Protocol 392/T, of July 25, 1919:

1,500 Spades
1,130 Plows T.M. 23/26
1,765 Plows T.F. 18/21
1,512 Plows T.F. 23/26
1,629 Belgian Plows, T.F. 0 m. 20
1,205 Belgian Plows, T.F. 0 m. 26
4,282 Harrows of 2 k. 500
2,157 Cultivators, 11 teeth
946 Steel Rollers
966 Fertilizer Spreaders, 2 m. 50
1,608 Fertilizer Spreaders, 3 m. 50.

convention of january 16, 1919

(2nd Renewal of the Armistice)

Clause VI

Restoration of the Industrial Material Removed From Belgian and French Territory

It cannot be said that the Germans have not executed this clause; but the restoration of the industrial material is being carried out very slowly, due partially to the difficulties introduced by this operation and partially to the numerous discussions to which an interpretation of the text (the French word is “taxes”) of this clause gave rise and still gives rise between the Allied Commissions on one hand and Germany on the other.

brussels conferences of march 13 and 14

Annex V/c

List of Objects Which Germany Was Forbidden to Export

The “Black list” of objects which Germany was forbidden to export during the Armistice period was drawn up in the course of the Conferences held in Brussels on March 13 and 14, 1919.

This black list was headed as follows:

War material of every nature, including the nawal fleet

In violation of this provision, the Germans have exported aerial apparatus (whole airplanes, or detached parts) to neutral countries (Sweden, Holland and Denmark).

[Page 815]

On four occasions* the Supreme Council reminded the German Government “that it was forbidden to export aeronautical material … that all such material should be stored … that the German Government would have to reimburse the Allies the value of all aeronautical material sold or exported since the Armistice.”

The German Government has not complied with these decisions. It simply replied concerning them by the two notes hereto annexed in which reservations are cited concerning the interpretation of the ruling made by the Supreme Council and requests that the questions relative to aeronautic material be submitted to the Aerial Supervision Commissions which are to operate in Germany upon the entry into force of the Peace Treaty.

At the same time, the Government continued to authorize the exportation or at least the utilization of its aeronautical material. For example: on October 7th, that is to say, subsequent to the notification of the resolution of the Supreme Council forbidding the utilization of German aeronautical material and ordering that it be stored,11 the German dirigible Bodensee commenced a regular dirigible service between Berlin and Stockholm, and on the same day German planes took part in the offensive against Riga.

Wako No. 641


From: German Armistice Commission.

To: Interallied Permanent Armistice Commission.

Representative of the German Government’s Note No. 8401 dated Sept. 8, 1919.

I have the honor to reply as follows to your notes No. 1494/G, 1525/G and 1622 of August 2 [, August 8,]12 and August 27th:13

“The German Government has, relative to the matters referred to in the notes indicated, instituted the necessary investigations. The Government, however, remarks that, in principle, it cannot agree on all points with the interpretation of law as expressed in the notes indicated, and that an opportunity to engage in verbal pourparlers concerning [Page 816] the execution of Part V of the Peace Treaty will be presented in the near future with the Commissions of the Allied and Associated Powers which are daily expected in Berlin. The German Government deems it its duty to propose, for this reason, that the final settlement of the questions in suspense be reserved until after negotiations with these Commissions.”




No. 2,294

Transmitted to Marshal Foch.


President of the I. P. A. C. Assistant Chief of Staff of the LP. A. C.

Urgent Telegram

Note From the Representative of the German Government A. A. I. 6061 roem, October 12, 1919

Replying to your note of October 1st, No. 1764/G (1), I have the honor to communicate the following:

1st—The point of view exposed, by the Supreme Council of the Allies in the note above indicated, is expressed as “final decision”. The German Government must protest against a like declaration expressed in this sense. It must be determined concerning the matters in question: whether, at this time, they are actual obligations imposed on Germany by the Peace Treaty. It cannot be admitted, that on account of this, the Allied and Associated Powers have the exclusive right to adopt a final decision.

2nd—As long as the Peace Treaty shall not have been ratified by the Allied and Associated Powers, and for this reason, cannot be considered as in force, the formal obligations imposed on Germany by the Treaty cannot be exacted.

