Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/99

HD–99

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 Monday, November 24, 1919, at 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. Henry White
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison
    • British Empire
      • Sir Eyre Crowe
    • Secretary
      • Mr. H. Norman
    • France
      • M. Cambon
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta
      • M. Berthelot
      • M. de Saint Quentin
    • Italy
      • M. De Martino
    • 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 Bliss
    • Rear Admiral McCully, U. S. N.
    • Colonel Logan
    • Dr. I. Bowman
    • Mr. A. W. Dulles
    • Lieut-Commander L. B. Green, U. S. N.
  • British Empire
    • General Groves
    • Colonel Percival
    • Lieut-Col. Kisch
    • Major McCrindle
    • Mr. Carr
  • France
    • Marshal Foch
    • General Weygand
    • General LeRond
    • M. Laroche
    • M. Hermite
    • M. de Montille
  • Italy
    • General Cavallero
    • M. Vannutelli-Rey
    • M. Stranieri
    • M. Mancioli
    • Commandant Rugiu
  • Japan
    • M. Shigemitsu

[Page 304]

1. (The Council had before it two letters from Baron von Lersner to the Secretary-General of the Peace Conference dated November 21st and 23rd, 1919, (See appendices “A” and “B”).) Negotiations With the German Delegates

M. Berthelot read the first letter as well as the draft reply prepared by the French Delegation. (See Appendix “C”). He said it was evident that there was no sense in starting a discussion on the return of prisoners of war at a moment when that repatriation was to take place within eight days. Since the draft reply had been prepared they had received the second letter from Baron von Lersner which the Council had before it. The German attitude was all the more inexplicable since in the interview he had had with M. Dutasta and M. Berthelot, Baron von Lersner had asked him for the date of the first meeting of his Delegates with the Allied Commissioners; von Lersner had put a number of questions to him concerning the procedure to be followed and had expressed a desire to receive on Saturday evening the agenda of that meeting. That agenda had been sent him at the appointed hour. The attitude of Germany seemed to be determined by the delay that had occurred in the American ratification of the Treaty as well as by the Lodge motion tending to the restoration of the state of peace between the United States and Germany; Germany evidently hoped that a misunderstanding would arise between the Allies. M. Berthelot felt that it would be important to acquaint Washington with this tendency. The reply they had given on the question of the handing over of guilty individuals might have also an influence on the German decision. Von Lersner had made him understand that if the Entente maintained its demands, no German could wish to hasten by a single day the ratification of a treaty which, according to him, would plunge Germany in chaos.

M. Cambon asked whether the draft letter which had just been read by M. Berthelot was approved by the Council.

Sir Eyre Crowe thought it would be advisable to add a few words concerning the departure of the German Commissioners.

M. Berthelot agreed. The draft had been prepared before the second letter had been received. A post-script might be added.

Sir Eyre Crowe said it should be stated in that post-script that the departure of the German technical Delegates led one to think that the Berlin Government did not intend to ratify; also that it would be advisable to ask the German Government categorically yes or no, whether it meant to sign the protocol.

M. de Martino said he thought it would be unwise to look as if they had any doubt about the final putting into force of the Treaty.

After further discussion, the text of the post-script was adopted as shown in Appendix “D”.

[Page 305]

Sir Eyre Crowe thought that it was important that the note should be sent without delay, and further that it should be published for the sake of the moral effect it would produce on German public opinion.

M. Berthelot said they could send the letter as soon as the President—who ought to sign it—returned, that was to say, that night.

Mr. White thought that it would be wise in that case to delay the publication for 24 hours.

M. Cambon said the note would then be published the following evening.

It was decided:

(1)
to approve the draft reply to the President of the German Delegation, together with the post-script shown in Appendix “D”;
(2)
that said reply be transmitted to Baron von Lersner as soon as possible;
(3)
that it be published on the evening of November 25th, (See Appendices “C” and “D”)

2. (The Council had before it a report dated November 21st, 1919 (See Appendix “E”).) Financial Arrangements in the Plebiscite Territories and Occupied Territories of Danzig and Memel

General Le Rond read and commented upon the report of the Commission. He added that with regard to the application of the Treaty, the report had the approval of the legal experts. He would discuss separately, first the question of the Plebiscite Territories, secondly the question of Danzig and Memel.

Plebiscite Territories: the report had made no proposal except so far as concerned the normal administration expenses of the territories, and the supplementary expenses resulting from Inter-Allied government. As far as the military occupation was concerned, the Delegates had been of the opinion that it should be referred to their Governments.

According to the articles of the Treaty, expenses, whether they arose from administration or military occupation, should be in fine a charge on local revenues, present as well as future, but it was already certain that the existing local revenues would be insufficient to cover those expenses; they would, therefore, have to be met by advances, and it was to these that the report referred. Those advances which would properly be a charge on local revenues would have to be reimbursed later by the States to which the Principal Allied and Associated Powers would attribute the territories after plebiscite. That point being once settled it remained to determine the sources from which those advances could be drawn. That being the question for immediate solution, and the question of military occupation expenses being reserved, the Commission asked the Council to approve its conclusions numbered 1 and 2.

[Page 306]

Mr. White said he had no observations to make on points 1 and 2, but he wished on the question of military occupation expenses to read the following note which defined the American point of view. (See Appendix “F”).

General Le Rond said that the American note referred to a question of form. It was quite clear that the expenses of occupation were a charge on local revenues, but those local revenues for the time being, were insufficient. They were burdening the countries where a plebiscite was to take place with expenses which were beyond their temporary power to bear. Hence the necessity of making advances. The Commission had not dealt with the means of raising those advances so far as the military occupation expenses were concerned but no fundamental doubt on the question was possible.

