Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/103

HD–103

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, December 1, 1919, at 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. F. L. Polk
    • Secretary
      • Mr. L. Harrison
    • British Empire
      • Sir Eyre Crowe
    • Secretaries
      • Mr. H. Norman
      • Sir George Clerk
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta
      • M. Berthelot
      • M. Arnavon
      • M. de Percin
    • Italy
      • M. de Martino
    • Secretary
      • M. Trombetti
    • Japan
      • M. Matsui
    • Secretary
      • M. Kawai
Joint Secretariat
America, United States of Capt. G. A. Gordon
British Empire Capt. Hinchley Cooke
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
    • Admiral McCully, U. S. N.
    • Mr. E. L. Dresel
    • Dr. J. B. Scott
    • Lieut-Commander Koehler, U. S. N.
    • Mr. A. W. Dulles
    • Captain H. Pierce
  • British Empire
    • General Sackville-West
    • Captain Fuller, R. N.
    • Lieut-Colonel Black
    • Sir P. Loraine
    • Mr. E. H. Carr
    • Mr. H. W. Malkin
  • France
    • Marshal Foch
    • M. Cambon
    • General Weygand
    • General Le Rond
    • M. Laroche
    • M. Fromageot
  • Italy
    • General Cavallero
    • Admiral Grassi
    • M. Ricci-Busatti
    • M. Vannutelli-Rey
    • M. Stranieri
    • Commander Fea
  • Japan
    • M. Shigemitsu
    • M. Nagaoka

1. (The Council had before it a report from Sir George Clerk to the President of the Conference, dated November 29th, 1919 (See Appendix “A”). Sir George Clerk’s Report on Hungarian Affairs

Sir George Clerk summarized the report sent by him to the Council and brought out the following additional points. In his report he had mentioned the respective positions of M. Friedrich and M. Huszar and had shown how difficult it was to obtain the collaboration in the same Government of the leaders of the National Christian Party and the National Democratic and Jew leaders. Personal differences had furthermore added complications to party questions. He wished to draw the Council’s attention to the unique situation in the country occupied by Archduke Joseph. It was true that he was a Hapsburg but he had always lived in Budapest; he had formerly been Palatine of Hungary and he was considered a true Hungarian. Moreover, he had been opposed to the Hapsburgs at Vienna. Archduke Joseph had taken an important part in making M. Friedrich understand the real situation. He (Sir George Clerk) had likewise pointed out in his report how greatly his mission had been helped by the position which the Allied and Associated Generals and Admiral Troubridge had acquired at Budapest. The Generals and the Admiral enjoyed in Hungary a reputation for impartiality which gave special weight to their opinions. In case the Council considered that the Mission of the Generals had now come to an end, and if it decided to recall them, it would be well to leave there some officers who had been on that Mission. It should not be forgotten that the Generals had collected a mass of documents, relating especially to the conditions under which the Roumanian requisitions were effected and to the requisitions themselves. These documents might be of great use in the future. In any event, he thought that if the Generals left Budapest the Allied and Associated Powers should replace them by High Commissioners and that some officers who had been on duty with that Mission should be placed under them. These Commissioners should be charged with the duty, and that would give the Hungarians a high opinion of the Allies’ sense of justice, of establishing the events which had happened in the regions occupied by the troops of [Page 386] states bordering on Hungary. He had acquired the conviction at Budapest that the Hungarians were prepared to accede to the Council’s demand that peace be signed. But there were two points to which they seemed to attach great importance, and which they would like the Council to examine before the terms of the Treaty were settled. In the first place, his attention had been called to the work accomplished by the hydrographic service of the old regime. If Hungary did not constitute a unit from the ethnographical point of view, it undoubtedly did constitute one from geographical and economic points of view. The remarkable work accomplished throughout all Hungary by the hydrographic service had been carried out on a unique plan. It was greatly to be feared that if the maintenance of this work were left to the new states receiving parts of former Hungarian territory the whole system would soon be broken down. He thought it important that a permanent regime be organized which should be charged with ensuring the upkeep and development of the work accomplished in that line by the former Government. The second question raised was as to the Presidency of the Hungarian Delegation which would be sent to conclude a Treaty of Peace. For the reasons indicated in his report the Hungarians would like the Delegation to be headed by Count Apponyi who had played a great part in the recent negotiations. Unfortunately, however, Count Apponyi had a bad reputation in western Europe, and he himself was well aware of it. Nevertheless it was true that he and Count Andrassy, were perhaps the only Hungarians possessing a true knowledge of the general European situation. If he were to accept the Presidency of the Hungarian Delegation, Apponyi would be obeying his sense of duty alone. He would be guided by no personal ambition. The economic situation of Hungary like that of Austria, was desperate, unless the Allies could see their way to giving it financial aid. The territory which remained Hungarian could furnish no indispensable raw materials and the situation was all the more serious since there was scarcely any more Hungarian rolling stock in existence. It was essential to send immediately to Hungary at least the material necessary for the reparation of locomotives and cars which still remained. Finally he did not wish to fail to point out to the Council that all Hungarian public opinion was extremely eager for the return of the Hungarian and Austrian prisoners in Siberia, as to whose fate there was great anxiety. To sum up, he brought back from Budapest the impression that the Hungarians were inspired in general with a desire to collaborate with the Allies. They were beginning to realize the error they had committed, the responsibility for which, moreover, they were now placing on Austrian policy. They hoped that the Allies would help them and [Page 387] give them a chance to prove their good will, otherwise, following Austria, they would have to lean towards Germany.

Mr. Polk asked Sir George Clerk if the Serbs were still occupying the Pecs mines.

Sir George Clerk answered that they were.

Mr. Polk thought it important that the Council reach a decision in that matter, requesting the Serbs to retire.

Sir Eyre Crowe observed that the question had last been referred to the Commission on Roumanian and Jugo-slav Affairs.

M. Clemenceau suggested that that Commission be asked to submit a report the following day.

Mr. Polk asked if Sir George Clerk had thought it necessary that General Bandholtz should remain at Budapest until the arrival of the civilian Allied High Commissioners or would it suffice to keep a field officer there who might not be a General.

Sir George Clerk said he only meant that it was necessary for someone to remain; he personally would recommend retaining at Budapest a field officer and several subaltern officers of each nation, so that the latter could be sent on missions throughout the country.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that Sir George Clerk had not indicated in his report what procedure he advised for entering into negotiations with Hungary. He wished to know whether it was possible to ask the Hungarian Government to send its representatives.

Sir George Clerk replied that the Hungarians were ready and were awaiting the invitation of the Council.

M. de Martino observed that they could be asked to come immediately.

M. Clemenceau said that it was merely necessary to send them a letter inviting them to come on a given date to a given place. Sir George Clerk had spoken a little while before of Count Apponyi. Personally he was not one of his admirers but it seemed to him very difficult to prevent his coming. The Council had never told enemy States how their Delegations should be composed and moreover he was not sure that any right existed to tell them to send such or such a person.

Sir George Clerk observed that Count Apponyi did not wish to come if his presence would be distasteful to the Supreme Council.

M. Clemenceau thought that the Hungarians were entitled to do what they thought best for their cause.

M. Berthelot observed that Count Apponyi could be reproached with always having been a rabid Germanophile and an ardent advocate of the oppression of small nationalities; evidently these facts did not recommend him to the Council.

[Page 388]

M. Clemenceau replied that that was true, but that he did not feel sure of the tendencies of the other persons who might be sent.

Mr. Polk thought that if Count Apponyi was allowed to come it would be the surest way of destroying his popularity in Hungary.

M. de Martino agreed with Sir George Clerk’s suggestion.

Sir George Clerk remarked that, as M. Clemenceau had said, it was a question for the Hungarians to decide.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he saw some objections to Apponyi just as M. Berthelot had done, but after all he thought that this question concerned the Hungarians alone.

M. Clemenceau said that the Council then had nothing to say to the Hungarians except that they should send their Delegation. In the event of their consulting Sir George Clerk as to the effect which might be produced if Count Apponyi or any other individual should head their Delegation he thought that Sir George Clerk should reply that he was not competent to answer. He asked what date should be set for summoning the Hungarians.

Sir Eyre Crowe thought it was not necessary to specify a date.

M. Clemenceau said that that was true and that it would suffice to ask them to come as soon as possible.

M. Berthelot read a draft telegram to be sent to Hungary in clear over the American wire (See Appendix “B”).

M. Clemenceau said that it was then agreed that the Hungarians should be asked to come to the Chateau de Madrid at Neuilly. He added that the Council thanked Sir George Clerk for his report and for the manner in which he had accomplished his Mission.

Mr. Polk said that in view of the remarkable way in which Sir George Clerk had accomplished his Mission he thought the Council would doubtless see fit to formally put on record its especial thanks.

(This was agreed to.)

It was decided:

to send to the Hungarian Government a telegram (See Appendix “B”) notifying it to send to Neuilly as soon as possible its representatives to receive the conditions of Peace.

2. (The Council had before it a letter from Marshal Foch to the President of the Conference dated November 27th, 1919 (See Appendix “C”).

M. Clemenceau summarized Marshal Foch’s letter. Letter From Marshal Foch on the Military Situation in Germany

General Weygand read a draft note which the Marshal proposed to send to the German Government.

Mr. Polk said he had no objections to make, but that in view of the present attitude of the German Government, he wondered if it were [Page 389] wise to send it any more notes. He felt, however, that that was a question to be decided by the British and French Governments.