For this very reason, the point of view expressed by Marshal Foch in his note No. 4111 dated August 27 [26?], 1919, according to which all German war material in excess of that accorded to Germany by this Treaty, is already the property of the Allies, cannot be admitted; even after the entry into force of the Peace Treaty, a similar demand on the part of the Allied and Associated Powers, concerning the delivery of war material which would be in excess, would become useless, if according to Article 169 of the Peace Treaty it is provided that such material be delivered to the Allied and Associated Powers [Page 817] to be destroyed or rendered useless, this article would therefore mean that the employment of such material for military ends should be excluded without reservation. A like delivery of material to the Allied and Associated Governments is in no sense necessary to them for such service, and is in no wise justified by the text of the Convention.

3rd—Furthermore, the point of view of the Allied and Associated Governments, according to which all aviation material in Germany must be considered as military material without exception, without even taking into consideration apparatus of certain type, could not be admitted.

Among the aviation material now in Germany there exist machines whose character leaves no doubt as to their civil construction, and which from this fact, are not included under the conventions of Article 198. That there exists, beyond doubt, such civil material has been already recognized by the verification of contracts concerning the civil aerial circulation which emanate from a civil firm in Germany. It is completely inconsistent to consider such aviation material as military material at this time. On the contrary, Germany may legally dispose, without hindrance, of such material, in so far as such material shall not be considered, after the entry into force of the Treaty, as material of aerial circulation by the rulings of the Supervision Commission.

4th—The German Government, under every reservation and in consideration of its point of view herein exposed, and guided by this base is ready to commence at this time, and in so far as possible, the execution of the military provisions of the Treaty which it has ratified. It was upon this same basis that the German Government proposes, in its note A.A. I. 5401, under date of September 8 (2), to definitely settle the questions herein referred to, by means of pourparlers with the Commission now sitting in Berlin. Up to the present time no discussions have taken place, but it seems desirable to reach a solution in this way.

Appendix B to HD–78

Memo Submitted to the Supreme Council by the British Delegation

Armistice Conditions Outstanding

German Mercantile Marine

The following Armistice requirements in connection with the surrender of the German Mercantile Marine have not yet been complied with by the German Government:— [Page 818]

14 Tank Steamers, total tonnage 63,143 at Hamburg which had been temporarily exempted from the surrender which was agreed to in the Armistice terms, were directed, by the decision of the Supreme Council of the 27th September,14 to proceed to the Firth of Forth for delivery to the Allied and Associated Governments’ representatives. These vessels have been detained in Hamburg on the pretence of a sympathetic strike in that port and have not yet sailed.
5 steamers, total tonnage 62,456 lying at Bremerhaven, Geestemünde and Bremen have not been handed over to the Allied and Associated Powers, the German Government alleging that these 5 vessels were sold to Dutch Shipping Companies in 1915–16. On 15th October, 1919,15 the Supreme Council ordered these vessels to be delivered, as the Allied and Associated Governments have consistently refused to recognize the validity of any transfers of enemy shipping to neutral flags during hostilities. The German Government has disregarded the orders of the Supreme Council for the despatch of these 5 vessels to the Firth of Forth.
A certain number of merchant vessels which should have been delivered under the Terms of the Armistice to the Allied and Associated Powers have not yet been handed over. These vessels are dealt with in detail as follows:—
The German Government has alleged that the following ships have not been handed over owing to the difficulty of obtaining labour and materials for repairs or completion of construction:—
  • Rugen
  • Kaiser
  • Kehrwider
  • Columbus
  • Tirpitz
  • Berlin
  • Wigbert
  • Pungo (ex Moewe)
  • J. L. Lassen
  • Rickmer Rickmers
  • Ibbercury
  • Ittajahy
  • Hermonthes
  • Bosnia
  • Estland.
A large number of sailing vessels in German Waters and also in Neutral Ports, mainly South American, are still undelivered.
A certain number of German steamers in Dutch East Indies and other Neutral Ports still remain to be delivered to the Allied and Associated Governments’ representatives in spite of repeated demands for their surrender.
The Roamanian Tank Steamer Arthur Von Gwinner was ordered to be sent to the Firth of Forth but has not yet been despatched.
S. S. Verus lying at Dordrecht, which is one of the vessels to be surrendered under the Armistice, has not yet been delivered to the Belgians although repeated demands have been made to the German authorities by the Sub-Commission of the A. N. A. C.

N. 19814

Memorandum Submitted to the Supreme Council by the British Delegation

Naval Questions Affected by the Ratification of the Treaty of Peace With Germany

Submarine engines to be surrendered as reparation for submarine U. C. 48.

