Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/101


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 Friday, November 28, 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
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta
      • M. Berthelot
      • M. de Saint Quentin
    • Italy
      • M. de Martino
    • Secretary
      • M. Trombetti
    • Japan
      • M. Matsui
    • Secretary
      • M. Kawai
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Capt. B. Winthrop
British Empire Capt. G. Lothian Small
France M. de Percin
Italy M. Zanchi
Interpreter—M. Mantoux

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

  • America, United States of
    • Rear-Admiral McCully, U. S. N.
    • Lieut-Commander Koehler, U. S. N.
    • Colonel J. A. Logan
    • Dr. J. B. Scott
    • Dr. I. Bowman
  • British Empire
    • Sir R. Tower
    • Mr. Palairat
    • Mr. A. Leeper
    • Mr. Carr
    • Captain Fuller, R. N.
    • Commander MacNamara, R. N.
    • Lieut-Colonel Kisch
  • France
    • M. Cambon
    • General LeRond
    • M. Kammerer
    • M. Leygues
    • Commandant LeVavasseur
  • Italy
    • Admiral Cagni
    • M. Ricci Busatti
    • M. Dell’Abbadessa
    • M. Stranieri
    • Capt. de Corvette Ruspoli
  • Japan
    • M. Shigemitsu

[Page 345]

1. M. Clemenceau asked M. George Leygues to discuss the last British proposal relative to the distribution of enemy surface warships, dated November 14th, (See Appendix “A”).

M. George Leygues said that for many months the naval experts had discussed the question of distribution of enemy warships without being able to reach an agreement. Great Britain and the United States were of the opinion that those ships should be destroyed. France asked to keep the ships which would be allotted to her, and desired, on the other hand, to obtain an additional share owing to its inability to build warships on account of the war, France having been forced to concentrate all her energies towards the production of war materiel, not only for herself but also for her Allies. Distribution of Enemy Warships

The British note of November 14th was an effort to bring together the different points of view and to come finally to an agreement. The French Navy was equally very desirous to settle a question which had been under discussion for such a long time, and although the British proposal did not agree on important questions with the French point of view, he felt ready on his part to accept it as a basis for discussion.

He then read and commented upon the different paragraphs of the British proposal.

M. Clemenceau said he did not understand the purpose of paragraph 6, which allotted to each one of the five Principal Allied and Associated Powers a certain number of ships for the period of one year.

Sir Eyre Crowe stated that it had been pointed out that certain Powers were anxious to have ships temporarily allotted, which they might use either for propaganda, or experimental purposes. The British Government did not, however, attach much importance to that proposal, and would not disapprove the omission of the paragraph in question.

M. Leygues said those ships might to some extent be considered as trophies. Furthermore, they might be of use from the point of view of instruction, and also for firing practice. He was not averse to accepting the paragraph as proposed by the British Delegation.

Mr. Polk said he would have to offer objections on certain points of the British proposal.

Sir Eyre Crowe remarked that under those circumstances, it would be preferable to discuss the proposal submitted to the Council paragraph by paragraph.

Captain Fuller then read paragraph 1 of the British proposal.

Mr. Polk wished to ask why the question of distribution of surface enemy warships had been treated separately from that of submarines. [Page 346] The American point of view was that the submarines should likewise be destroyed.

Captain Fuller said those two questions had always been discussed separately and it was to be feared that if they were to mix them up at this time, they would find it impossible to come to an agreement.

Mr. Polk asked what advantage there was in discussing those questions separately. Did certain Powers wish to keep enemy submarines?

M. Leygues stated that France and Italy desired to keep some. (Paragraph 1 was accepted):

Captain Fuller then read paragraph 2.

Mr. Polk said the American Government could not accept the ratio of two percent given to the United States, which it considered as being manifestly insufficient. The United States did not desire to keep those ships, but considered it was a question of principle which affected the national feeling. They had the impression that the basis adopted for the distribution was not fair. The amount of tonnage sunk ought not to be the only factor estimated, and they thought that other factors should be taken into account, such as the effort made by the different navies in the course of hostilities. America had thought that all those ships should be destroyed, and for that reason had not attached great importance to the question of distribution. But it was now different. He had made some mistakes in his life; and one of the mistakes he regretted the most was to have agreed to accept the principle that a reparation was due by the Germans for the sinking of their fleet at Scapa Flow.1 He did not wish to discuss anew a decision taken by the Supreme Council and which held; he could not but regret however that the Council should have thought it necessary to exact from Germany the delivery of a part of her civil materiel, which resulted in placing the Allies in a better situation than the one they had before the Scapa Flow incident, and which rewarded them to some extent with the crime committed by the Germans.