Sir Eyre Crowe said he agreed with the conclusions of the report and with the note that Mr. White had just read.

M. de Martino said that in a word it came down to obtaining the consent of Germany in the first instance upon the question of repayment of the costs of occupation of Marienwerder and Allenstein for which nothing had been provided in the Treaty.

General Le Rond said M. De Martino was speaking of the costs of occupation; he had to repeat that there was no possible doubt that the costs of occupation were a charge on the occupied territories and that the only question under discussion was a matter of deciding ways and means; how were they to obtain the necessary funds at the moment.

M. de Martino said that he did not see why a distinction was made between the question of costs of occupation and that of other costs.

General Le Rond said he would reply to M. De Martino by sheltering himself behind the authority of the legal experts. They had been of the opinion that the Allies did not have the legal right to make the German State, considered as a whole, pay costs which, according to the terms of the Treaty, fell upon local revenues. The Commission as a matter of fact, had not dealt with the question and had been of the opinion that it should be referred to the different Governments.

M. de Martino said that considering the importance of the question, and notwithstanding that the Commission, itself had left it in suspense, he believed it his duty to make a formal reservation on behalf of his Government.

M. Matsui said the question did not arise for Japan as it did not send troops of occupation, but they agreed with the Commission as far as the interpretation of the Treaty was concerned.

General Cavallero said that with regard to the costs of military occupation, it would be well to make a distinction between the question of advances which was referred to the examination of the various Governments concerned, and the question of repayment of those advances, which should be settled by an interpretation of the Treaty. [Page 307]In the case of Upper Silesia there was no doubt that the expenses would be borne by the local revenues in the future as well as the present. In the case of Marienwerder, on the other hand, the repayment of the costs of occupation was not provided for; possibly it was an omission, at any rate it was a point to be defined. In the case of Allenstein the occupation itself was not provided for, and still less the repayment of the costs of occupation.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked what was the intention of the Italian Delegate in declaring that the matter had to be defined. Did he mean that a new Treaty had to be concluded with Germany or simply that the Supreme Council had to take a new decision? If he meant a decision of the Supreme Council he (Sir Eyre Crowe) would remark that the Council had already decided that all the costs would be a charge on the interested territories. They had already given their interpretation: what more could be done?

M. Berthelot said that in his interview with Herr von Simson he had indicated that that question was precisely of the same type as those which were to be settled between the German delegates and the Allied Commissioners. Herr von Simson had accepted this. He, M. Berthelot, had added that the Council had decided to have Allied troops occupy Marienwerder, and that the costs of occupation should be a charge on the local revenues. Herr von Simson had made no objection to this.

M. Cambon said that that was a question of application of the Treaty, upon which it was for the Allied Commissioners and the German Delegates to come to an agreement.

General Le Rond said the solution would be arrived at quite naturally when the Allied and Associated Powers would attribute the territories submitted to a plebiscite. In the Treaties which would then be concluded between the Allies and the States to whom attribution would be made, nothing prevented the stipulation that costs of every kind should be a charge upon those States in exact proportion as the territories in question would be attributed to them.

M. Cambon stated that the Council agreed on the conclusions numbered 1 and 2, point 3 remaining to be settled between the Governments.

M. de Martino said the question of advances brought up the question of exchange, which was particularly important for the Italians. They proposed that the advance to be effected for troops, no matter to what nation they belonged, should be made in marks. It was not apparent why, in a country where the legal currency was the mark, allowances should be paid with another currency; all the more so inasmuch as the mark was also the legal currency in Poland. The pound sterling might serve as a basis, the rate of exchange being subject to revision on the first of each month. In that case, and to avoid considerable purchases of marks for certain countries, the Allies should agree among [Page 308]themselves so that the necessary amount of marks should be furnished by the Allied States who held the most.

General Le Rond said M. De Martino’s remarks brought up two points: on the first point, the case was quite in accord with M. De Martino. Having been forced to choose a firm basis for the calculation of the rate of the allowances, it had taken the pound; but as a matter of fact, it was the gold dollar, a fixed standard, which should be the basis of calculation. It went without saying that the payments would be made in currency of the country, that was to say, in marks. In the second point, the question of exchange was not in the province of the Commission, but M. De Martino’s remark deserved consideration.

Mr. White said he would note M. De Martino’s proposal.

Sir Eyre Crowe said he agreed with the proposals presented by General Le Rond. They could, for the moment, only take note of M. De Martino’s proposal.

General Le Rond said there remained the question of Danzig and Memel.

As for Danzig, the British Government had already declared it was ready to make the advance of necessary funds to the administrative official who would represent the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. It was clear, as for Memel, that they ought to adopt the same solution as for plebiscite territories, namely, that all the costs of administration and of occupation be a charge on the State to which Memel would be attributed by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

Mr. White remarked that they had just spoken of a representative of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers at Danzig. Should not the appointment of that official be approved by the Supreme Council?

Sir Eyre Crowe said the Supreme Council had already approved the nomination.

It was decided:

(1)
to approve the conclusions of the report on the financial regime of the plebiscite territories and occupied territories of Danzig and Memel;
(2)
that the costs of normal administration of said territories, as well as supplementary costs of administration resulting from the Inter-Allied government, should be ultimately placed by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers upon the States to whom those territories would be attributed by Treaty. (See Appendix “E”).

3. (The Council had before it a note of the Sub-Committee on the Execution of the Treaty of Peace, dated November 15th, (See Appendix “G”).