M. Clemenceau admitted that the attitude of the German Government was not good, but felt that that was no reason why it should not be warned that the Council was not deceived as to what was going on. They could not do more for the moment but he felt that they should not do less.

Sir Eyre Crowe approved the draft note which had just been read.

M. de Martino also felt that it was fitting to recall the Germans to their duty. However, it should not be forgotten that the internal situation of Germany was a difficult one. There was a party which seized all pretexts for retarding the putting into force of the Treaty; care should be taken not to play into its hands.

M. Clemenceau said that nothing was being done except to keep an account of German shortcomings with respect to the Armistice and the Treaty. He thought that such an account was necessary.

It was decided:

to adopt the draft note to the German Government prepared by Marshal Foch (See Appendix “D”).

3. (The Council had before it a letter from Marshal Foch to the President of the Conference, dated November 28th, 1919, (See Appendix “E”). Relations Between the Esthonian Government and General Yudenitch

Marshal Foch read and commented upon that letter. He added that he had just received a telegram from General Yudenitch1 setting forth his difficulties and asking, in case it was not desired to let him remain in Esthonia, that he be transported elsewhere with his troops, for instance, to the territories under General Denikin’s control. In view of the rapid march of events, he (Marshal Foch) thought that it would be well, without further delay, to inform the Esthonian Government that General Niessel was directed by the Council to intervene in the matter and that from now on the Conference invited the Esthonian Government to hold in abeyance all measures relative to the disarmament of General Yudenitch’s army. To sum up, he proposed: first, that General Niessel, as soon as he should have settled matters in Courland—which apparently would be on or about December 15th—should be sent to Esthonia to negotiate an agreement between the Esthonian Government and General Yudenitch; secondly, that in the meantime, the Esthonian Government be invited by General Niessel’s representative on the spot to hold in abeyance all hasty measures which it might [Page 390] take against General Yudenitch, until the Conference, which was considering the question, should intervene.

Mr. Polk had no objections with respect to the second proposal. As to the first, he felt that he could not accept it without referring it to his Government, since it was tantamount to giving General Niessel a political mission, whereas, it had formerly been stipulated that the General should not have any mission of that nature.

Sir Eyre Crowe, although he had no personal objections to the proposed procedure, felt himself to be in a similar situation. He would have to refer the matter to his Government, which had formerly demanded that it be clearly understood that General Niessel’s Mission should have nothing to do with the Russian side of the Baltic problem. On the other hand, he thought that it would be well to ask the Esthonian Government immediately to hold in abeyance all hasty measures.

M. de Martino had no objections to the Marshal’s proposals.

M. Matsui associated himself with the opinion expressed by Sir Eyre Crowe.

M. Clemenceau stated that the Council was therefore agreed to approve in principle Marshal Foch’s second proposal.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that that was so, but that it was to be clearly understood that the Esthonian Government would not be told that the Niessel Mission was to settle the question.

It was decided:

to request the Esthonian Government to hold in abeyance, until further notice, all hasty measures against General Yudenitch and his army, and to inform it that the Council had taken the question under consideration. (See Appendix “E”).

4. (The Council had before it a draft form of organization of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control in Bulgaria, prepared by the military, naval and air representatives at Versailles dated November 24th, 1919 (See Appendix “F”). Organization of Inter-Allied Commissions of Control in Bulgeria

(After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to approve the draft form of organization of Inter-Allied Commissions of Control, provided for in Articles 94 to 100 of the Bulgarian Treaty of Peace, prepared by the military, naval and air representatives at Versailles, (See Appendix “F”).)

5. (The Council had before it a note from the German Delegation dated November 27th, 1919. (See Appendix “G”).) Reply to the German Note on the Scapa Flow Incident

M. Berthelot said that a draft reply had been prepared but that upon examination, in agreement with the legal experts, it had seemed that this draft did not exactly meet the situation. It had especially made no [Page 391] allusion to a phrase in the German note of September 3rd, which established the general responsibility of the German Government in that affair. He proposed that the Drafting Committee be charged with preparing a new note, which moreover, could be very brief.

Sir Eyre Crowe observed that the Drafting Committee could confer with the naval experts.

It was decided:

that the Drafting Committee, in agreement with the naval experts, should prepare and submit to the Council at its next meeting a draft note to the German Government in reply to the German note of November 27th, 1919, concerning the Scapa Flow incident.

6. (The Council had before it a note from the German Delegation, dated November 27th, 1919 (See Appendix “H”, and a draft reply to that note (See Appendix “I”).) Reply to the German Note Regarding Prisoners of War

Clemenceau said that the Council had before it the draft reply which had been prepared, but before any discussion thereof he wished to make a preliminary statement. The French Government in no wise desired to hold the German prisoners, who required 40,000 men to guard them, and whose presence was becoming objectionable to the inhabitants of the devastated regions. But he felt that it was not possible under existing circumstances to repatriate those prisoners in contravention of the terms of the Treaty.

Mr. Polk remarked that he had not had time to acquaint himself with the draft reply. He had no doubt that it would be satisfactory and he would send his reply to the Secretary General during the course of the afternoon.

M. Clemenceau said that as soon as Mr. Polk’s acceptance was received he thought that it would be advantageous to publish the note.

It was decided:

to adopt the draft reply to the German note of November 27th, 1919, concerning prisoners of war and to publish it, with the reservation that Mr. Polk in the course of the afternoon would notify the Secretary General of the Conference of his decision.

7. (The Council had before it a letter from General Tcherbatcheff to Marshal Foch, dated November 17th, 1919 (See Appendix “J”), and transmitted by a letter of Marshal Foch to the President of the Conference (See Appendix “K”).) Letter From General Tcherbatcheff Relative to Stocks of Russian Cartridges in Germany

General Weygand read and commented upon the letter of General Tcherbatcheff. He observed that the question was not a new one: General Dupont had formerly pointed out that the Germans to whom these cartridges had been sold were proceeding to destroy them. On November 1st Marshal Foch had warned the German Government that it should not [Page 392] authorize the destruction of these cartridges. Moreover, on November 10th the Council had forbidden the manufacture in Germany of materiel destined for General Denikin’s army.2 At the present moment, following upon that decision, General Tcherbatcheff was asking for authority to buy Russian cartridges from the individuals who were withholding them. Marshal Foch thought it impossible to authorize the sale by Germans to Russians of material which, according to the terms of the Treaty, belonged to the latter.

Sir Eyre Crowe stated that what General Weygand had just said became true from the date of the entry into force of the Treaty. It should not be forgotten that that material had been ceded to Germany by virtue of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.3 That Treaty, it was true, was to be annulled by the Treaty of Versailles, but it would only be annulled after the entrance into force of the latter.

General Weygand replied that Sir Eyre Crowe was evidently right from a legal point of view, but it seemed to him difficult to authorize the Germans to sell materiel which in a week perhaps might become Russian property. Moreover, it was undoubtedly true that General Denikin needed ammunition, but the assembling of that ammunition, dispersed in Germany, would be a long process; consequently, it could not prove an immediate help to General Denikin. By refusing General Tcherbatcheff’s request General Denikin would not be directly harmed. The day the Treaty came into force it would become the duty of the Military Commission of Control to recover this ammunition and give it the destination provided by the Treaty.

M. Clemenceau said it was evident that if General Denikin did not immediately need those cartridges, his request might be refused. If, on the contrary, he needed them at once it seemed to him that a reply might be sent to General Tcherbatcheff saying that he was free to buy, but that he should also remember that as soon as the Treaty came into force those cartridges had to be delivered to him. He was afraid that a categorical refusal might be badly interpreted by General Denikin.

Mr. Polk said that if there was any way of working out this matter it should be done.

General Weygand said that it was therefore proper to write General Tcherbatcheff showing him the difficulties raised by his request and giving him a free choice in the matter.

It was decided:

that Marshal Foch should inform General Tcherbatcheff of the difficulties raised by his request, at the same time advising him that the Allied and Associated Governments did not oppose the purchase [Page 393] for the account of General Denikin from the Germans, who were withholding them, of Russian cartridges which General Denikin might urgently need.

8. M. Cambon said that at the last meeting of the Council the American Delegate had made reservations relative to the draft protocol submitted to the Council.4 He wished to point out that on September 25th, the Council approved Poland Report No. 6 of the Commission on Polish Affairs.5 That report contained a description of the eastern frontiers of Poland. He thought that it would be rather difficult for the Council to now reconsider the decision then taken. Determination of Eastern Frontiers of Poland

Mr. Polk pointed out that there was a slight misunderstanding. He had never objected to the decision of September 25th; he had merely asked if it was necessary to notify the Polish Government of that decision in the solemn form of a protocol.

M. Cambon said that he believed, indeed, that a protocol was not necessary and that a decision of the Council would suffice.

M. Clemenceau suggested that M. Cambon come to an agreement with the Drafting Committee and submit a draft to the Council at its next meeting.

It was decided:

that the Drafting Committee, in agreement with the Committee on Polish Affairs, should submit to the Council at its next meeting a draft form of notification to the Polish Government of the decisions of the Council concerning the eastern frontiers of Poland.

9. (The Council had before it a letter from M. Plamenatz to the President of the Conference, dated November 26th, 1919 (See Note From Appendix “L”). Note From Montenegro Relative to the Possible Signature of a Separate Peace With Germany, Austria and Bulgaria

M. Berthelot thought that the best course would be to simply ignore the letter which the Council had before it.

Sir Eyre Crowe agreed.

M. de Martino agreed, but wished to know if the Council intended to take up the examination of the Montenegrin question which had to be settled some day.