The German submarine U. C. 48 was interned in Spain at the date of the armistice; under the terms of the armistice she was surrendered to the allies. She escaped from custody at Ferrol and, on being chased by a Spanish torpedo boat, she was sunk by her crew. Admiral Goette has acknowledged that the sinking of the boat was the act of her commanding officer. A. N. A. C. has demanded as reparation the complete engines and motors of the submarines U. 137, U. 138 and U. 158, but in spite of repeated demands they have not been delivered.

In addition to the above there are three motors exsubmarine U. 146 which remain to be delivered.

Reparation for the Scapa Flow Sinkings.

In the opinion of the Admiralty the sinking of the German warships interned at Scapa Flow constituted a direct violation of the terms of the armistice, and it should be regarded in every way as a term of the armistice which Germany has failed to fulfill. Reparation as penalty for the breach of the armistice should Be obtained.

Appendix C to HD–78

From: Mr. Klotz.

To: Marshal Foch.

By despatch No. 5034 of the 20th inst., you asked me to indicate those of the financial clauses, imposed on Germany [by?] the Armistice Convention or the Protocols annexed, which have not yet been entirely executed.

I have the honor to inform you that the execution of the Armistice Convention, from a financial point of view, raises the following two questions: [Page 820]

The German Government refuses at the present time to continue making payments, in Reichsbank bank bills, towards the upkeep expenses of the Armies of Occupation, an obligation imposed by virtue of clause IX of the Armistice Convention of November 11th, 1918. The German Government bases its refusal on the fact that the marks previously remitted were used, not to apply towards occupation expenses, but for the expenses of various civil administrations. Now, the upkeep expenses of the Armies of Occupation, except in cases of local purchases or requisitions, which constitute the smallest share, are payable, not in marks, but in francs, or any other legal tender consistent with the origin of the products destined as army supplies; consequently, it is evident that the marks to be paid by Germany could not be considered as a reimbursement unless they be freely placed at the disposition of the French Government to be used for the various needs for which they were intended. It appears, therefore, indispensable, to have the claim of the German Government, pretending to obtain justification of use, repulsed purely and simply, and to insist on the immediate resumption of the payments to be applied on the upkeep expenses of the Armies of Occupation.
It has been impossible to obtain complete statements of the specie and securities (bank values, property confiscated belonging to persons repatriated, removal of specie qualified as fines, bail funds, etc.) removed, collected or confiscated by the Germans, whether in the invaded territories or in the prison camps. These lists are indispensable to the Restitution Service.

The documents provided for by Clause XIII of the Protocol of Spa, under date of December 1st, 1918, (city bonds) have not reached me either; however, according to the statements of the Germans, they were enclosed with the bonds themselves which were restored and deposited in the Bank of France in sacks. Until a verification of these sacks, which will take a long time, it appears to me unnecessary to insist further on this question.

Concerning the restitutions themselves, it is to be noted that the cash of the Bank of France, and of the Credit du Nord Bank especially, has not yet been restored; but owing to the present state of the negotiations, I do not think it advisable to take these delays into account.

I add that my remarks only refer to the strictly financial clauses and relate neither to the industrial restitutions, agricultural and railway materials, nor to archives or works of art.

[Page 821]

Appendix D to HD–78


Request for instructions from the Supreme Council by the Commission on New States with regard to the response to the Bulgarian observations on the Conditions of Peace.

Reply to the Bulgarian Observations. Request for Instructions From the Supreme Council by the Commission on the New States

The Commission on the new States has examined that part of the Bulgarian reply concerning the protection of minorities (Part 3, Section 4).

The Bulgarian Delegation accepts the provisions in Articles 49 to 57. However, the Delegation calls attention to the following points:

1. Considering the principles of reciprocity between the different Balkan States as necessary from the point of view of protection of minorities, the Delegation points out:

that the special provisions concerning the protection of minorities in the Balkan States, other than Bulgaria, are not included in the text of the Treaty;
but while there is an Article (46) stipulating with regard to Greece the acceptance of the principle of the protection of minorities, no analogous clause was inserted with regard to Serbia and Rumania.

2. The Delegation calls attention to the situation of persons formerly residing in Macedonia, Dobrudja or Thrace and who, before or during, or since the war, have taken refuge in Bulgaria, and requests that these persons be given the right to opt for the nationality of the State in which is now located the territory where they were formerly domiciled.

The Commission on the new States considers:

1st—a) that it would not be opportune to insert in the Treaty with Bulgaria provisions concerning the protection of minorities in the other Balkan States;

b) The observation made by the Bulgarian Delegation that no clause had been provided for in the Treaty which obliges the Serb-Croat-Slovene State or Rumania to accept such provisions, is founded.