[Page 309]

General Le Rond read and commented upon the note of the Sub-Commission. He added that the Italian Delegation had just communicated to him a proposal tending to modify the disposition of the scales of allowances, so as to distinguish in the allowances of presidents and commissioners, what was the representation allowance, properly so-called, the total allowance remaining the same. Allowances to Personnel of Administrative, Government, and Plebiscite Commission

Sir Eyre Crowe said he had had great difficulty in persuading his Government to accept the figures proposed by the Sub-Committee; he really thought them extravagant. He had already found the figures provided for the Delimitation Commissions too high. His Government was surprised that personnel could not be found at lower salaries. He would, however, as a compromise, and so as to hasten the entry into force of the Treaty, accept the proposed figures.

M. Berthelot said that those figures seemed high because it was forgotten that, while military personnel had their pay in addition, civil officials had not. They had, on the other hand, taken as basis for calculation of the allowances the amount allotted by the British Government to its High Commissioner on the Rhineland High Commission.

General Le Bond said that salaries, properly so-called, would remain for the Governments to bear, but only in the event that the latter thought they should be paid. It should not be forgotten that a certain number of officials employed as members of Commissions did not have any Government salary.

Sir Eyre Crowe said he thought it had been decided that it was only the allowances according to function that were to be a charge upon the occupied territories.1

General Le Bond said that the decision had been that the local revenues should pay the allowances fixed, and that, if he might say so, they need not take salaries into account, the government appointing any particular official being free to pay him if it so desired.

M. Berthelot said that the case of military officials—a special one—should be placed on one side. On the other hand, the principle might be advanced that all officials be paid exclusively by the territory, the administration of which they belonged to. Officials who came for a country’s welfare should be paid from the resources of that country. The case was similar to that of “counsellors” whom certain oriental or Far Eastern powers asked western nations to send them.

General Le Bond said the rate of allowances had been fixed in uniform fashion for all officials of a similar category, no matter what their salary might be in their own country.

[Page 310]

Mr. White said he had not had time to discuss the question with his experts and must for the time being reserve his decision.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the explanation furnished by M. Berthelot and by General Le Rond changed the aspect of the question: it would obviously be much easier for his Government to accept that proposal which came nearer the point of view it had always supported. It was, then, understood that the rate of payment being thus reckoned, the Council considered that officials who received these payments should have no further claim.

M. de Martino said he wished to know why a distinction had been drawn between allowances provided in the cases of Allenstein and Marienwerder and those provided for in the case of Upper Silesia?

M. Berthelot said that a decision had already been given which explained itself through the relative importance of territories to be administered and also through the duties which the officials would have to assume thereby.2

M. de Martino said it should be borne in mind, however, that the shorter the occupation the heavier relatively would be the expenses that members of the Commissions would have to incur.

General Le Rond said another consideration should not be neglected, however: an official who would be sent for instance, to Allenstein knew that he was only going there for a few months. In the case of Upper Silesia, on the contrary, they were quite uncertain, as the occupation might last anything [anywhere?] from 8 to 20 months; therefore, to recruit the necessary personnel higher payments would have to be made.

Sir Eyre Crowe agreed with General Le Rond: it was certain that a man who left a position for 18 months would have greater difficulty in having it kept for him than the man who only left his position for a few months.

M. de Martino asked whether the question of allowances for troops of occupation could not be settled immediately?

General Weygand said it had seemed to them there was no reason to adopt on that subject a different ruling from that which had been followed for the troops of occupation of the Rhine. Each Government was free to fix for its troops the allowances which it thought advisable.

General Cavallero said that the situation of troops which would occupy for instance, Upper Silesia could not be compared to that of French troops on the Rhine. There would be very great practical difficulties. It seemed impossible to the Italian Command not to fix a higher allowance for battalions which would be sent to Allenstein than to troops which occupied the armistice zone. It seemed very [Page 311]difficult to the Italians, for all kinds of reasons, to fix the rate of supplementary allowances to be given without previous agreement with the other General Staffs.

General Weygand replied that the French Government and the other interested Governments, with the exception of the Italian, had been of the opinion that it was for each of them to settle the rate which it thought advisable. They had not wished to fix a uniform rate. He felt no hesitation in saying that the French troops sent into Upper Silesia would receive slightly higher allowances than the troops on the Rhine.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the question had already been the subject of discussion in the Supreme Council a long time before: but had not then been settled.3

General Cavallero said that uniform allowances had been agreed upon for personnel of Commissions of Control, no matter what the army of origin. If, however, in zones of occupation the allowances varied according to the army a very disagreeable situation might arise for soldiers in receipt of the lower allowances. The line officers who would receive a much smaller amount than officers, members of a Commission, would find themselves in a painful situation. They might at least agree to fix tables roughly analogous.

General Weygand said the case of isolated officers or non-commissioned officers could not be compared to that of commissioned or noncommissioned officers living with their formations. The latter had every kind of facility which isolated officers could not find. On the other hand officers of each nationality would live, each one in the sector allotted to his troops; there would be, therefore, no occasion for officers of the different armies to compare their respective positions. Had it not for that matter been thus all through the war?

General Cavallero said they were not at war any longer and the situation was a rather different one. He wished to point out that officers would probably sit on Commissions, whose situation would be clearly more attractive than that of their comrades of the line although their position might not be much more important.

M. Cambon thought it would be better to leave each Government its freedom in the matter.

It was decided:

to approve the report of the Sub-Committee on the Execution of the Treaty, dated November 15th, concerning the rate of monthly allowances to the personnel of Plebiscite Commissions, with the reservation that the American Delegation communicate at the next meeting whether it accepted the proposals of the report. (See Appendix “G”).