M. Clemenceau said that that was another question. If the Italian Government wished to bring up that problem it should make some proposal on the subject.

It was decided:

that no reply should be sent to the letter from M. Plamenatz threatening the Allied and Associated Powers with a separate peace between Montenegro and Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria.

[Page 394]

10. Mr. Polk said that as the Drafting Committee was present it might perhaps give some information to the Council as to the points in the Hungarian Treaty upon which no decision had yet been reached. Hungarian Treaty

M. Fromageot replied that the Treaty was ready except the reparation and financial clauses as to which, in spite of repeated attempts, he had been unable to receive any definite reply from the Commissions concerned. Moreover, his Committee had prepared Article 207, similar to Article 224 of the Austrian Treaty, but that article had still to be approved by the Council. Finally, pursuant to the task given it of preparing for the Hungarian Treaty an article which would not prejudge the final solution of the Fiume problem, his Committee had drafted an article which it was prepared to submit to the Council, and with reference to which the members of the Drafting Committee were in agreement on all save very minor points.

M. Clemenceau thought that the Council could consider all those questions at its next session.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the Reparation Commission should be asked to present its report on the following day.

It was decided:

(1)
that the Council should examine at an early meeting the articles of the Hungarian Treaty on which no decision had yet been reached;
(2)
that the competent Commissions which had not yet done so should immediately submit their reports to the Council.

(The meeting then adjourned).

Appendix A to HD–103

[Report of Sir George Clerk on Hungarian Affairs]

Monsieur le Président du Conseil: In pursuance of the instructions of the Supreme Council6 I arrived in Budapest on October 23 last, in order to put before the Government of M. Friedrich the conditions under which the Supreme Council would be prepared to treat with the Hungarian Government.

The main condition was that such a Government must include representatives of the different political parties in Hungary, It also must be such as to satisfy the Supreme Council that it was able [Page 395] to maintain law and order, to hold elections based on universal suffrage, in a free, impartial and democratic manner, and be prepared to send delegates to Paris to negotiate the peace with the Allies.

It is unnecessary for me to give a long account of the tedious and difficult negotiations which were necessary before this result could be achieved, but it may be desirable to explain briefly the reasons why the negotiations were long and difficult.

Over four years of unsuccessful war, and the collapse of the whole administrative machine under the revolutionary Government of Michael Karolyi, followed by a communist regime, which again was immediately succeeded by the Roumanian occupation, had reduced the Hungarian spirit to a condition of apathy and depression which it required pressure from outside to rouse to action. On the other hand the Communist Regime, of which the most prominent leaders were Jews, and its association with certain members of the Social-Democratic Party, had produced an inevitable reaction. Feeling throughout the country was excited to the highest pitch and very little would have led to an outburst of wild fanaticism. Moreover, M. Friedrich, the titular Minister-President had become in the minds of the vast majority of the Hungarian people the symbol of this reaction against Jewish and Communist influence and anything that had the appearance of attacking or weakening his position was liable to be misinterpreted and to arouse an outburst of unreflecting but none the less dangerous, chauvinism.

Another element in the situation, which had to be taken seriously into account, was the attitude of M. Friedrich, as expressed in the course of an interview which I had with him immediately on my arrival in Budapest. M. Friedrich asserted that during the three months for which his Government retained office, the whole country had rallied almost unanimously to his banner; the different Christian parties had fused together into a solid block which stood behind him. Personally he was ready to do his best to meet the desires of the Entente, but he was no longer a free agent, as he had been when be assumed power, but merely the trusted spokesman of the Christian National Block. He had already gone as far as possible in broadening the basis of his Government, but any attempt, even if made by himself, to introduce a Social-Democrat or a Jew, or any individual even remotely connected in the popular mind with the Communist regime was foredoomed to failure. His followers simply would not hear of it, and his action must be guided by their will. If amalgamation with the Extreme Left were contemplated, then he preferred to hand over the Government of the country to the Allied and Associated Powers, failing which he would go into opposition to any Government which might take office, and the whole Christian National [Page 396] Block would follow him. Lastly: M. Friedrich sought to impress upon me the magnitude of the service which he had rendered to the Entente by refusing repeated and tempting offers of direct negotiation with Roumania and hinted that any other Government but his was likely to succumb to them.

It was, therefore, necessary to move carefully and to work so that the country gradually awoke to the fact that the wishes of the Entente were not directed against the feelings of the Hungarian people, but were solely intended that those sections of the Hungarian people who were all classed together as enemies of the State, should not suffer injustice when the elections came to be held.

But it was immediately clear to me that nothing effective could be done so long as the dead-weight of the Roumanian occupation lay upon the country. One after the other, leading Hungarians of independent views, said the same thing to me—that it was useless to try to modify or reconstruct the Friedrich Government while the Roumanian occupation continued. To do so would inevitably involve disturbance and possibly worse, while, if a new Government resulted, which was in itself doubtful, that Government would lose its authority in a day, once it were seen that the Roumanians still remained. Moreover, it was obviously impossible to hold proper elections in any district still occupied by foreign troops. I had, therefore, no hesitation from the outset in urging the earliest possible withdrawal of the Roumanian troops upon the Roumanian authorities in Budapest. It was true that this involved a certain risk. In the unoccupied provinces, and to some extent in Budapest itself, there was much wild talk about the fate in store for the Communists and Jews, and in the capital the Jewish and Social-Democratic sections of the people looked forward with great anxiety to the day when the Roumanians would leave and Horthy’s “White” army come in. On the other hand the organization of the gendarmerie and the police was under the supervision of the Inter-Allied Mission of Generals, who were sufficiently confident of the behaviour of these forces to confirm my intention to take the risk. There remained Horthy’s army. Admiral Horthy came to see me at my request from his headquarters and in the course of a long conversation, I became convinced of his sincerity and patriotism, and above all of his complete recognition of the fact that it would be fatal for Hungary if disorders or abuses followed on the arrival of his troops in Budapest.

In taking this decision, I realized that I was throwing away the best lever with which to secure the withdrawal of M. Friedrich, for I could have used the departure of the Roumanians as a bargain and I could have easily brought about a change of Government. But I felt the gravest objections to putting the Roumanians in any way into a position [Page 397] which would enable them to say that their stay in Hungary was undertaken or prolonged at the request of the Allies. It would have been fatal to put the Allies under any obligation to Roumania. I, therefore, steadily pressed for their immediate evacuation.

Meanwhile, as it became clearer that the Roumanians were really going, the attitude of M. Friedrich and his immediate supporters stiffened. More than once I received assurances that once the departure of the Roumanians was definite he would be prepared to meet the wishes of the Allies in every way, and resign his office. But with that departure, there came an instantaneous change which, with the experience that I had acquired of M. Friedrich’s character and political tactics, caused me no surprise. There was now, according to M. Friedrich, no reason why he should not remain in office, as desired by practically the whole country, and although the Allies certainly wanted peace, Hungary could quite well get along without it. Fortunately there were in Hungary people of wider political experience and M. Friedrich was gradually forced to see that he must make an attempt to meet the wishes of the Allies. I cannot say that the attempt was undertaken very wholeheartedly. It ended with an invitation to the actual party leaders, sent on by M. Friedrich without my knowledge, to meet at my house in a conference, which was so arranged as to lead inevitably to a deadlock. M. Friedrich would then have been able to turn to me and say that I myself was a witness of how his best efforts were useless and that the only chance for the country was to retain a Government which represented 80 or 90 per cent of the population. This Conference was to meet at 5 p.m. on Nov. 18th. To checkmate this manoeuvre, I invited about 40 of the leading Hungarians to meet me informally at 3 p.m. on the same day, in order that I might put before them the situation in Hungary as I saw it. The Friedrich Party came to this meeting with the definite decision that M. Friedrich must remain Minister-President, or the whole Christian National Block would go into opposition. I spoke very plainly, and at least made the Friedrich party see that Hungary must have peace. I then left those present to discuss the position amongst themselves. The discussion lasted till late in the evening and swallowed up the proposed inter-party conference which M. Friedrich had called together. The position that evening was that Count Apponyi, nominated by the Extreme Left Social-Democratic Wing, was generally accepted by all parties outside the Christian National Block as the man who should form a Coalition Government corresponding to the wishes of the Allies. Even in the Christian National Block a large number of leading men were prepared to accept Count Apponyi, but the party as a whole insisted that if it was really impossible to keep M. Friedrich as their leader, the new Minister-President [Page 398] must at least come from the party. The Conference was resumed at my house next day and resulted in the agreement of all parties to accept M. Huszar, Minister of Education in the Friedrich Government, as Minister-President, provided that he could form a Government of all parties which would be acceptable to the country and agreeable to the Allies.

The hope and expectation of M. Friedrich and his immediate adherents was that that task would prove impossible, and would break M. Huszar’s political neck, for he was by far M. Friedrich’s most dangerous competitor for leadership. His rivals counted, soundly enough, on the fact that the Social-Democrats, who would have come in almost without terms under Count Apponyi, would exact so high a price from M. Huszar that the Christian National Party would be bound to refuse to pay it. Moreover the five parties of the Left had formed themselves into a block and announced their intention of standing or falling as a whole.