There are two methods of complying with this request:

To insert in the text of the Treaty with Bulgaria a provision obligating Rumania and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State; a provision analogous with that taken concerning Greece in Article 46.
To insert no new Article in the Treaty with Bulgaria, but to inform the Rumanian and Serb-Croat-Slovene Delegations that they will not be permitted to sign the Treaty with Bulgaria before having signed the Treaty with Austria and the Treaty on Minorities.

[Page 822]

Although the case of Rumania is different from that of the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, as, by the Treaty with Bulgaria, Rumania does not acquire any territory, yet, considering the existence of an important Bulgarian minority in the Dobrudja, it has occurred to the Commission that an analogous solution could be applied in both cases.

The Commission thinks that the Supreme Council should decide which of these two methods should be adopted.

3. The Commission recognizes that the observations of the Bulgarian Delegation are, in part, justified concerning the Ottoman subjects who were unable to exercise the right of option provided for by the Treaty of 1913, and took refuge in Bulgaria before or since the war. It is true that among these refugees there is, according to indications which have been received, an important proportion of Bulgarian agitators whose return to Macedonia, Thrace or Dobrudja might present serious dangers with regard to the pacification of these territories.

By Article 4 of the Draft of Treaty with Greece, Ottoman subjects, born on territory ceded to Greece, of parents actually domiciled there, acquire Greek nationality. The corresponding article in the Treaty with the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes makes no mention of Austrian, Hungarian or Bulgarian nationals.

With a view to harmonizing the provisions of these two treaties, the Commission esteems that the words “or Ottoman” should be inserted in Article 4 of the S. C. S. Treaty.

The Drafting Committee will have to study in what manner it will be possible to carry out this modification. Perhaps it would be advisable to establish a special protocol, which does not appear to present serious difficulties, especially in case, as is probable, further modifications may be judged necessary.

The Commission does not consider it possible to insert a provision concerning this subject in the Treaty with Bulgaria.

Appendix E to HD–78


Note from the British Delegation requesting decisions of the Supreme Council with regard to

distribution of airship sheds in occupied areas.
interpretation of phrase “no dirigibles shall be kept” (Art. 198 German Treaty).
interpretation of Art. 200 of German Treaty.
[Page 823]


Note by the British Delegation for Submission to the Supreme Council

The Chairman of the Interallied Aeronautical Commission of Control in Germany has asked for decisions of the Supreme Council with regard to the following points:—

1. The distribution of the airship sheds in the occupied areas.

Some members of the Commission have claimed that these sheds belong to the Powers in occupation.

With regard to this claim, the British Delegation would observe that, in its report on the distribution of the aeronautical material in Germany,16 the Supreme War Council recommended that the material should be distributed in the following proportion:

  • England and France, each 30%
  • Italy and the United States each 15%
  • Belgium and Japan each 5%

It was also agreed, as regards airship sheds that, for reasons of geographical proximity and convenience, France should be permitted to have the first choice from among the airship sheds in the area occupied by her troops and in Belgium. This report was agreed to by the Supreme Council. Throughout the discussions on this subject, both at the Aeronautical Advisory Commission and at the Supreme War Council, there has never been any question of the sheds in an occupied area being the property of the Power in occupation.

2. The interpretation of the phrase occurring in Article 198 of the Treaty of Peace with Germany,—”No dirigibles shall be kept.”

Does this mean no dirigibles whatever, or no dirigibles for military or naval purposes?

It appears that when this Article was prepared by the Aeronautical Commission, no clear decision was arrived at on this point. The Commission put up a strong recommendation to the Supreme Council to the effect that Germany should not be permitted to engage in civil aviation for a period of years, but this recommendation was not agreed to and the Supreme Council, by refusing to accept it, permitted Germany to possess civil aircraft.17 Presumably, therefore, she is permitted to possess airships for commercial work.

As a matter of fact, the airship is far less dangerous than the aeroplane for war purposes, while its immediate commercial value is probably far greater.

In view of these considerations, the British Delegation does not think it possible to uphold the view that the phrase “No dirigibles shall be kept” applies to civil airships.

[Page 824]

As regards the method of deciding whether any particular aircraft is to be considered to belong to the military or the civil type, the Supreme Council at its meeting on August 6th, 1919,18 passed the following resolution:

“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 Interallied Aeronautical Commission of Control shall be the sole judge as to whether any aircraft is of a service type or otherwise.”