4. Sir Eyre Crowe said Sir George Clerk had telegraphed that he was on the point of leaving Budapest, having fulfilled his mission. [Page 312]Should the Council wish him to remain or have some communication to make to him, it should do so without delay. Sir George Clerk’s Mission

M. Berthelot said Sir George Clerk gave the Council the assurance that Mr. Huszar was not Friedrich’s strawman. Sir George Clerk had succeeded fully in his mission. It seemed that the Council could allow him to return. Sir Eyre Crowe might wire him that the Council was not opposed to his return and would be glad to hear his report.

5. (The Council had before it a letter from the Polish Delegation dated November 17th, 1919 (See Appendix “H”) and a letter from the same Delegation dated November 19, 1919 (See Appendix “I”).) Negotiations Between the Polish Government and (a) the City of Dantzig, (b) the German Government

M. Laroche read and commented upon the letters. He added that it would be advantageous to be able to follow the negotiations in Paris itself.

Sir Eyre Crowe said the question was not exactly the same for the negotiations between Poland and the German Governments and between Poland and Dantzig. In the former case there was no difficulty in transferring the negotiations to Paris. In the latter, on the other hand, it should not be forgotten that the local factor played an important part. The Treaty to be concluded would go into all sorts of detail concerning the port, docks, customs, railroads, etc. Would it be wise to transfer to Paris the seat of these negotiations when an account had to be taken of local conditions? The representative of the Allies at Dantzig had a part to play in the negotiations: was it wise to eliminate him?

M. Laroche said the Polish Commission had quite definitely thought that because of local passions it would be wiser to withdraw the negotiations from the atmosphere of Dantzig just as it would be to withdraw them from Warsaw. That transfer would not prevent the representative of the Allies at Dantzig from intervening: his advice would be asked for. Indeed in matters of technical details it would be easy to detach to the spot a sub-commission. To take into account the objection formulated by Sir Eyre Crowe, they might decide in principle that the negotiations would take place in Paris although the details should be settled on the spot.

Sir Eyre Crowe said he of course agreed that the decision should be taken at Paris but he considered it difficult to divide the negotiations into two classes. He would rather propose that Dantzig be made the seat of negotiations, it being understood that the scheme worked out at Dantzig be subject to revision in Paris.

M. Berthelot said the Council could adopt a formula of that kind.

M. Cambon suggested that they could say—and in that way indicate that the Allied Representative at Dantzig had to take part in the matter—that the preliminary investigations should take place at [Page 313]Dantzig, that they would be carried out on the spot and that they would be transmitted to Paris for final decision by the Allied Representative who would submit the report.

Mr. White asked whether originally it had not been decided that the negotiations take place in Warsaw, the question interesting Poland in the first place.

M. Laroche said the Japanese Delegation had been opposed to that proposal as it did not have a representative at Warsaw who could follow the negotiations.

M. de Martino said his instructions gave him authority to approve the transfer to Paris of all the negotiations in progress, whether in Berlin or Warsaw, between Germany and Poland. He asked whether the negotiations relative to Dantzig fell within that category.

M. Cambon thought not.

Mr. White asked how the Commission would be composed, and why it could not meet at Warsaw.

Sir Eyre Crowe replied that it was because Dantzig was the object of the negotiations; the Commission would include representatives of the free city and Poles.

M. Laroche said it was understood, then, that the scheme prepared at Dantzig could be modified in Paris. All the questions would be studied anew in Paris under the auspices of the Great Powers and with the cooperation of the delegates of Dantzig and of Poles.

Mr. White said he agreed on the principle, but he wished to read over the text of the resolution once it had been drafted.

It was decided:

(1)
that the negotiations between the Polish Government and the German Government take place in Paris;
(2)
that the negotiations between the Polish Government and the Free City of Dantzig take place in Paris, with the cooperation and under the direction of representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers;
(3)
that, prior to the opening of negotiations as provided for in the last paragraph, preliminary discussions, at which the Allied representative in the Free City of Dantzig is to be a party, should take place at Dantzig. That representative should send to Paris, with a report, the proposals which would have been prepared at Dantzig, and which would serve as a basis for the negotiations provided for in paragraph 2.
(The Council reserves to itself the final approval of the present resolution until a further examination.)

6. (The Council had before it a draft note dated November 24th, 1919 (See Appendix “J”) Note to the German Government Concerning the Sale of German Aeronautical Matérial

(After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to adopt the draft note to the President of the Inter-Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control in Germany [Page 314]for transmission to the German Government, once the Peace Treaty came into force (See Appendix “J”)

7. (The Council had before it a note from the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission relative to the appointment of a Sub-Committee charged with the improvement of circulation of rolling stock in the ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire. (See Appendix “K”). Sub-Committee of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission Charged With the Improvement of Circulation of Rolling Stock in Ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire

M. de Martino said he accepted the draft recommendation of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission, but wished to make the following declaration: It was well understood that the Sub-Committee would only function until a decision had been taken on the distribution of rolling stock between the several States inheriting territory of the ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire, in accordance with Article 318 of the Treaty of Saint Germain. That was in order to avoid possible confusion of competence.

Sir Eyre Crowe said he was surprised that the question had come up again. The Council had given the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission full powers to act in the event of its sub-commission on Hungarian [Austrian?] affairs being unanimous.4 M. Loucheur had told them that only questions of detail remained to be settled. He therefore could not understand, and thought the Council had grounds for being surprised that the matter was submitted to them a second time, considering the extreme gravity of the situation in Austria.

M. Massigli pointed out that the terms of the decision adopted on November 20th, were unambiguous; in the case of unanimity the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission was to have acted without referring the subject anew to the Supreme Council.