However, in the end M. Huszar succeeded, although his negotiations were almost ruined at the last moment. The Social Democrats insisted that the portfolio of Justice must be given to M. Barczy, a former Burgomaster of Budapest, a leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, and a representative of M. Vaszonyi, the Jewish leader, who had left the country. Such a nomination aroused a storm in the Christian National Block—indeed a week earlier it would have been unthinkable—and the whole fabric threatened to collapse. M. Huszar came to me in despair and I at once gave him a letter congratulating him on his success in bringing all parties together, and especially on the appointment of a member of the Democratic Party as Minister of Justice. No better guarantee could be given to the Allies of the genuine intentions of M. Huszar to meet their wishes. I added a warning to the Democratic Party that their integrity and impartiality would be measured in the eyes of the world by their administration of this high office, whose function it was to try those who had robbed and murdered in the times of the Communist Government. Armed with this letter M. Huszar brought his party to heel at once and was able to bring home to the parties of the Left the serious responsibility that lay upon them to see that the Ministry of Justice was administered with absolute impartiality. Even this concession, however, did not completely satisfy the Social Democratic Party, which bluffed up to the last moment and only withdrew its exorbitant demands when informed by M. Huszar that I had set a time limit for the formation of the concentration [coalition?] Government. Both parties were likewise aware that I should not have hesitated to make it known both to the Supreme Council and to public opinion where the responsibility lay if the negotiations had broken down.

[Page 399]

M. Karl Huszar is still young, barely 40, I think, the son of very poor parents, and himself a village school teacher. He entered Hungarian political life as early as he could and has consistently upheld Democratic views and fought for the betterment of the working classes. His personal honesty is above suspicion and he enjoys respect among all political parties. He has great energy and force of character and is well fitted to lead Hungary through this troubled stage of its existence.

I think I should also place on record the fact that the final assent of all Hungarians to a Coalition Government was due more than anything else to the wisdom and influence of two men whose names would rather suggest reaction—Count Apponyi and Admiral Horthy.

Count Apponyi, who had withdrawn altogether from the political arena and was living in retirement on his estate near Pressburg, came to Budapest at my request. His arrival was the signal for a remarkable demonstration in the whole Hungarian press, which voiced the general feeling which was noticeable everywhere that, now that Count Apponyi had come, the solution would be found. By the irony of circumstances, Count Apponyi, who has never yet been Minister-President of Hungary, was proposed for this office on this occasion by his consistent and most bitter political opponents, the Social-Democrats—a striking testimony to their belief in his honesty and patriotism—and rejected by the Christian National Block, of whose policy he had been the accepted life-long exponent. Working solely for what he believed to be the interests of his country, Count Apponyi banished all personal feeling and it was his influence used on every party that more than anything else enabled M. Huszar to amalgamate the various resisting elements.

Admiral Horthy not only in every particular carried out the assurances that he gave me on the occasion of my first interview with him, but ever since his arrival with his troops in Budapest on the day the Roumanians left he showed himself the leader of an army which is really national and a servant of the State, and used his full influence, at the moment greater than that of any man in the country to make all Hungarians see that the only possible course for Hungary is to meet the wishes of the Allies. The extraordinary smoothness and absence of disorder which marked the departure of the Roumanians and the entrance of the Hungarians was due very largely to the arrangements carefully worked out by the Inter-Allied Mission of Generals and Admiral Troubridge with Admiral Horthy’s staff, but most of all to the complete hold which Admiral Horthy had over the forces under his command.

Two days before the Roumanian departure some of the Social-Democratic and Jewish leaders came to me, to announce that they themselves intended to leave the city, as they would certainly be arrested [Page 400] when the “White” troops came in, and they told me that the feeling in the Jewish and working-class section of the population was one of the greatest anxiety. I pointed out that for them to go at such a moment would be a grave political error from their point of view; I said that I personally had the fullest confidence in Admiral Horthy’s sincerity and in his power over his troops and thus persuaded these gentlemen to remain. I myself spent the whole of the afternoon of the transitional period in the Jewish quarter and I cannot imagine anything more normal or more peaceful, or more evident of confidence. It is true that there were one or two arrests of prominent people, but these were carried out by subordinates without orders from, or the knowledge of, the Government; and, immediately on my representation, and in some cases before, the victims were released.

The Government as now constituted is really representative of Hungarian opinion—in fact the left wing is proportionately more strongly represented in the Cabinet than its power in the country justifies—but the complete realisation of the necessity for peace and the preliminary necessity to meet the wishes of the Allies has made possible the fusion, temporary though it be, of political opposites, the thought of which six weeks ago would have aroused utter incredulity in the minds of nearly every Hungarian.

I should like to testify to the extraordinary respect and attention which was paid to me personally by all the Hungarians, as well as fey their Press. Even those who were hardest to convince and most profoundly disagreed with the object for which I was sent to Budapest, were agreed that my Mission served no personal end but was simply carrying out its duty as impartially as it could, and I received the most loyal assistance from nearly everyone.

I am also much indebted to the support and assistance of Admiral Troubridge and of the Inter-Allied Mission of Generals. I not only have to thank them for their great and ready help in all personal and departmental difficulties, but also for the fact that their influence was directed throughout to support my mission and to convince the Hungarians that the Allies were completely in unison.

But the real reason why my mission achieved its object was because the Hungarians themselves wished it to do so. During the time I spent at Budapest I heard the views of Hungarians of every shade of opinion, stated, I must admit, with great moderation. They realise that though they can claim, with justice, to be a great and civilised race, they allowed their foreign policy to be controlled in another, and to them a foreign capital, and largely by reason of that now find themselves deprived of large territories where, whatever their political behaviour towards their non-Magyar fellow nationals, they had built up a culture and civilisation which, it is difficult to deny, stands [Page 401] far higher than that of the neighbouring States, whose conduct has been in many respects deplorable.

They recognize, I think the broad justice of the inclusion of peoples of one common stock in one State, but they feel that the Allies have, inevitably perhaps but unfortunately for Hungary, only heard one side of the case and have, in doubtful instances, naturally given the benefit to those who fought on their side. Moreover the Hungarians plead for consideration of geographical and economic, as well as of purely national, factors.

The Allies certainly intend to be as just to their late enemies as to themselves, and to see that the small States, aggrandised through the war, do not, by abuse and oppression, cause the world to feel that the result of the war has after all only been to substitute one unrighteous system for another and to sow the seeds of inevitable future conflicts. It is because my experience in Hungary makes me feel that there is a serious danger of this occurring and being aggravated by a rupture of old economic ties and commercial relations, which affects the private citizen far more intimately than great political changes, that I venture to close my report with some observations on what is happening on the borders of Hungary and on the position of that country in general.

It is impossible to see a higher civilisation hopelessly mishandled by those who are still learners in the art of Government, without some sympathy for the victims and without some compunction for one’s own share in what is happening. For instance, it seems unnecessary and uncivilised, and, I think, illegal, for the Roumanians to call for an oath of allegiance from university professors whose town and University have not yet been definitely handed over to them. But this is what the Roumanians did in the University of Kolosvar in May last. The professors very rightly said that they were still Hungarian subjects and could not consider themselves released from their duties as such until the Peace Treaty had definitely allocated Kolosvar to Roumania. The Roumanian answer was to turn the professors out of their posts, out of their houses, and to force them to work as labourers, to keep body and soul together. One distinguished Professor of Geography, who has a world wide reputation, was forced to hoe potatoes for a living and he gave his lectures to four pupils who hoed the rows on each side of him. He was then arrested, put in prison and made to clean the latrines. He was finally allowed to leave with his family in a cattle truck, but at the sacrifice of his personal possessions and of the fruits of his whole scientific life.

Another distinguished professor, over 70 years of age and an invalid, was arrested on an unfounded charge of Bolshevism, beaten, and put in prison, where he still remains.

Officers of the Hungarian Army have been carried off in numbers for enquiry as to their behaviour during the Communist regime, and [Page 402] are confined in filthy barracks, doing manual work, under-fed, unpaid, with no clothes save those they have on, cut off from all outside communication. And so it goes on.

It is difficult to believe that the cause of Roumania is helped by this sort of thing.

In the territories occupied by the Serb-Croat-Slovene troops abuses of all sorts are committed and it is credibly reported that the country is being stripped bare where it is being evacuated. I have already reported the instance of the unfortunate land-owner who was shot dead with his small child and whose wife was seriously injured, simply because they happened to live in a house the contents of which appealed to the covetousness of the Serbian soldiers. In justice to the Serbians it must be added that the complaints about such abuses are directed far less against the authorities and forces of the old kingdom than against the new and imperfectly disciplined levies from the Serb, Croat and Slovene population of the absorbed territories.

In the district in the occupation of the Czechs there is a home of the Archduke Joseph. It is true that he is an Archduke and a Habsburg, but he can not help either of these things, and he paid for this home 24 years ago out of his private funds and has spent the greater part of his life there. The Czechs continue to take away his private property in the house and are now proposing to sell by auction the wedding dress of his wife,—a gift from the Empress Elizabeth whose wedding dress it had also been—and all her private family letters. The Church lands of the Archbishopric of Esztergom, now in Czecho-Slovakia, have been taken from the Hungarian ecclesiastical authorities, and the educational and humanitarian institutions which existed on the revenues of those properties have been ruined.

This form of ignoble persecution is unfortunately all too typical of the Allies whom we have made independent States.

It is for these and similar reasons that I have urged that Inter-Allied Commissions should be sent to see what is really happening in these lands which may eventually fall definitely to the lot of Roumania, Serbia, of Czecho-Slovakia, but are now suffering the fate of a village in debatable ground in Macedonia. It might be argued that the Allies cannot insist on sending a Commission into regions which have been definitely assigned to those countries, but I venture to observe that where there is evidence that the authorities of those countries are anticipating and abusing the rights which the final Treaty of Peace may give them, the Allies owe it to themselves to see that their good name is not brought into disrepute. The danger of this is, unfortunately, serious and growing. In fact in my humble opinion there should be a Central High Commission for all these countries with real powers of inspection, and full authority to check abuses and outrage.