At any rate, he considered that the ratio of two percent attributed to the United States was not fair, and that they should get more.

Captain Fuller said they had only given round numbers, and for that reason the results indicated in the note were not absolutely final. Those figures, however, should not be greatly changed if the criterion of losses suffered by the different navies was maintained, which criterion had formed the basis for their work.

As far as the British share was concerned, they did not absolutely insist upon having a ratio of seventy percent given them, although that represented the exact percentage of their losses as compared with the losses of the other navies.

[Page 347]

Mr. Polk asked whether the naval experts could not examine once more those percentages and make the necessary changes.

Captain Fuller said that in order to accomplish that work successfully, they should know precisely what basis to adopt. It had been suggested on the American side that the national effort of the different Allies should be taken as a basis for distribution. It seemed, however, extremely difficult, if not impossible, to calculate the national effort of a Power, and they had preferred not to embark upon a course which would lead them to making delicate comparisons.

Mr. Polk stated his instructions did not allow him to accept the figure of 2%. He admitted that the national effort of the different Powers was indeed difficult to figure out and compare, but he thought that by discussing the question with the naval experts he might succeed in putting together the foundations of an agreement. He would find it impossible to make a definite proposal on that day, but he hoped to be able to do so the following day. He wished to repeat that as the United States meant to destroy their share of the enemy warships it only entailed as far as they were concerned a question of principle, but that question interested the national American feeling to a very high degree.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that before starting to change the percentage, it was necessary to agree on the general basis to be adopted.

M. Clemenceau thought it would be wise to adjourn the discussion of paragraph 2 of the British proposal until the next meeting. One might hope that in that time an agreement would be arrived at between Mr. Polk and the naval experts.

(The discussion of paragraph 2 of the British proposal was adjourned to the following day.)

Captain Fuller then read paragraph 3.

(The principle of paragraph 3 was adopted.)

Captain Fuller then read paragraph 4.

Mr. Polk said he did not object to accepting that paragraph; he, however, wished to state once more that they considered that a decision of the Council in demanding reparations from the Germans for the scuttling of their fleet at Scapa Flow had been a mistake. It was an entirely questionable principle, that of profiting by the enemy’s crimes in order to reward themselves.

(Paragraph 4 was adopted).

Captain Fuller then read paragraph 5.

(Paragraph 5 was adopted).

Captain Fuller then read the 6th and last paragraph of the British proposal.

Mr. Polk said he did not have any fundamental objection to that paragraph, but considered the wording might well be modified. He [Page 348] also made the same remark concerning paragraph 3. He would like to discuss that question of form with Captain Fuller and the naval experts.

Captain Fuller said there remained a question on which the naval experts wished to have the decision of the Supreme Council. A certain number of small Powers had requested to have enemy warships handed over to them. Some of those Powers had even put forward fairly extravagant claims, either for surface warships or for submarines. In case the Council should decide to refuse those requests, they still had to consider the question whether small patrol boats should be handed over to those Powers to be used for policing purposes.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that if they decided to grant the requests made them by the small Powers, they would have to decide whether the ships should be taken from the enemy fleet or ceded by the Allies.

M. Clemenceau said that the latter alternative presented certain disadvantages. He could not very well imagine, for example, the Italians offering patrol boats to the Yugo-Slavs.

M. de Martino said they should first ascertain whether the Yugo-Slavs had lost any ships. If they had suffered losses in ships of war, that could only have happened naturally in the course of fighting in which they had taken part as Austrians, that is as enemies fighting against the Allies. They, therefore, did not have any right to obtain ships in compensation of losses they had not suffered.