(The Council took note of the declaration made by M. De Martino on the subject of the duration of that Sub-Committee’s activities.)

It was decided:

to approve the terms of the draft note of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission concerning the appointment of a Sub-Committee on rolling stock in the Ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire, an appointment which the Council considered as decided in its resolution of November 20th. (See Appendix “K”).

8. (The Council had before it the note of the British Delegation dated November 22nd (See Appendix “L”). German Soldiers in the Schlesvig Plebiscite Area

(After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to refer to the Drafting Committee for examination and immediate report the note of the British Delegation on demobilization by German [Page 315]authorities of a great number of soldiers in the Schlesvig plebiscite area. (See Appendix “L”).

(The meeting then adjourned).

Appendix A to HD–99

president of the
german peace delegation

From: Baron von Lersner.

To: M. Dutasta, Secretary General of the Peace Conference.

Your Excellency having been unable to receive me today, I do not wish to fail to communicate to you in writing the reason for my call.

Yesterday’s conversation convinced M. Von Simson, Director at the Ministry, that before any future discussion on the coming into force of the Treaty, he should present an oral report to the German Government, all the more so that, for the conventions to be concluded, the approval of the German National Assembly is necessary. Mr. Von Simson will therefore leave tomorrow evening for Berlin.

Furthermore, I feel obliged to inform Your Excellency that I protest most energetically against the fact of again associating the question of repatriation of prisoners of war and interned German civilians with the coming into force of the Peace Treaty. The declaration of the Allied and Associated Governments separated this question from that of the coming into force of the Treaty. Should this promise now become valueless the promise of the French Government which is now given us again for consideration would meet with no confidence in the public opinion of Germany.

In closing may I not call to your attention the enclosed article published in the Presse de Paris of this date,5 on the question of the handing over of the accused.

Please accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]

[Extract From] HD–415a

Resolution

The Declaration drafted by Mr. Balfour was accepted for transmission and publication. (The declaration follows):

“In order to diminish as rapidly as possible the sufferings caused by the war, the Allied and Associated Powers have determined to [Page 316]anticipate the date of ratification of the Treaty of Peace with Germany, so far as the repatriation of German prisoners is concerned. The process of repatriation will begin immediately, and it will be conducted under the auspices of an Inter-Allied Commission, to which will be added a German representative as soon as the Treaty comes into force.

“The Allied and Associated Powers desire to make it quite clear that the continuance of this benevolent policy, from which German soldiers will so greatly benefit, must depend on the fulfilment by the German Government and people of all their obligations.”

Appendix B to HD–99

president of the
german peace delegation

No. 447

From: Baron von Lersner.

To: The Secretary General of the Peace Conference.

I have the honor to request that your Excellency kindly postpone the session announced in the letter of the 22nd instant until the return of the Director of the Ministry, von Simson, and the experts accompanying him.

Kindly accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]

Appendix C to HD–99

peace conference
the president

From: President of the Peace Conference.

To: Baron von Lersner, President of the German Peace Delegation.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 21st,6 which informs me of the departure of Mr. von Simson for Berlin, to confer with the German Government regarding the conditions of the entry into force of the Treaty and, moreover, informing me of the necessity of the approval of the Conventions to be made by the German National Assembly.

This information leads to question whether the signature of the protocol of ratification of the Treaty (for which the Allied and Associated Governments arranged to be ready on December 1) can take place on this date, and this through the fault of the German Government, which has since November 1 been in possession of the Note of the Allies and of the accompanying protocol.7

[Page 317]

This delay in the ratification of the Treaty would be the more regrettable as it might arouse doubts concerning the sincerity of Germany’s intentions with regard to the execution of the agreements arising from the Armistice, and those contained in the Peace Treaty. Still, it would seem to be in the general interest and, primarily, in the interest of the German people, to ensure that the prompt going into effect of the Treaty bring about Peace and make possible the reconstitution which would thereby ensue to the entire world.

The signature of the protocol of ratification determines in particular the date of the return of the prisoners of war to Germany. On this subject I feel bound to reply to the inaccurate statement, reiterated in your letter of yesterday, that a promise had been made and not fulfilled by the French Government. The truth is quite different: On August 28th, the Supreme Council accepted a draft resolution concerning prisoners of war, to the effect of anticipating the date of the ratification of the Peace Treaty with regard to the repatriation of prisoners and the immediate beginning of the repatriation.8 This resolution was at once executed, and the repatriation of prisoners of war began. Thus the prisoners made by the British, American and Belgian Armies were returned to Germany, in full accord with the French Government. But the decision added that the continuation of this benevolent policy would depend upon the fulfillment by the German Government and people of all the obligations which are incumbent upon them. The date of the notification of the Allied and Associated Powers proved the patience of the Allies in waiting for the execution of the German agreements, as well as Germany’s violations of them on a number of very important points. The consequence of this could only be the discontinuance of the repatriation and the decision to strictly adhere to the clauses of the Peace Treaty, which make the return of the prisoners of war contingent upon the going into force of the Treaty.

The final ratification in eight days and the return of the prisoners to their homes depend on the German Government. It is only necessary that the Allied and German Commissioners agree on the practical conditions of the execution of the clauses concerning Eastern territories, and that the protocol, annexed to the notification of November 1st and providing for the integral execution of the clauses of the Armistice, and for the penalties for violations, be signed without any new questions being raised.

Please accept, etc.