[Page 403]

Hungary is dying for lack of coal and wood—the latter both for fuel and for pit props. About September 24th General Serbescu on behalf of the Roumanian military authorities, made a formal agreement with the Hungarian Government whereby all locomotives and wagons that were taken from Hungary after 8 a.m. on September 26th were to be returned at once. The number of wagons still owing under this formal agreement is about 11,000. Budapest is faced with complete disaster unless it can get coal to run the trams, lighting, gas works, mills, hospitals, and municipal administration, and heating of all private houses. The Czecho-Slovak Government have agreed to allow Hungary 60 wagons of coal a day, if Hungary will lend them 3,000 wagons for a year. The Hungarians have not got these wagons and asked the Roumanians to let them have 5,000 out of the 11,000 which they admittedly owe. Nothing is done and there is no machinery which can effect the urgent and direct action which alone can save the situation. Again there is a definite agreement in operation between the Hungarian and Czecho-Slovak Governments by which the latter have undertaken the continuous supply of wood for fuel and pit props. Quite suddenly, without reason given, the Czecho-Slovaks have cut off the provision of this wood with the result that even the Budapest bakeries will have to cease work, owing to lack of fuel. Here again there is nobody that can enforce the maintenance of formal obligations. It would be easy to multiply instances of the selfish and callous policy pursued by these newly created States, but what I wish to bring out is that the final result will inevitably be that the Great Powers, not only for humanity, but in order to prevent a recurrence of chaos in Europe, will be obliged to provide remedies out of their own resources at an infinitely greater cost and when bitter experience has so driven home to those who have suffered the futility of trust and confidence in the Allies that no amount of eleventh hour charity will restore that political balance which can alone be a guarantee for the peace of Europe.

Perhaps the best instance, and one where there is still time to act, of the desirability of strong Allied action lies in the duty of finding a successor to carry on the water control system of the Hungarian plain. A glance at the map will show that the whole of Hungary, ringed round by the Carpathians, is one geographical unit. The Hungarians have worked out a scientific, efficient, and elaborate control of their water-ways—their knowledge of this subject is probably the highest in Europe—but if each of the new States is to be left to follow its own sweet will in the territories which it has acquired, great economic harm will result, not only to the whole geographic system, but to the individual State. I venture to think that as soon as possible some international body should be instituted which, basing itself on the labors of the Hungarian Government, should provide a permanent [Page 404] and impartial control of all this water system, directed to the interests of all the countries concerned.

In conclusion I venture to submit, on the direct experience that I have now been privileged to have of Hungary and to some extent of Austria, that any idea of immediate payments on account of reparation from those countries must be abandoned. On the contrary, if we are not to condemn millions of human beings to misery and starvation, if we are not to be responsible for a catastrophe almost as great, and in its ultimate consequences possibly even greater, than the war itself, so far from exacting reparation, we have to find funds to keep Austria and Hungary alive. I should be the last to deny that this can be exaggerated. There is a feeling of helplessness in both countries which leads them to expect everything for and to feel incapable of doing anything for themselves. But their financial situation and their losses through the war are such that unless they get some measure of immediate help they will inevitably collapse into utter ruin and despair. It is one more instance of the creditors of a bankrupt having to decide whether they should cut their losses or take over control themselves and put in more money in order to recover, in time, what they have originally risked.

Moreover, if the two countries feel that they have been able, through the help of the Allies, to avert the complete breakdown of their material and economic existence and to gain a foothold on the arduous path of reconstruction much will be done to diminish the likelihood of Austria seeking union with Germany as her one remaining chance of salvation, and to strengthen the Hungarians in their resolve to abjure for ever the German connection against which they have fretted for so many generations and from which they hope that they have now been finally released.

I can only say that both Austria and Hungary long for strict Allied control, so long as it is designed to help them to live, and that the neighbouring States, our present Allies, need firm supervision and guidance to make them fit to enjoy the inheritance which has fallen to them through our sacrifice and effort.

I have [etc.]

George R. Clerk

Appendix B to HD–103

[Mr. Frank L. Polk to the American Representative on the Inter-Allied Military Mission to Hungary (Bandholtz)]

General Bandholtz, Budapest.

Please deliver following message, textually, from M. Clemenceau, President of the Peace Conference, to Mr. Huszar, President of the Council of Ministers of Hungary.

[Page 405]

“The Supreme Council of the Allied and Associated Powers, after information received from Sir George Clerk, its Delegate at Budapest, decided to invite the Hungarian Government to send Delegates to Neuilly (Chateau de Madrid) supplied with the necessary powers to conclude peace with the Allied and Associated Powers.

Consequently, the Hungarian Government is requested to despatch its delegates to Neuilly without further delay. G. Clemenceau.”

Polk

Am[erican] Mission

Appendix C to HD–103

commander-in-chief
of the
allied armies
general staff
5505

From: Marshal Foch.

To: President Clemenceau.

From information sent from Berlin by Generals Nollet and Dupont or collected in the neutral zone by General Degoutte, it appears that the military situation of Germany at the present time is as follows:

Germany has organized two armies:

A) One comprising:

The remnants of the former army, about 320,000 men
The remnants of the former army, about 80,000
The volunteer Corps, about 30,000
Making a total of about 430,000 men.

These formations are under the Minister of War. Their existence is admitted by the German Government which intimates that it will disband the remnants of the former army and the volunteer corps and gradually reduce the Reichswehr to the effectives provided for by the Peace Treaty.

That is the official army.

Besides this official army, there is also in preparation a veritable reserve constituted by the Zeitfreiwillige (voluntary time enlistments) of which a census is taken, who are subject to call and to military training, having their own arms and ammunition depots.

These men are carefully recruited from among those having Monarchist or pan-German tendencies. Their effectives are rapidly increasing. To each formation of Reichswehr corresponds a Zeitfreiwillige formation.

[Page 406]

B) The other, comprising:

Police Detachments (Sicherheitspolizei). { Permanent formations 01 from 600 to 1,200 men distributed among the important localities. Recruited from among the former officers or non-commissioned officers who may pass in or out of the Reichswehr and who are provided with all the engines of war (guns, airplanes, machine guns, grenades).
The Einwohnerwehr. { A kind of national guard. A census is taken of the men; they are drilled periodically, and have their depots of arms and munitions.

These formations whose effectives are unknown, but continue to increase, are commanded and administered by a staff composed of officers and non-commissioned officers of the former army and having an organization similar to that of an army corps, division or regiment.

They are under the orders of the Ministry of the Interior.

That is the unofficial army, the dissimulated army.

The German Government admits its existence but pretends that it is only a matter of measures taken for the maintenance of order.

It may be clearly seen from the above that Germany has begun to form a military organization absolutely contrary to the military clauses of the Treaty. General Degoutte having pointed out to me the existence in neutral zone (Frankfort, Hanau, Hamburg) of certain staffs and depots of arms and munitions not provided for by the clauses of the Armistice, I directed him to demand from the German Command the immediate withdrawal of these staffs or depots. But it is not possible before the coming into force of the Treaty to impose upon the German Government the suppression of the military organization which it is forming.

However, it seems necessary to keep the Supreme Council informed of the situation above set forth and to advise the German Government that all the military provisions which it has taken, contrary to the clauses of the Treaty, must be revoked without delay upon the coming into force of the Treaty.

F. Foch

Appendix D to HD–103

Proposed Note to the German Government

According to corroborative information received up to the present time, the German Government has been preparing and has realized considerable development in its military forces for some time back.

[Page 407]

Apart from the Reichswehr, it has organized permanent forces which are designated as Sicherheitspolizei and which have all the characteristics and value of chosen troops.

These forces are commanded and administered by Staffs constituted from a military personnel. These formations, although attached to the Ministry of the Interior, have characteristics which deny their avowed purpose as police forces, and their development is in contradiction with Article 162 of the Treaty.

Furthermore, under the name of Zeitfreiwillige and Einwohnerwehr, Germany is forming a reserve force, subject to call and military drill, having at their disposition munitions and arms depots. These organizations are contrary to the military clauses in general and, in particular, to Article 178 of the Treaty.

The Allied and Associated Governments point out at this time that these provisions, adopted in contradiction with the spirit and terms of the Treaty, might be interpreted as an intention on the part of the German Government to not comply with the Treaty. Consequently, they invite the German Government to annul the above indicated measures at once or, in any event, that upon the entry into force of the Treaty:

all forces, so-called police, be carried in the effectives provided for by the Treaty, and in a constitution in conformity with their character of local or municipal police;

The staffs, aside from those provided for by the Treaty, be dissolved;

all reserve organizations be discontinued.

Appendix E to HD–103

commander-in-chief
of the allied armies
general staff
3rd section

No. 5514

From: Marshal Foch.

To: President of Council.

According to reports from General Etievant, the Russian Northwest Army, after the failure of its attempt against Petrograd, was repulsed in direction of Esthonia.

Youdenitch wants to reorganize it.

But the Esthonian Government seems unwilling to receive it, and wants to disarm it, and enlist the volunteers in its own army and dissolve the rest.

This situation requires an immediate solution, as, it can cause conflicts between Russians and Esthonians at any moment.

General Etievant suggests, to this end, that the Entente intervene in order that the Esthonian Government receive the Youdenitch [Page 408] Army on its territory, and respect its autonomy, so as to enable this army to reorganize and reinforce itself with the Russian elements of the Bermondt army, which General Niessel can send to it, to receive the war material intended for it and, thus, to be put in a position to resume its operations against the “Red” army.