Admiral Cagni said that that case had already been examined in paragraph 2 of the British proposal under discussion. That paragraph specified which were the small Powers which had suffered losses and which consequently were entitled to compensation.

M. Clemenceau said he thought it very difficult to embark on a procedure which would lead to giving the small Powers which had not suffered losses during the war either a share of enemy warships or even small vessels intended to be used for police work. The case of Powers alluded to in paragraph 2 was, of course, reserved.

M. de Martino said that the British memorandum of October 10th had recognized the principle that none of the small Allied States which had not suffered losses should receive enemy warships. That principle had been adopted by the French and Italian Delegations. Naturally that was all the more applicable to new and to neutral States as paragraph “C” of the British note for that matter specified.

M. Clemenceau said he thought that the Council agreed in refusing the request of the small Powers, whether for warships or small patrol boats.

It was decided:

to adopt paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the British proposal dated November 14, 1919, relative to the distribution of enemy surface warships, [Page 349] paragraphs 3 and 6, however, being subject to modifications of form;
that Mr. Polk should examine with the naval experts the questions raised by paragraph 2 of the British proposal and that he should make a proposal on that subject at the next meeting of the council;
that the Powers, other than those referred to in paragraph 2, should be given neither ships of war nor ships intended for police work. (See Appendix “A”).

2. M. Cambon said that at its meeting of November 25th,2 the Supreme Council had adopted the following resolution concerning the negotiations between Poland and the City of Dantzig: Negotiations between Poland and the City of Dantzig

“It was decided:

(1) to accept textually the first two paragraphs of the resolution taken at the preceding meeting of the Council (H. D. 99, Minute 5, November 24th, 1919);3

(2) that the third paragraph of said resolution be modified to read as follows:

‘That prior to the opening of negotiations as provided for in the last paragraph, preparatory studies of a technical nature and preliminary discussions, to which the Allied Representative in the free city of Dantzig should be a party, take place at Dantzig. Within a maximum delay of two months after coming into force of the Treaty the said Representative should send to Paris, together 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 the preceding paragraph.’

(3) that the entire resolution be communicated on that day to the Polish Delegation, and that if said Delegation had any observations to present the Council would examine them at an early meeting.”

As he had been instructed by the Council, he had communicated the above resolution to M. Patek, who had been satisfied with it on the whole, but had expressed the desire to obtain two modifications relative to paragraph 3 of that resolution.

As indicated in the note which the Council had before it (See Appendix “B”), Mr. Patek desired it should be clearly brought out that only preparatory studies of a purely technical character should take place at Dantzig, and that political negotiations should be held in Paris. In order to avoid all misunderstanding on that point, Mr. Patek asked for the suppression, in paragraph 3, of the following words: “et des pourparlers” (English text: “and preliminary discussions”). Mr. Patek further asked that the period of two months within which the proposals prepared at Dantzig should be transmitted to Paris, be reduced to one month. He contended that the Polish situation was [Page 350] extremely precarious and that she had the greatest interest in being put in a position to profit without delay from all advantages that those negotiations might confer upon her.

Sir Eyre Crowe reminded the Supreme Council of his warning that if their decisions were continually submitted to the Poles for approval, they would receive a succession of objections. The Polish objection to the word “pourparlers” only reproduced the objection put forward by the American delegation. He was quite willing to omit the word. But if nothing was put in its place, the result would be to exclude the Poles themselves from the discussions at Dantzig; for “pourparlers” implied the participation of both parties, whilst “studies techniques” might be limited to one of the parties. Nor was it possible to admit the exclusion of “political” questions; in practice no hard-and-fast line could be drawn by questions which were political and questions which were economical. He would propose to adopt the following wording, which he thought would in substance meet all objections:

“3.—that, prior to the opening of negotiations as provided for in the last paragraph, preparatory studies of a technical nature in which representatives of Poland and of the free city of Dantzig participate, under the chairmanship of the Allied Representative at Dantzig, should take place at Dantzig;”

M. Cambon said he personally was of the opinion that Sir Eyre Crowe’s proposed modification should be accepted; it defined happily the situation, whilst satisfying the Polish request.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that on the second point raised by the Poles, he would remark that the period of two months which he himself had proposed, was far from being extravagant, considering that the negotiations were to take place between Poland and the city of Dantzig and that the latter had first of all to be constituted by the League of Nations. As a matter of fact, the period of two months was a maximum and there was nothing to prevent the negotiations being ended before that period expired.