[Page 318]

Appendix D to HD–99

[Postscript to the Letter From the President of the Peace Conference (Clemenceau) to the President of the German Delegation (von Lersner)]

P. S. November 24, 1919.

Since the drafting of the present letter—the sending of which was only delayed by the absence of the President of the Peace Conference—a new fact was brought to the attention of the Supreme Council by your letter of November 23rd—the departure of the German experts, with Mr. von Simson, who arrived three days before to settle with the Allied Commissions the questions raised by the execution of the Treaty, and concerning the operations of the Plebiscite, Government and Delimitation Commissions.

The Supreme Council was extremely surprised by the departure of the German Delegates, which can only be interpreted as the proof of the determination of Germany to hinder again the preliminary agreements, indispensable for the final exchange of ratifications of the Peace Treaty. This fact raises very regrettable doubts as to the intentions of the German Government.

The Supreme Council desires to be definitely informed on the subject in the shortest time possible, and holds the German Government fully responsible for the delay caused by it in the re-establishment of a state of Peace.

Appendix E to HD–99

Report to the Supreme Council on the Financial Regime of the Territories Submitted to Plebiscite and the Occupation of Dantzig and Memel

The Commission meeting in compliance with the resolution of the Supreme Council under date of November 199 (10?) [sic] has the honor to submit to the Supreme Council the following proposals:

I.—Upper Silesia

The only receipts at the disposal of the Inter-Allied Commission of Upper-Silesia, by virtue of the Treaty (Article 88) are those arising from local revenues. These receipts must provide for the following expenses:

1)
Normal administration expenses of the territory;
2)
Additional administration expenses resulting from the execution of the Treaty (Inter-Allied Government);
3)
Costs of military occupation.

In the same measure that the present revenues from the territory will be insufficient to cover these expenses, future revenues will have [Page 319]to be anticipated, that is to say, advances pledged on the future receipts of Upper-Silesia must be obtained. In this way Upper-Silesia after the plebiscite will be burdened with a special debt by which the State or States to which territory is attributed will be held responsible for reimbursement.

As to the temporary burden of these advances, they should be divided according to the purpose for which they will be applied.

1st) Normal administration expenses of the territory.

The German Government, during the course of negotiations to be opened, will be asked to agree to supply the public banks of the territory as necessary to meet the normal administration expenses.

2nd) Additional administration expenses resulting from the Inter-Allied Government.

As regards additional administration expenses resulting from the execution of the Treaty, it seems natural that the Polish Government should be invited to make the necessary advances, the regime instituted having based on her claims on Upper-Silesia [sic].

3rd) Military occupation expenses.

Finally, for the military occupation expenses, it seems inevitable that the advance be made by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

Two methods of execution may be considered:

a)
Each State participating in the occupation will advance the necessary sum for the upkeep of its own troops.
b)
The occupation expenses of the various territories to be submitted to a plebiscite will be charged to a common account, the total to be distributed among the various States participating in these occupations.

Proposals 1 and 2 have been unanimously approved.

On the third point, the delegates think it advisable to refer the matter to their Government.

II.—Allenstein and Marienwerder

As regards normal administration expenses, the solution proposed for Upper-Silesia should also be applied, it would seem, to the territories of Allenstein and Marienwerder: the German Government should advance these expenses in case local revenues are insufficient.

The same solution, contrary to that proposed for Upper-Silesia, might be extended to the additional administration expenses due to the existence of a government Commission. This extension is justified in regard to Allenstein by the explicit provision of Article 95 which makes Eastern Prussia responsible for these expenses in case local revenues are insufficient; similarly, it can be proposed for Marienwerder.

[Page 320]

For the occupation expenses, there is no reason to consider a solution different from that which will be taken for Upper-Silesia.

These proposals relative to the Allenstein and Marienwerder Commissions have been unanimously approved.

III.—Dantzig and Memel

The British Government accepts to advance upkeep expenses of the administrative official representing the Principal Allied and Associated Powers at Dantzig.

As to the occupation expenses of Dantzig and Memel, it would appear that the question should be solved in the same way as for the various territories above mentioned.

These proposals relative to Dantzig and Memel were unanimously approved.

Appendix F to HD–99

[Statement of the Position of the United States Government on the Question of Military Occupation Expenses]

Without desiring to provoke discussion but in order to leave no room for any misunderstanding, the United States Government desires to state its position of record as follows:

1.
The Annex to Article 88 of the German Treaty of Peace provides that “the cost of the Army of Occupation” in Upper Silesia will be a charge on the area. Other Articles by similar language provide for the payment of the expenses of the armies of occupation in the other occupied districts. In like manner Article 235 of the German Peace Treaty provides that the expenses of the armies of occupation subsequent to the Armistice of November 11, 1918, shall be paid out of the first sums’ received out of reparation.
2.
The United States, therefore, has always understood that it is entitled to be reimbursed the exact cost of maintaining all its military forces in German territory or in the several plebiscite districts since November 11, 1918 until finally they are withdrawn.
3.
While there have been many conferences on this subject and while the matter has been previously discussed in the Supreme Council, no representative of the United States Government has ever agreed to nor has had any authority whatever to agree to any other position or view.
4.
If it be considered that the cost of the United States forces in any of the occupied territory or plebiscite districts, 3,000 miles from their base, is greater or will be greater than is desirable, nevertheless, [Page 321]it will be recalled that the Associated Powers have repeatedly requested the United States Government to consent to their use for this purpose. If the Associated Powers deem it to their interest to reduce the cost of the Armies of Occupation, it would appear to be preferable to request the United States Government to decrease its military representation rather than to resort to financial expedients the legality of which might well be questioned.

Note: Copies of this statement have been forwarded to the Commanding General of the American Forces in Germany, to the American Delegate, to the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission and to the United States Secretaries of War, of the Treasury and of State.