These suggestions seem acceptable, for, it seems that the Entente cannot permit the nucleus of the Youdenitch Army be disbanded, without renouncing its principal instrument in Northern Russia against the Bolchevists.

But the measures to be taken can only be determined on the spot. They imply the conclusion of agreements with the Baltic States—in particular with Esthonia—which a representative of the Entente, only, can successfully negotiate, as a compensation for the assistance lent to these states to liberate them from the Bolchevists and the Germans.

General Niessel, on account of his present situation, seems to be the right man to be entrusted with this mission, when he has regulated the evacuation of the German troops.

It is sufficient to give him the necessary instructions.

If you share this point of view, I have the honor to ask you to kindly submit to the Supreme Council the following resolution:

“The Allied and Associated Powers, with a view to continuing, as far as possible, to help the anti-Bolchevist forces, at present under the orders of General Youdenitch, and to facilitate the reorganization of these forces, direct General Niessel to intervene, in their name, with the Esthonian Government and with General Youdenitch, to the end of bringing about and facilitating the conclusion of the necessary agreements, for the establishment in Esthonia and the reorganization of the Russian Northwest Armies.”

Foch

Appendix F to HD–103

supreme war council
military, naval &
air representatives

S. W. C. 483

Draft Organization of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control Provided For in Articles 94–100 of the Treaty of Peace “With Bulgaria

General Dispositions

article i

Three Inter-Allied Commissions of Control shall be established:—

  • A Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control,
  • A Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control,
  • An Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control.

[Page 409]

They shall represent with the Bulgarian Government, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in everything that concerns the carrying out of the Military, Naval and Aeronautical Clauses respectively.

Those Commissions shall enter on their duties on the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace.

article ii

The Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be charged (Article 94) with supervising the execution of the Military Clauses as defined in Article 98. It will be presided over by a French General.

article iii

The Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be charged (Article 94) with the supervision of the execution of the Naval Clauses as laid down in Article 99.

The Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be presided over by a French Admiral or Senior Officer.

article iv

The Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be charged (Article 94) with the supervision of the execution of the Air Clauses as laid down in Article 100.

The Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be presided over by a British General or Senior Officer.

article v

The General Officers or Senior Officers and the Admiral mentioned in Articles II, III and IV shall each of them attach to the two others a Permanent Representative (Assisted if necessary by other Officers) charged with ensuring liaison between them.

Powers of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control

article vi

The Powers of each of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control are defined in Articles 94–100 of the Treaty of Peace.

article vii

The General Clauses (Articles 101–104 of the Treaty of Peace) shall be under the supervision, in so far as each of them is concerned, of the Military, Naval and Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commissions of Control.

[Page 410]

Expenses of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control

article viii

The maintenance and expenses of the Commissions of control and their working expenses, are chargeable to Bulgaria, in accordance with Article 97 of the Treaty of Peace. These expenses shall be paid direct through the Presidents of the Commissions to the parties concerned, by the Allied and Associated Governments, who shall obtain repayment of such expenses from the Bulgarian Government.

article ix

The Bulgarian Government shall be notified by the President of the Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control of the Accommodation required for the Commissions of Control, and of the duty incumbent upon it of providing such accommodation in accordance with Article 96 (paragraph 1 of the Treaty of Peace).

article x

The Officers and Men forming part of the Military, Naval and Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commissions of Control, shall receive financial assistance which shall be identical to that fixed for the corresponding Commissions in the case of Germany. The amount of the allowances thus granted shall be revised every three months, consideration being taken of the economic conditions prevailing in Bulgaria.

The question of the Transport in Bulgaria of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control (Military, Naval and Aeronautical) as well as that of their accommodation, and of the provision of their supplies during their stay in this country shall be regulated and co-ordinated by the President of the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control.

The amount of the allowances to be arranged for in these conditions ought to be a generous one, and ought to be chargeable to the first payment to be made by Bulgaria. It is in the general interest to reduce it as far as possible in attaching to the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control no more than the absolutely indispensable number of Officers.

Duration and Activities of the Inter-Allied Commissions of Control

article xi

The duration of the activities of each Commission shall be limited to the complete execution of the Military, Naval and Air Clauses under its supervision in the time limit fixed by the Treaty of Peace. In case the execution of these clauses be not completed within the period fixed, this fact shall be reported by the Commissions concerned, [Page 411] to the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, who will decide on the measures to be adopted.

Until a decision is reached, the Commissions shall continue to supervise the execution of the particular Clause in question.

Organization of the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control

article xii

The General Officer presiding over the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be assisted by a Staff which shall include Officers of each of the Armies of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. He, moreover, shall be assisted by the necessary technical personnel (legal, financial, &c).

The Commission shall sit at Sofia.

article xiii

The Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall include 2 sub-commissions:

a)
A Sub-Commission for Munitions, Armaments, Material and Fortifications;
b)
A Sub-Commission for Establishments, Recruiting and Military Training.

Sub-Commission for Munitions, Armament, Material and Fortifications

article xiv

This Sub-Commission shall include in its duties, the supervision of the execution of Articles 76–82 and of Table V of the Military Clauses of the Treaty of Peace.

It shall be presided over by an Italian General or Senior Officer assisted by Officers of the various Allied and Associated Armies; it shall sit at Sofia.

The total number of Officers necessary for this Sub-Commission shall be decided by the President.

This Sub-Commission shall be represented by Officers at Philipopolis, Iamboli, Varna and other places which may be considered necessary.

Sub-Commission for Establishments, Recruiting and Military Training

article xv

This Sub-Commission shall include in its duties the execution of Articles 64–75 and Tables I, II, III, IV of the Military Clauses of the Treaty of Peace.

[Page 412]

It shall be presided over by a British General or Senior Officer assisted by Officers of the various Allied and Associated Armies; it shall sit at Sofia.

The total number of Officers necessary for this Sub-Commission shall be decided by the President.

This Sub-Commission shall be represented by Officers at Philipopolis, Plevna, Shumla and other places which may be considered necessary.

article xvi

The number of Officers who are to form part of the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control might be fixed, in number, on the following proportion:—

France 6/20ths.
Great Britain 5/20ths.
Italy 5/20ths.
U. S. A. 3/20ths.
Japan 1/20th.

Organisation of the Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control

article 17

The Naval Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be charged with the supervision of the execution of the Naval Clauses of the Treaty of Peace (Articles 83 to 88).

article 18

The Commission shall be presided over by a French Admiral or Senior Officer and shall include a Senior Officer of each of the other Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

article 19

The Commission shall be entitled to call upon technical advisers of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers if their presence is considered necessary by the Commission.

Organisation of the Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control

article 20

The Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control charged with the supervision of the execution of the Air Clauses of the Treaty of Peace, shall be composed as follows:—

  • A principal Commission and a Staff, which shall sit at Sofia;
  • A Sub-Commission on Production;
  • A Sub-Commission on Military and Naval Aircraft.

[Page 413]

article 21

The Principal Commission presided over by a British General, or Senior Officer, shall consist of a Senior Officer of each of the other Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

article 22

The Sub-Commission on Production shall supervise particularly the execution of the Clauses of Article 92.

It shall be presided over by a French Senior Officer, and shall sit at Sofia.

The number of Officers required for this Sub-Commission shall be fixed by the President.

article 23

The Sub-Commission on Military and Naval Aircraft shall supervise with regard to these different branches, the execution of the Clauses other than those of Article 92.

It shall be presided over by an Italian Senior Officer, and shall sit at Sofia.

The total number of Officers required for this Sub-Commission shall be fixed by the President.

article 24

The proportion of Officers forming part of the Aeronautical Inter-Allied Commission of Control shall be the same as that fixed in Article 16.

Desticker. C. Sackville-West Ugo Cavallero. S. D. Embick
Military
Representative,
French Section,
Supreme War
Council
Major-General
Military
Representative,
British Section,
Supreme War
Council
Military
Representative,
Italian Section,
Supreme War
Council
Military Representative,
American Section,
Supreme War
Council.
Levavasseur, M. H. Macdonald, Grassi, McCully,
Captain.
French Naval
Representative
Commander, R. N.
British Naval
Representative
Admiral.
Italian
Naval
Representative
Rear-Admiral.
American Naval
Representative
Duval, P. R. C. Groves, Piccio, A. Lippincott,
General.
French Air
Representative.
Brig-General.
British Air
Representative.
Lt-Col.
Italian Air
Representative.
Colonel.
American Air
Representative.
Watanabe, Osumi,
General.
Japanese Military
Representative.
Captain.
Japanese Naval
Representative.
[Page 414]

Appendix G to HD–103

president of the
german peace delegation

No. 53

From: Baron von Lersner.

To: His Excellency, M. Clemenceau.

I have the honor to forward to you herewith a memorandum from the German Government concerning the Scapa Flow affair.

Please accept, etc.