M. Clemenceau was of the opinion that they should stand by the original period of two months.

It was decided:

to change the text of the first sentence of paragraph 3 of the resolution of November 24th, concerning the negotiations between Poland and the free city of Dantzig, as follows:

“(3) that, prior to the opening of negotiations as provided for in the last paragraph, preparatory studies of a technical nature in which representatives of Poland and of the free city of Dantzig participate, under the chairmanship of the Allied Representative at Dantzig, should take place at Dantzig;”

to maintain without modification the second sentence of paragraph 3 of the above mentioned resolution.

[Page 351]

3. M. Fromageot read and commented upon the note of the Drafting Committee, dated November 26th, relative to the exequaturs of foreign Consuls at Dantzig (See Appendix “C”).

Mr. Polk asked to be allowed to consider the question; he would make known to the Secretary General as soon as possible whether he could accept the text which was before the Council. Exequaturs of Foreign Consuls at Dantzig Prior to the Definite Establishment of Free City

It was decided:

to adopt the note of the Drafting Committee, dated November 27th [26th], relative to the exequatur of the Foreign Consuls at Dantzig (See Appendix “C”); under reserve of the final approval of Mr. Polk, who would communicate his point of view to the Secretary General ag soon as possible.

4. M. Fromageot read and commented upon the note of the French Delegation, dated November 27th, relative to the communication to Spain and to Sweden of Article 435 of Versailles (See Appendix “D”). Communication of Article 435 of the Treaty of Versailles to Spain and to Sweden

(After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to adopt the note of the French Delegation, dated November 27th, relative to the communication of Article 435 of the Treaty of Versailles to Spain and to Sweden (See Appendix “D”).

5. M. Berthelot read and commented upon a letter from the President of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission relative to the question (See Appendix “E”). Request of the Austrian Delegation for the Insertion of an Article in the Hungarian Treaty to Guarantee Food Supplies From Hungary to Austria

(After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to refer to the Economic Commission the letter of the President of the Committee on Organization of the Reparation Commission dated November 21st, relative to the request of the Austrian Delegation for the insertion of an article in the Hungarian Treaty to guarantee food supplies from Hungary to Austria. (See Appendix “E”).

6. Sir Eyre Crowe said, that he had received from the British Chargé d’Affaires at Bucharest a telegram indicating that the Allied note to the Roumanian Government4 had been delivered on November 24th. The Roumanians had professed to be at the height of a cabinet crisis, and that the new cabinet would need a few days to examine the note. Their argument seemed somehow to have impressed the Allied representatives at Bucharest. The British Chargé d’Affaires suggested that an additional period of two days be granted to the Roumanians. The Italian Minister, [Page 352] more generous, proposed to give them twenty days. It seemed to him that the Allied representatives at Bucharest did not quite realize the situation. The additional Protocol to the Treaty with Bulgaria gave Roumania a supplementary period of eight days in which to sign that diplomatic document. It was therefore absolutely necessary that the Roumanian answer arrive before the expiry of the period fixed by the Protocol. He thought it would be important to inform the Allied representatives at Bucharest of that situation. Roumanian Questions

M. Berthelot thought that the Council would agree to reckoning the period only from the day when the note had been handed to the Roumanian Government, that is to say, November 24th. Accepting that starting point, the period would expire on the following Tuesday, December 2nd, at midday. They ought to consider that, in his opinion, the Roumanians had not exceeded that period, provided their reply had left Bucharest before the 2nd of December at midday. The slowness of communications ought to be kept in mind and their reply might take 48 hours to arrive at Paris. In that case it would coincide almost exactly with the period fixed in the protocol and expiring on Friday, the 5th of December, at midday. They could make known to the Roumanians by their representatives at Bucharest that if the Supreme Council were not in possession by the 5th of December at midday of a satisfactory reply from the Roumanians the measures announced in the last note of the Allies would be put into effect. He had had a visit that morning from M. Antonescu. The latter had led him to understand that if he might let it be known at Bucharest, as his personal impression and without committing the Council in any way, that the Allies would be disposed to grant certain concessions in the Minorities Treaty, the acceptance of that Treaty by Roumania would be greatly facilitated. The points to which Roumania attached the greatest importance were:

First, the omission in the preamble of the following passage:

“Considering that, in the Treaty of Berlin, the independence of the Kingdom of Roumania had only been recognized conditionally;

Considering further, that the Principal Allied and Associated Powers wished to recognize the independence of the Kingdom of Roumania unconditionally, in its former and new territories.”