Appendix G to HD–99

peace conference
sub-committee of execution

Note to the Supreme Council

Pursuant to its note of October 21,10 adopted by the Supreme Council on October 24 [23],11 the Sub-Committee of Execution has the honor to submit to the Supreme Council the rate of allowances for plebiscite commissions established after consultation with the representatives of these commissions.

I—Monthly Allowances

In the establishment of the rate of the proposed monthly allowances, the following elements were taken into consideration:

1st)
Cost of living in the territories in question due to the local price of food-stuffs.
2nd)
Necessity of recourse to countries now exporting for supplies, which will be rendered very onerous because of transportation conditions.
3rd)
Difficulties met by the various Delegations in recruiting officials as well as secondary personnel because of the uncertainty of the present situation (unsatisfactory living conditions, uncertainty of the duration of the journey, relative insecurity, in a certain measure).
4th)
Representative nature of Commission, especially as regards the President and the Commissioners.

These various considerations apply to all Commissions. They have a special significance for the Commission for Upper Silesia: to be noted especially the indefinite duration of sojourn which may vary from eight to twenty months and the fact that the supplying of Upper [Page 322]Silesia can be effected only across Germany and it requires the crossing of the entire German territory.

The resolution taken by the Supreme Council provides that the allowance clauses to be established by the Sub-Committee of execution will vary according to the importance and the expenses of each commission.

The Sub-Committee considered that it was advisable to establish two categories:

a)
One for the Commission of Administration and Plebiscite in Allenstein and Marienwerder whose task is the same and the duration of which must be similar.
It proposes to include the Teschen Commission because of the conditions of its mission.
b)
The other for the Government and Plebiscite Commission in Upper-Silesia.

II—Special Allowance for the Purchase of Winter Clothing

The Sub-Committee proposes that a special allowance for the purchase of winter clothing be allotted to all of the personnel of the Commission.

The rate proposed is the same for all Commissions.

1st) Monthly operating allowances in pounds sterling proposed for the various Commissions.

A)—Administration and plebiscite Commissions of Allenstein, Marienwerder and the Plebiscite Commission of Teschen.

President 350
Commissioners 250
Officials { 1st Class 160
2nd Class 120
3rd Class 100
Employees { 1st Class 60
2nd Class 45
3rd Class 30

B)—Commission of Government of and Plebiscite in Upper Silesia.

President
Commissioners
Officials { 1st Class 200
2nd Class 150
3rd Class 120
Employees { 1st Class 60
2nd Class 45
3rd Class 30

[Page 323]

2nd) Allowances for the purchase of winter clothing for all Commissions.

Commissioners } 80
Officials
Employees 50

Appendix H to HD–99

polish delegation
to the
peace conference

To: President Clemenceau.

Considering that, according to Article 104 of the Peace Treaty, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers agreed to negotiate the conventions between Poland and the free city of Dantzig, the Polish Delegation to the Peace Conference has the honor to request the Supreme Council to kindly designate Paris as the seat of these negotiations and to commence same with the least practicable delay.

Accept, etc.

  • A. Patek
  • L. Grabski

Appendix I to HD–99

german [polish] delegation
to the peace conference

From: MM. Patek and Grabski.

To: M. Clemenceau, President of the Peace Conference.

The Supreme Council has requested the Polish Government, through the French Minister at Warsaw, to send to Paris technical representatives to take part in the negotiations concerning questions relating on the carrying out of the Treaty of Versailles.

The Polish technical representatives, provided with the necessary powers, recently arrived at Paris.

During the negotiations which have been going on in Berlin for some time between the representatives of Poland and Germany and of which the missions of the Principal Powers have been kept constantly informed, questions of supplies and carrying out of the Treaty, and also, among others, problems mentioned in the invitation were discussed.

With a view to the early opening of negotiations at Paris, the Polish Delegation takes the liberty to express the opinion that these negotiations should include not only questions proposed by the Supreme Council, but in general all problems relevant to the carrying out of the Treaty of Versailles by Poland and Germany.

[Page 324]

The Delegation hopes that this opinion will be shared by the Supreme Council and that the negotiations which will soon begin will be carried on in conformity with this opinion.

Please accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]

Appendix J to HD–99

Draft of a Note to the President of the Interallied Aeronautic Control Commission (C. A. I. C.) in Germany, for Transmission to the German Government Upon the Going Into Force of the Peace Treaty

No reply has been made to the German Note, Wako 3639, of October 12,11a because such a reply would only have been a repetition of Marshal Foch’s four telegrams under date of August 2 [7],12 August 26,13 September 30,14 and October 18, communicated to the German Government.

All these telegrams having remained without results, General Masterman, President of the C. A. I. C, was requested to present to the German authorities the note of November . . . . ., 1919,14a again calling the attention of the German Government to the character of the measures taken or tolerated by it tending to have Germany avoid her obligations and jeopardizing the loyal execution of the Peace Treaty.

Therefore, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers wish to call the attention of the German Government to the lack of foundation for the objections which it had formulated against the just demands addressed to it.

As regards the objections raised in the 2nd alinea of Par. 2, according to which “Article 169 provides the surrender of material to be destroyed or rendered useless”, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers consider this objection as irrelevant as aeronautical material is the particular subject of Article 202 (Section II, Air Clauses), the application of which would not be jeopardized by Article 169 which precedes it. The German Government is aware that by the terms of the said Article 202 all German air material which cannot be moved without special authorization of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, must be purely and simply delivered to the said Powers in such places as will be selected by the C. A. I. C.

Par. 3 of the German Note is not any better founded. The viewpoint of Principal Allied and Associated Powers as regards the non-military [Page 325]nature of certain airplanes has been repeatedly explained to the German Government and the allegation that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers would not allow the existence of nonmilitary planes is so little justified that on the contrary they have entrusted the C. A. I. C. with determining the military or non-military nature of these planes in conformity with the stipulations of the Treaty.