3. The question whether Article 200 of the Treaty of Peace with Germany gives to the Allied and Associated Powers the right to send military machines into unoccupied German territory, pending the complete evacuation of German territory by the Allies.

The British Delegation is of opinion that this right, which is disputed by the Germans is clearly established by the provisions of the Article in question and that it should be maintained. The Drafting Committee, moreover, have expressed the unanimous opinion that this right is not confined to occupied German territory.

Appendix F to HD–78

polish affairs commission

Note to the Supreme Council

an overture made by Mr. Dmowsky,
a telegram issued by General Dupont,

represent the German Government as preparing to conduct municipal elections in Upper Silesia very shortly.

For these reasons, the Polish Affairs Commission has the honor to propose that the Supreme Council communicate the letter hereto annexed to the German Delegation.


Draft of Letter for the German Delegation

Mr. President: According to information brought to the attention of the Allied and Associated Governments, the German Government is preparing to conduct municipal elections in Upper Silesia before the entry into force of the Treaty.

The Allied and Associated Powers request information as to whether this news has any foundation.

The Allied and Associated Powers could not admit, in fact, that elections be held in Upper Silesia before the Commission, which, according [Page 825] to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, is directed to organize a plebiscite in this region, has commenced its operations. This Commission alone, should it judge necessary, will be authorized to conduct elections during the period prior to the plebiscite. These elections would take place under its supervision and under the proper conditions requisite to the liberty of votes.

Appendix G to HD–78

Note by the British Delegation for the Supreme Council

At its meeting of Thursday, October 23rd,19 the Supreme Council passed the following resolution:—

“that the principle that the payment of troops of occupation should be a charge upon the local revenues of the territories occupied should apply to such troops as might be used as troops of occupation in Danzig and Memel.”

In this connection a further question arises, namely, that of the source from which shall be provided the salary and allowances of the Administrator of the Free City of Danzig and his staff, and of the persons who will be engaged in the administration of Memel during the occupation of that place.

This question requires settlement because the British Treasury insists that in no case shall the expenses incurred under these heads become a charge on British revenues alone, and it is therefore necessary to decide whether those expenses shall be borne by the territories concerned or by the Allied and Associated Powers in equal shares.

The British Delegation recommends to the favourable consideration of the Supreme Council the former solution, which would appear the more natural and proper one.

Appendix H to HD–78

conference on peace preliminaries

commission to study the repatriation of the german and Austrian prisoners in siberia

In the course of a meeting held September 27, 1919,20 the Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers enacted the following resolution: Constitution of the Commission

It is decided that a Commission comprising an American, French, British, Italian and Japanese Officer shall be constituted to take charge [Page 826] of the repatriation of the German, Austrian and Hungarian prisoners in Siberia.

It is further decided that the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovak troops now in Siberia shall be effected before that of the German, Austrian and Hungarian prisoners.

By a resolution under date of October 2, 1919,21 the above text was modified in the following manner:

It is decided to modify the second paragraph of the resolution of September 27th, in the following manner:

It is further decided that the repatriation of the Czecho-Slovak, Polish, Jugoslav and Rumanian troops now in Siberia shall be effected before that of the German, Austrian and Hungarian prisoners.

The Commission was composed as follows: Composition of the Commission

United States of America: Col. J. A. Logan
British Empire: Lt. Col. C. H. G. Black
France: Naval Captain Fabre
Italy: Major Scanagatta
Japan: Major Katsuki, or, as replacement, Col. Nagai.

Report Presented to the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers

The Commission constituted by the Supreme Council to study the repatriation of the German, Austrian and Hungarian prisoners in Siberia learned through a telegram from Gen. Janin on October 11th* that the personnel to be repatriated from Siberia amounts to a minimum of 250,000 men and comprises the following different categories:

Contingents of volunteer friends, called allogene contingents, recruited from among the Czecho-Slovak, Polish, Rumanian, Serbian and Jugo-Slav prisoners, and who, under the orders of General Janin, fought against the Germano-Bolshevists in Siberia, or participated in the maintenance of order: about 75,000 men, to whom will have to be added, several thousand persons constituting the families of these soldiers.
Prisoners of war who belonged to the German or Austro-Hungarian armies, but who, by their place of origin, now belong to Allied Governments, Poland, Rumania and Serbia.
These men are to be distinguished from the preceding in that they did not agree to accept service in the above cited contingents; they are dispersed throughout various prison camps, and their number is yet to be determined.
Deported civilians belonging to the same Allied nationalities.
German, Austrian and Magyar prisoners (belonging to German [y], Austria and Hungary, according to their new boundaries).
Deported civilians belonging to the same enemy nationalities under the same conditions.