Second, the insertion in the preamble of a formula affirming that the Treaty had been accepted by Roumania only after discussion and agreement, in order to prevent Roumanian opinion from considering the Treaty as having been purely and simply imposed upon Roumania, That modification, like the previous one, seemed to him personally quite acceptable.

Third, the Roumanian Minister had asked finally—and this was more serious—for the omission of the two articles numbered 10 and 11 [Page 353] relative to the situation of the Jews. He also asked that the Allies consent to the insertion in the preamble of a sentence by which the Allied and Associated Powers would recognize the “décret loi” of May 22, 1919, concerning the status of Jews in Roumania.

Sir Eyre Crowe considered it quite possible to omit the two articles concerning Jews which had latterly been criticized as going into too much detail, all the more so as the Jews themselves did not seem to be particularly anxious to have those articles retained. On the other hand he saw great objection to inserting in the protocol a reference to the “décret loi” of May 22, 1919. That “décret loi” was, as a matter of fact, far from satisfying the Jews, and by making special reference to it, the Powers would seem to acknowledge that it was a sufficient concession on the part of the Roumanians. For that reason he did not think it possible to accept M. Antonescu’s suggestion but he would not object to the omission, pure and simple, of the 2 articles in the Treaty concerning Jews, the more so as general guarantees applying to all Minorities remained in force in the Treaty with Roumania and would constitute sufficient protection for the Jews.

M. Berthelot said that the French Delegation has accepted the 2 articles on the Jews so as not to differ from the majority of the Commission, but it was of the opinion that those articles were unnecessary, especially with regard to the recognition of the Sabbath as a legal holiday.

M. de Martino said that on the New States Commission, of which he had been a member, he had thought that in the interest of the Jews themselves it would be a mistake to ask special privileges for them. Such a way of acting could only end in deepening further the gulf which separated them from the rest of the population, with which on the contrary they should make an effort to identify themselves. In Jewish circles opinion was, for that matter, divided upon the expediency of such privileges; the more uncompromising Jews demanded them, but those of more liberal tendency did not wish even to hear about them. He, therefore, identified himself very willingly with the proposal to omit articles 10 and 11 dealing with the Jews.

Mr. Polk said that he saw no difficulty as far as concerned the preamble, but could they not for the Jews, adopt a text similar to that which occurred in the Greek Minorities Treaty.5

M. Berthelot said that in the Treaty with Greece articles specially referring to the Jews no longer appeared.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that Mr. Polk alluded to a text which had really figured in the draft Treaty with Greece, but which, for reasons unknown to him, had disappeared from the final text. In his opinion, [Page 354] it would be best that the New States Commission should meet that afternoon and try to agree on a text which would be submitted to the Council at its next meeting.

M. Kammerer said he thought he should point out that the omission in the Treaty with Roumania of articles concerning Jews might have its effect on the Treaty with Poland.6 Poland would not fail indeed to ask the omission of the guarantees she had granted to the Jewish element if it appeared that similar guarantees were not asked of Roumania.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the situation of the Jews in Poland was exceptionally unfavorable and that the regulations in favor of the Jews imposed upon Poland justified themselves.

He wished to return to the question of the time limit. Were they to grant an extension of two days to the Roumanians when the latter had not asked them for anything? That would seem to him extremely difficult. He would rather suggest that the Roumanians be informed through the Allied representatives at Bucharest that they could not modify the terms of their ultimatum which had been adopted only after ripe reflection, and that the Roumanian answer should be handed to the Allied representatives at Bucharest before December 2nd at midday. They ought to say in addition, for the sake of their representatives, that, the time limit laid down by the protocol expiring on December 5th at midday, the Roumanian answer should reach Paris before that date. They would further have to consider whether it would not be advisable, in the event of the situation not improving at Bucharest, to publish the last note of the Allies to Roumania. That was a question which they might well discuss at the next meeting.