As to the other objections raised by the German Government in the note above referred to, their discussion would appear to have no further interest after the coming into force of the Treaty.

As a result of the preceding remarks, and in conformity with the Treaty as well as the protocol under date of November . . . . ., 1919, the C. A. I. C. is entrusted with requesting the German Government to take immediately the following measures of which they have been already notified:

1st)
To furnish the C. A. I. C. a list of all aeronautical material sold or exported:
2nd)
To deliver to the C. A. I. C. at such places as it may select all aircraft and aeronautical material captured by the German forces from the Allied and Associated Powers. Among this material the 500 motors especially referred to in Marshal Foch’s telegram under date of August 7 must be immediately delivered at . . . . . . .
3rd)
To deposit at the places selected by the C. A. I. C. all aeronautical material in Germany (including material removed, loaned, utilized or sold), material which will later be recognized as civil by the C. A. I. C. will be released.
4th)
To deposit with the C. A. I. C. before January 31, 1920, and according to the value of all aeronautical material the delivery of which has been made impossible by Germany.

Appendix K to HD–99

peace conference
organization committee of
the reparations commission

Secretariat

C. R. 412

From: M. Loucheur, President of the Organization Committee, of the Separations Commission.

To: The President of the Peace Conference, Paris.

I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a note from the organization committee of the Separations Commission to the Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers, asking for the creation of a sub-commission, charged with improving the circulation of rolling stock on the railway lines of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Please accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]
[Page 326]
[Enclosure]

Draft of Note From the Organization Committee of the Reparations Commission

To: The Supreme Council.

On the Creation of a Sub-Commission Charged With the Improvement of the Circulation of Rolling Stock on the Railway Lines of the Former Austro-Hungarian Empire

Whereas, one of the principal causes of the serious difficulties which are disturbing the economic life of the states of central Europe is the tendency which is sometimes manifested to withhold the railway cars which are on their territory, or enter it.

Whereas, there is at the present time no organization with sufficient authority to insure the indispensable circulation of the rolling stock of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Whereas, it would be advisable to create to that effect, a Commission which, besides, would be entirely separate from the Commission of Experts which is charged with the distribution of the Austro-Hungarian rolling stock, under the Presidency of Sir Francis Dent; and, whereas, nevertheless, Sir Francis Dent seems to be qualified to be also the President of this new Commission.

Whereas, on the other hand there is already in Vienna a sub-commission of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission, which was created in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Council,15 to study and propose the necessary measures to improve the revictualling of Austria; the organization committee of the Reparations Commission proposes to the Supreme Council the following decision:

1st.
—For the above mentioned purposes, a sub-commission will be instituted in Vienna in the shortest time possible, charged with insuring and regulating the circulation of rolling stock on all of the railway systems which were comprised within the frontiers of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
2nd.
—This sub-commission will be subordinated to the Vienna sub-commission of the organization committee of the Reparations Commission.
3rd.
—The Governments of the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Rumania, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Czecho-Slovak Republic, Austria and Hungary, will be invited by the Supreme Council to send representatives to this sub-commission.
The invitation to Hungary might be made through the intermediary of Sir George Clerk.
4th.
—This sub-commission will have to:
a)
Propose to the organization committee of the Separations Commission the suppression of all other Inter-Allied organizations and commissions, whose powers are apt to duplicate those of the new commission.
b)
Organize the control of the rolling stock, at the present frontiers of the various interested States.
c)
Assure the normal exchange and return of railway coaches and locomotives; with the right of eventually making remonstrances on this subject to all the states which are withholding some.
d)
Study and recommend all provisions intended to hasten the transports between the various interested regions, especially with a view to improving the revictualling.
e)
Propose all proper measures for the representation of the interests of Eastern Galicia.

Appendix L to HD–99

Note by the British Delegation

Information has been received from Copenhagen showing that the German authorities intend to demobilize some of their military and naval forces at Flensburg and to provide them with civilian occupations within the plebiscite area.

In the view of His Britannic Majesty’s Government it would be desirable to inform the German Government at once that this proceeding will not be allowed.

  1. See HD–32, minute 10, vol. vii, p. 706; HD–58, minute 3, vol. viii, p. 305; and HD–75, minute 2, ibid., p. 747.
  2. HD–75, minute 2, and appendix B, vol. viii, pp. 747 and 755.
  3. HD–58, minute 3, ibid., p. 305.
  4. Meeting of November 20, HD–97, minute 3, p. 238.
  5. Does not accompany the minutes in Department’s files.
  6. Minute 2, vol. vii, p. 957.
  7. Appendix A, p. 315.
  8. Appendices B and C to HD–80, vol. viii, pp. 863 and 865.
  9. HD–41, minute 2, vol. vii, p. 957; the text of the resolution is also attached to appendix A, ante, p. 315.
  10. HD–96, minute 5, p. 225.
  11. Appendix B to HD–75, vol. viii, p. 755.
  12. HD–75, minute 2, ibid., p. 747.
  13. Vol. viii, p. 816.
  14. This telegram transmitted the text of the proposals accepted by the Supreme Council on August 6, HD–25, minute 14, vol. vii, p. 563.
  15. For text, see appendix C to HD–37, ibid., p. 823.
  16. This note transmitted the text of the decision of the Supreme Council of September 29, HD–63, minute 2, vol. viii, p. 430.
  17. Appendix H to HD–94, p. 209.
  18. HD–66, minute 3, vol. viii, p. 508.