Baron von Lersner
[Enclosure]

Memorandum Concerning the Scuttling of the German Battleships at Scapa Flow

In a note of November 1,7 the Allied and Associated Governments made the establishment of the first Protocol of deposit of ratification and, consequently, the going into force of the Peace Treaty, dependent upon the signature of a special Protocol8 regulating the execution of the clauses of the Armistice not yet fulfilled by the Germans. They inclosed in their note a draft of Protocol containing the enumeration of the clauses of the Armistice, which they consider as not yet executed. As was already affirmed by Germany, in the conversation which incidentally took place on the subject, the German Government does not intend to oppose the establishment of such a Protocol, although it is bound to affirm with all its energy that if some conditions of the Armistice are not entirely executed, Germany is not responsible for it. The German Government also admits that the Protocol enumerates the obligations which remain to be fulfilled by Germany. Verbal negotiations will be necessary to specify to what extent the enumeration contained in the Protocol conforms to the truth and, to settle the question of juridical consequences which would eventually result from the non-execution of the obligations which have not yet been fulfilled. On the other hand, in conformity with the agreement made in the course of the conversation which took place on the subject, it is necessary to set forth, from now on, the point of view of the German Government on one of the questions contained in the Protocol and, in particular on the question of the scuttling of the German battleships at Scapa Flow: In fact, it is considered on the German side, that this question cannot be dealt with from the point of view of the non-execution of the clauses of the Armistice; therefore, a special discussion on this subject is necessary at first.

[Page 415]

In a note of June 25th9 the Allied and Associated Governments mentioned the scuttling of the German ships at Scapa Flow as a violation of Article 23 and 31 of the Armistice, for which the German Government should be made responsible. At the same time, referring to Articles 40 and 41 of the Hague regulations on the laws of war on land,10 they reserve the right to require a reparation for the damage suffered by them. The German Government, in answer to this note, refrained from setting forth its juridical point of view, because the accurate information on this incident promised to the German Armistice Commission by the British Admiralty had not yet reached it, and because sufficient information was lacking on the accuracy of these facts. Consequently, the German reply of June 28th was limited to establishing that the scuttling of the ships had been executed by Admiral von Reuter and his subordinates unknown to all German civilian and military authorities. In its subsequent note of September 3rd, the German Government also abstained from judging the incident from a juridical point of view; this note, in fact, aimed to obtain the liberation of the crews of the ships held as prisoners of war. Now, the Allied and Associated Governments, again referring to Articles 23 and 31 of the Armistice Convention, in reality, pretend to obtain a reparation for the damage, which is supposed to have been caused by the scuttling; they require that Germany comply with demands of an extraordinary importance. On account of these conditions, it is necessary to make the following remarks: With regard to Article 31 of the Armistice Convention, the German Government thinks that this provision, which forbids the destruction of ships or material before the evacuation, delivery or restoration, does not cover the case considered. The note of November 1st discovers in Article 23 of the Armistice Convention the obligation for Germany to maintain, in good condition, the ships conducted to the Allied ports, on the ground that these ships were destined to be subsequently surrendered. This interpretation of Article 23 cannot be admitted. The Armistice Convention contains no provision concerning the fate of the ships. The fact that the latter were preferably (or originally, in German; in erster Linie) to be held in neutral ports and that the German crews were to remain on board, rather proves that the fate of the ships was not intended to be regulated by the Armistice Convention. From the German point of view, the internment should not be considered as the preliminary of a definite surrender. The First Lord of the British Admiralty [Page 416] himself, Long, several times distinguished very plainly between internment and surrender, according to the meaning of this word in the Armistice Convention. Consequently, the German Government had fulfilled the obligations resulting from Article 23, since it had sent its ships to the Firth of Forth within a period of seven days. Thus, the aim of Article 22, which was to render impossible the resumption of hostilities by the German Navy during the Armistice, was attained.

Therefore, in the opinion of the German Government, the question of the interpretation of Article 3123 [31 and 23] of the Armistice Convention, as well as the questions as to whether the scuttling of the ships, is in contradiction with any stipulation of the Armistice Convention, does not need to be discussed. Similarly, the German Government is of the opinion that the point is not whether the scuttling caused a damage, or not, to the Allied and Associated Powers. The decisive element in the appreciation of this incident, is the fact that the scuttling of the ships must not be put down to the attitude of the German Government but to the attitude of the Allied and Associated Governments. In fact, in contradiction with the provisions of Article 23 of the Armistice Convention, the Allied and Associated Governments interned the German battleships not in a neutral port but in an enemy port. According to the inquiries made on the German side, they did not even try to intern the said ships in the neutral ports which were qualified to be chosen, in particular in Dutch or Scandinavian ports. During the negotiations for the prolongation of the Armistice, at Treves, on January 15, the Germans already protested against this fact. This protest, although several times repeated, remained without an answer. But, as the internment took place in a British Port, the Allied and Associated Governments should have at least organized it in such a way as to correspond to the internment in a neutral port. Instead of that, the crews, in spite of reiterated protests, were treated like prisoners of war. Wireless relations with their country were forbidden them; they were even forbidden to use, although they requested it, their wireless receiver, in order to listen to the radiograms of the press; they only received mail once a week. Censure was so strict that three weeks, at least, elapsed before news could reach them. At the time of the scuttling, the last mail steamer had arrived a week previous; the mail B 98 only arrived after the scuttling.

Now, the interruption of relations between the crews and their country resulted in that, in those unfortunate days, Admiral von Reuter was led to suppose that the Armistice expired on June 21st at 12.00. The details of the facts were already set forth in the German note of September 3rd, according to authentic declarations of the Admiral [Page 417] which reached Germany on that date. According to the terms of these declarations, the supposition made by the Admiral was caused by the news published by the English papers, to which he had recourse for his information. A copy will be found in the Annex10a of the news published in the Times of June 16th and 17th; the first of these advices reached Admiral von Renter the day before the scuttling, the second reached him on the day of the scuttling itself. It appears from these facts that the Admiral did not know that the remittance of the ultimatum of the Allied and Associated Powers had been delayed from June 16th, 12:00 o’clock, to June 16th, 7:00 p.m. Therefore, it is established that Admiral von Reuter, during the stay of his ships at Scapa Flow, was beyond the jurisdiction of the German Government; for this reason, any responsibility of the German Government for the actions of the Admiral is, at first sight, out of the question. The responsibility of the State for the action of its agents implies, in fact, that the said agents obey the orders of the State. The Fatherland is not responsible for the orders given by a military chief, prisoner of war, neither towards the State in which he is residing, nor towards any third person. On the other hand, it is ascertained that the treatment inflicted upon the Admiral by the British authorities and, particularly, the interruption of the communications between him and the Fatherland (as circumstances which ought to be considered as the real cause of the scuttling) were contrary to the stipulations of the Armistice Convention. A State is not qualified to ask another State for a reparation for a damage due to the violation of a Treaty by the applicant State, and which the other State was not in the position to prevent, for the very reason that the Treaty had been violated.

Therefore, as such an agreement would not be justified, the German Government is obliged to refuse to agree in any way to execute obligations which might be imposed on it on account of the scuttling of the German battleships. However, in case the Allied and Associated Governments should not admit this point of view, and in order not to delay by a debate of this kind the going into force of the Treaty, which it also earnestly desires, the German Government proposes to submit this affair to the permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. The Court of Arbitration should decide first, whether the German Government is responsible for the scuttling of the ships; in case this question should be affirmatively settled, the Court of Arbitration would have to appraise the damage which resulted to the Allied and Associated Powers from the scuttling itself, and to say how Germany can repair it.

[Page 418]

Appendix H to HD–103

president of the
german peace delegation

No. 54

From: Baron von Lersner.

To: President Clemenceau.

Replying to your note dated November 15, which reached me on November 21, relative to the repatriation of the German war prisoners in France, I have the honor, by order of my Government, to communicate the following to your Excellency:

1st) The French Government affirms that it has never promised anything further than the execution of the clauses of the Peace Treaty.

Doubtless the French Government has forgotten the official declaration which was published by the Havas Agency on August 29, 1919. That declaration was drawn up as follows:

“With a view to diminishing the sufferings, caused by the war, as rapidly as possible, the Allied and Associated Powers have decided to ignore the ratification date of the Peace Treaty with Germany when treating the repatriation of German prisoners.

“The repatriation operations will commence immediately, and will be conducted under the auspices of an Interallied Commission, to which will be added a German representative upon the entry into force of the Treaty. The Allied and Associated Powers desire it to be fully understood that the continuation of this policy of favor, offering such great advantages to the German soldiers, will depend upon the accomplishment, by the German Government and the German people, of all the obligations incumbent upon them.”

The French Government does not affirm that this promise was withdrawn because the German Government and the German people have not accomplished the obligations incumbent upon them. Such a withdrawal should at least have been communicated to the German Government.

The French Government simply denies having made any promise whatever. This contradictory attitude is the more incomprehensible in that the statement of August 29 was not a spontaneous concession made from reasons of humanity, but more the counterpart of concessions to which the French Government had influenced the German Government by promising a favorable attitude in treating the question of the prisoners of war.

The questions at issue at that time were, on one hand, the delivery of coal, and on the other, the case of Sgt. Mannheim:

1st)
At the time of the Paris negotiations concerning the deliveries of coal to France, a statement was made to the German representative on August 22, intimating that Germany could not expect the fulfillment of her desires in the question of war prisoners except upon the commencement of coal deliveries; on the contrary, as soon as deliveries [Page 419] of coal would have been commenced the Entente would accord a generous treatment of the question;
2nd)
Relative to the case of Sgt. Mannheim, the German Government had refused to pay the fine of about a million francs imposed upon the city of Berlin under threat of military penalties. From an authorized French source the German Government was informed that the question might be settled in a friendly manner: in that case, Marshal Foch would use his influence to effect as prompt a repatriation as possible of the German war prisoners.

At Paris, as well, the Mannheim case was at the same time treated in conjunction with the war prisoners question. When, on August 26th, the German representative, after having promised an immediate commencement of coal deliveries, expressed a desire to base the early repatriation of the war prisoners upon the promise which had been made during negotiations, satisfactory assurances were given him, and it was added that the President of the Council, M. Clemenceau, would write to him on this matter within a short time. But, at the same time, the French representative requested an intervention for the payment of the fine of a million francs imposed concerning the Mannheim case, stating that the settlement of that matter was an important item with the President of the Council.