It was decided:

to instruct the Allied representatives at Bucharest to inform the Roumanian Government that its answer should be delivered to them before December 2nd at midday;
to inform the Allied representatives at Bucharest that the Roumanian answer should be telegraphed without delay to Paris so as to reach the Council before December 5th at midday, on which date expires the time limit laid down in the additional protocol to the Treaty with Bulgaria for the signature of said Treaty by Rumania;
to refer to the New States Commission, which shall submit a report to the Council at its next meeting, the examination of changes requested by the Roumanian Delegation in the preamble and in the terms of the Minorities Treaty with Roumania.

(The meeting then adjourned).

Hotel de Crillon, Paris, November 28, 1919.

[Page 355]

Appendix A to HD–101

British Proposal Regarding the Distribution of Enemy Surface Warships

Enemy Surface Warships—Disposal and Distribution

[Here follow texts printed as appendices C and B to HD–94, pages 201 and 199.]

Appendix B to HD–101

polish delegation to
the peace conference

Monsieur le Président: Ambassador Jules Cambon, in his capacity as President of yesterday’s session of the Supreme Council read me the draft resolution with reference to negotiations relative to the Free City of Dantzig.7

Allow me to present the following observations on this draft:

1st, the most practical and the most just division of this work would be a division such as:

Preparatory work of a purely technical character,
Political negotiations.

It would be advisable to choose specialists for each category of work. (1) The technical work should be carried on by specialists at Dantzig as the nature of developments themselves require. (2) As for political questions they should be transferred to Paris and placed in the hands of statesmen who direct political matters. It would be useless to send to Dantzig the Commission of Experts and at the same time the Political Commission. It would be equally useless to commence political negotiations at Dantzig and then during the course of this work to transfer the experts to finish their work in Paris. Finally, it would be useless for the technical experts to commence preliminary pourparlers and elaborate other plans since these technical matters could be transmitted to the diplomats in Paris as a base for their political negotiations.

For all of the above reasons I have the honor to beg the Supreme Council to be good enough to change the draft so that only the preparatory work of a purely technical character shall be carried on in Dantzig, while the political work from beginning to end, that is to say, throughout its whole course, take place in Paris. It would be advisable then to strike out from the draft read me, in the third paragraph, the words “et des pourparlers préliminaires”.

[Page 356]

Permit me also to call the attention of the Supreme Council to the length of time which has been granted to the Commission for the Execution of its preliminary work.

This work is already for the greater part prepared by the interested parties so the work of the experts will not necessitate a great deal of time.

In any case it would be an easier matter for the experts to do their work a little less thoroughly than for the Polish population and the inhabitants of the Free City of Dantzig to remain expectant of the re-establishment of the reciprocal relations which they have already awaited so long.

For these reasons I have the honor to beg the Supreme Council to reduce to one month (in place of two months) the time designated for the preparatory work.

St. Patek

Délégué Plenipotentiaire de La Pologne

Appendix C to HD–101

drafting committee
of the conference

Note Relative to the Exequatur of Foreign Councils [Consuls] at Danzig

The Drafting Committee thinks that, during the period from the coming into force of the Peace Treaty with Germany to the definite establishment of a status of the free city of Danzig, the delivery of exequatur will be incumbent upon the representative of the principal Allied and Associated Powers to which the sovereignty is transferred by Article 100 of the said Treaty.

For the Drafting Committee
Henri Fromageot

Appendix D to HD–101

Note From the French Delegation

Notification of Article 435 to Spain and Sweden

The Swiss Minister at Paris has been entrusted with asking the French Government if it did not deem it the proper time to invite the signatory Powers of the Treaties and Acts of 18158 mentioned in [Page 357] Article 435 of the Treaty of Versailles, but not signatories of this latter Treaty, to adhere to the provisions of the said Article 435.

Pursuant to these steps, the French Delegation asked the Drafting Committee what procedure should be adopted. The Drafting Committee agreed that a note might be addressed, through the French Government, to the Spanish and Swedish representatives at Paris, and to this effect it approves the enclosed text.