The opinion of the Commission concerning the repatriation of these different personnel categories may be resumed as follows:

Category A.—Contingents of volunteer friends (called allogene contingents).

The Commission esteemed that it was not in its competency to examine measures relative to the repatriation of these contingents; these measures are studied by qualified authorities representing the different Allied and Associated countries concerned.

However, the repatriation of the allogene contingents which, by the terms of the resolutions of the Supreme Council of September 27 and October 2, should be effected before that of the German, Austrian and Hungarian prisoners, is a question which interests the Commission.

According to information which the Commission has been able to obtain, instructions have been sent to General Janin to concentrate and maintain volunteer contingents of sufficient strength in the Khar-bin and Vladivostock region to justify the commencement and continuance of operations from the present time.

It would be advisable to have the question of sea transportation regulated as soon as possible.

Categories B. C. D. E.—Non-incorporated prisoners and deported civilians as indicated by General Janin, it is necessary:

1st—that Poland, Rumania and Serbia immediately send authorized representatives to Siberia to distinguish between the prisoners or deported civilians to be repatriated as friends (categories B and C) and those destined for Germany, Austria and Hungary, according to their new frontiers (Categories D and E).

2nd—that an immediate order be issued covering the repatriation of these various categories in relation to each other, as well as within each category with relation to the various nationalities.

General Janin states that he is not qualified to issue this immediate order, the determining of which concerns questions of general policy which are not within his competence; he proposes that the order be issued by the Commission in Paris now studying the repatriation of the Siberian prisoners.

3rd—it is necessary to establish relations with the Omsk Government, where the greater part of the prisoners are in detention and which, considering that it is in a state of war with Germany, Austria and Hungary, might estimate that it was not obliged to hand over these prisoners.

The question of evacuating the different personnel, friend[s] or enemies, which shall still remain in Siberia after the departure of the [Page 828] volunteer contingents, is not merely a technical problem of transportation, but, on the contrary, closely linked with numerous political questions and could furthermore involve a study of financial questions.

The Commission, constituted by the resolutions of September 27 and October 2, is composed exclusively of officers, and esteems that it is not qualified to treat these questions. It asks that each Power represented nominate to the Commission an expert in political and financial matters.

  1. Only two parts, dated October 23 and 25, appear in the Department files.
  2. Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traitds, 3 ser., tome xi, p. 185.
  3. Appendix A to HD–70, p. 649.
  4. Treaty of peace between Bulgaria and Turkey, September 16 (29). 1913, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cvii, p. 706.
  5. Appendix F to HD–82, p. 922.
  6. HD–62, minute 7, p. 411.
  7. HD–73, minute 8, p. 714.
  8. Initial convention of November 11, 1919 [1918], renewal of conventions and protocols. [Footnote in the original.]
  9. For text, see vol. ii, p. 1.
  10. Appendix E to HD–62, p. 419.
  11. Appendices D and E to HD–67, pp. 546 and 547.
  12. For text, see vol. ii, p. 11.
  13. Telegrams to the Permanent Armistice Commission on August 7, August 26, September 30, and October 18th. [Footnote in the original.]
  14. HD–63, minute 2, p. 430.
  15. Addressed to Marshal Foch as a report. [Footnote in the original.]
  16. Transmission of Telegrams Nos. 3765 of August 7th and 4111 of August 27th [26th?]. [Footnote in the original.]
  17. This note (Paris Peace Conf. 185.001/121) transmitted the text of the proposals accepted by the Supreme Council on August 6, HD–25, minute 14, vol. vii, p. 563.
  18. For text, see appendix C to HD–37, ibid., p. 823.
  19. HD–62, minute 1, p. 403.
  20. HD–70, minute 1, and appendix A thereto, pp. 639 and 649.
  21. Appendix B to HD–63, p. 443.
  22. BC–52, minute 1, vol. iv, pp. 355, 370.
  23. HD–25, minute 14, vol. vii, p. 563.
  24. HD–75, minute 2, p. 747.
  25. HD–62, minute 7, p. 411.
  26. HD–65, minute 4, p. 488.
  27. résumé hereto annexed. [Footnote in the original.]
  28. this category does not include any Czecho-Slovaks, all having been mobilized. [Footnote in the original.]