The French Delegation has the honor to propose to the Supreme Council, should it deem that the time has come to take the steps requested by the Swiss Government, to authorize the French Government to hand the Spanish Ambassador and the Swedish Minister at Paris a note drawn up in the terms approved by the Drafting Committee.

Spanish Ambassador

Swedish Legation

Verbal Note

Questions of Zones:—

The Peace Treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers, of the one part, and Germany of the other part, signed at Versailles June 28, 1919, includes in its article 435, a clause according to the terms of which the High Contracting Powers while recognizing the guarantees for Switzerland stipulated in 1815, declare that they abrogate the provisions of the acts and treaties of 1815 relative to the neutral zone of Savoie, as well as the free zones of Upper Savoie and the Gex district. The same clause is duplicated in Article 375 of the Peace Treaty with Austria, signed at St. Germain-en-Laye, September 10, 1919. These stipulations are appended in a certified true copy of Article 435 of the Treaty of Versailles and its annexes.

It has been agreed with the Swiss Government that the Powers not signatory to the Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, who signed the Treaties of 1815 and the declaration of November 20, 1815, mentioned in articles 435 and 375 above referred to, will be requested, through the French Government to kindly adhere to the stipulations of these articles.

For the Spanish Embassy: Spain, while not having signed the final act of the Congress of Vienna, having later given its adhesion, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic has the honor to beg His Excellency the Ambassador of Spain to kindly ask the Royal Government to also give its adhesion to the appended stipulation.

M. Pichon is pleased to take this opportunity to renew to His Excellency Monsieur Quinones de Leon the assurances, etc. …

[Page 358]

For the Swedish Legation: The Swedish Government having signed the final act of the Congress of Vienna of June 9, 1815, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic has the honor to beg the Swedish Minister to be kind enough to ask his government to give its adhesion to the appended stipulation.

M. Pichon is pleased, etc. …

Appendix E to HD–101

peace conference
organization committee
of the
reparations commission

French Secretariat
No. 1231

From: M. Loucheur, Minister of Industrial Reconstruction.

To: President of the French Delegation with the Supreme Council.

Mr. Eichhoff, Plenipotentiary of the Austrian Republic, has deemed it advisable to inform me and I think it proper to transmit to you a few observations relative to possibilities which he hopes to find in the peace negotiations with Hungary for the improvement of food conditions in Austria.

Before the dismemberment of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Vienna and the Alpine countries, which constitute the present territory of the Republic, received their supplies of flour, meat, fat and dairy products from Hungary as they procured coal from the regions which today form part of Czecho-Slovakia and Poland. As regards coal, Art. 224 of the Peace Treaty with Austria formally guaranteed exportation from Czecho-Slovak and Polish mines to Austria. M. Eichhoff asks that in the future Treaty with Hungary an article be inserted similar to the article mentioned treating with the exportation of Hungarian foodstuffs to Austria. Of course, in compensation, this article would also contain a provision guaranteeing the Hungarian State rights corresponding to the demands stipulated iii favor of Austria; effectively, this provision would guarantee to Hungary such industrial products and especially agricultural implements which Austria usually furnishes her.

M. Eichhoff thinks that such an arrangement would contribute to bringing back to work the agricultural populations in Hungary and the industrial in Austria, and in case the Peace Conference should care to approve it, he would be at the disposition of the latter to determine the drafting of a text corresponding to his suggestion.

  1. HD–79, minute 2, vol. viii, p. 834.
  2. HD–100, minute 7, p. 333.
  3. Ante, p. 312.
  4. Appendix A to HD–93, p. 182.
  5. Appendix F to HD–82, vol. viii, p. 922.
  6. Signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919, Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1910–1923, vol. iii, p. 3714.
  7. HD–100, minute 7, p. 333.
  8. Declaration regarding the Helvetic Confederation, March 20, 1815, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. ii, p. 142; Protocol regarding Cessions to Geneva, March 29, 1815, ibid., p. 149; Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, June 9, 1815, ibid. p. 3; Act of November 20, 1815, ibid., vol. iii, p. 359.