At that time it was agreed in Berlin to place one million francs at the disposal of the French Government for the Red-Cross, in order that, within one week after the payment of this sum, the Commission, provided for by Article 215 of the Peace Treaty to regulate the repatriation of war prisoners, might convene, and that proper announcement might be made by the Havas Agency.

As the installation of the Commission progressed slowly, and as the German representatives in Paris insisted upon the keeping of the promise, he was informed, on September 28, that the War prisoner question had been regulated; henceforth transportations destined for Germany were to continue without interruption. In the first place, all the prisoners detained in England would be repatriated, then those in America, and lastly those who were detained in France. In the opinion of the President of the Council, M. Clemenceau, the Franco-German negotiations concerning these transportations were useless.

The French Government, therefore, cannot deny that Germany, several months ago, by agreeing to important sacrifices, obtained a formal promise that the repatriation of the war prisoners would not be delayed until a time fixed by the Peace Treaty, and that, on the contrary, this repatriation would begin without delay.

In the Government’s note dated November 15th, not only is the obligation of the French Government to repatriate the war prisoners without delay contested, but the note exposes in detail the reasons for [Page 420] which the French Government is not inclined to willingly commence this repatriation before the entry into force of the Treaty.

This exposé contains a list of all the grievances that the French Government formulates against the German Government, and it is on these prisoners of war that the French Government causes these grievances to fall. In contradiction with the principles of generosity and humanity continually affirmed by the French Government, it is the innocent who are forced to pay for the pretended discrepancies of the German Government; as it is the innocent who are retained as hostages in order that the desire of the French Government may receive satisfaction.

Such a policy should be the more severely condemned in that the information claiming that the German prisoners in France are well treated from both a material and moral point of view is unfortunately far from the truth. As in the past, they are submitted to the laws of war, applied with a pitiless severity. In many respects, their clothing and nourishment are insufficient for the cold season, and the war prisoners are, in majority still cut off from all communication with the mother country.

On account of the situation so clearly established by the promise of the French Government, it appears superfluous to insist further concerning that part of the note. However, in order to dissipate any false impression, the German Government considers it proper to proffer the following remarks:

1st) The German Government did not refuse, as the note inclines to establish, to comply with the consequences involving from the fact that it affixed its signature to the Peace Treaty, which provides for the delivery of persons accused of having violated the laws of war. Fully recognizing the obligation resulting from the Treaty, the German Government called attention rather to the difficulties which oppose the execution of these clauses and, without submitting a formal proposal, requested the Allied and Associated Governments to study on their side how it would be possible to reach, by some other means, the end which they are pursuing. Moreover, the German Government made this effort before the note of the Allied and Associated Governments of the month of November had been received by it.

2d) The note asks what the inhabitants of the devastated regions might think if the prisoners of war who are employed in the much needed cleaning up operations cease their labors before the period fixed by the Peace Treaty and are authorized to leave France.

The German Government does not believe that it can reply to that question in the sense intimated by the note. On the contrary, it is convinced that the French population has a great deal of sympathy for the war prisoners and, despite their own sufferings, would prefer [Page 421] to see the prisoners recover their liberty, rather than see them atone for acts, for which they are in no wise responsible, by performing the labor of slaves.

3rd) from an authorized French source, it has been solemnly affirmed several times since July 11, that the question of war prisoners was not to be confounded with the question of restoring the devasted regions. If no definite agreement has yet been reached upon the employment of German civil manual labor, the German Government is not responsible for it. Upon the signing of the Peace Treaty, the German Government declared itself ready to furnish German manual labor for reconstruction operations, and in the course of the negotiations which were carried on on this subject, it made careful proposals concerning the employment of this manual labor. At the same time, in the interior of Germany the preparations which had commenced before the signing of the Treaty regarding the sending of this manual labor were pushed with the greatest celerity. The French Government was fully aware of all this. The German Government regrets that, despite its repeated requests, it has not yet been possible to have the French Government make a definite statement concerning the German proposals, and to designate the sectors in which the reconstruction operations are to be accomplished by German workmen.

4th) It is impossible to understand the reproach made toward the German Government pretending that it refused to take the necessary temporary measures to facilitate the execution of the Peace Conditions in Schleswig and Upper-Silesia. The preparations for executing the stipulations of the Treaty in the Schleswig plebiscite zone were fully facilitated by the German Government. Studied negotiations took place between the Government and the International Commission, which, during the plebiscite, is to take over the administration of the territory. In the course of these negotiations an agreement was reached on all essential points. Representatives of the Commission are already functioning, with the approval of the German Government, in the plebiscite zone.

Concerning Upper-Silesia, the German Government declares itself ready to comply with the desire expressed by the Allied and Associated Governments relative to the despatch of a Military Inquiry Commission. It is also well known that, according to the observations made by that Commission, the responsibility for the troubles which occurred in the month of August and, consequently, the responsibility for the sufferings endured by the population as a result, are in no wise incumbent on the German Government.

5th) The German Government rejects the accusation of having systematically delayed the execution of the clauses of the Armistice Convention. Germany has done everything in her power to fulfill the [Page 422] extremely heavy obligations imposed by that Convention. The German Government, furthermore, has no intention of discussing the numerous violations of Armistice, the numerous and serious abuses, as well as the excesses by which its adversaries violated the said convention, at this time. The Government knows that at this time its voice would be unheeded. A time will come, more equitable, when it will be known which of the two parties has the greatest right to raise complaint.

6th) Concerning the scuttling of the war ships at Scapa Flow, that question will be treated in detail in another document.10b

The question of the evacuation of the Baltic provinces is, furthermore, not open to discussion at this time since it has been submitted to examination by an Interallied Commission presided over by General Niessel, the results of which examination are being awaited.

7th) Concerning the reproach addressed to Germany in the note “of having retained an equivocal article in the Constitution up to the present time,” a question which was settled long ago, and concerning which the German Government complied with all the claims of the Allied and Associated Governments, is again presented.

8th) Finally, the note affirms that the German Government pursues a tireless propaganda, backed by important resources, against the Allies throughout the entire world.

The German Government can only express its astonishment that such absurd falsehoods find credence and are considered as worthy of chronicle in an official document. The German Government hopes that the Allied and Associated Governments will not allow their attention to be detracted by this from the question of war prisoners, which is becoming daily more serious and urgent, and concerning which Germany believes she is entitled to the sympathy of all civilized peoples.

Accept, etc.

Baron von Lersner

Appendix I to HD–103

Note From Supreme Council to German Delegation

To: Baron von Lersner.

On November 27th last, you addressed a letter to me relative to German prisoners of war, which contained a series of statements whose incisive tone cannot mask their inaccuracy.11

In a general way, in the prisoner of war question, Germany had but one right formulated by the Peace Treaty which she has signed: Repatriation to begin on the day of the coming into force of the Treaty [Page 423] following the definite exchange of ratifications. Any modification of these stipulations which are law for the parties, is a favor. The statement that the prisoners are innocent persons without responsibility in the war does not bear examination.

Your note states that the French Government has taken in the first place, on August 29th, 1919, and later, either on the delivery of coal by Germany or the payment of a million to the Red Cross as expiation for the assassination of Sergeant Mannheim at Berlin, definite obligations for the anticipated repatriation of German prisoners of war. This triple statement is absolutely without foundation. The French Government has never assumed any obligation in the matter which was within the jurisdiction of all the Allies.

The declaration of August 29 which, for reasons of humanity and not as a counterpart of concessions made by the Germans, announced the decision of the Allies to anticipate the date of the coming into force of the Peace Treaty as regards the repatriation of prisoners, is posterior to conversations relative to coal and Sergeant Mannheim. This declaration is not made between the French Government and the German Government under the form of a promise resulting from a negotiation. It is a humanitarian declaration by all the Allies relative to all German prisoners captured by them. The declaration reads: 1st:—The immediate commencement of repatriation; 2nd:—the possible interruption of this benevolent policy in case the German Government and people did not fulfill all the obligations incumbent upon them by the Armistice, which binds them until the definite ratification of the Treaty.

In conformity with this unilateral decision of the Allies, repatriation immediately began and continued for several months by the return of German prisoners from England, America and Belgium.

Again in conformity with the declaration of August 29th, the repatriation of prisoners has been suspended because of violations, non-execution and incomplete execution of the Armistice clauses by the German Government.

The promise and the threat, freely made by the ensemble of the Allies, has thus strictly been executed. In the note of November 1,12 the German Government was advised of its non-execution of obligations assumed by the Armistice of November 11, 1918, one year previously. It was advised of the measures and penalties provided for assuring the integral execution of the Armistice clauses not renewed in the Peace Treaty.

The French Government follows no policy based on the non-repatriation of prisoners of war, and does not make use of it as a means of pressure. It adheres to the Articles of the Treaty and if the benevolent [Page 424] measure inaugurated August last has not been followed to the end, it is solely because of the non-execution by the German Government of its own obligations.

The responsibility of Germany for the delay in the return of German prisoners is directly engaged in the most precise manner by the fact that she has not yet replied to the note of the Allies under date of November 1, and that after having sent her Commissioners to Paris to arrange for the functioning of Commissions on the Execution of the Treaty, she sent them back to Berlin two days after their arrival, although the date and the conditions for the examination of questions asked had been fixed in accord with her delegates.

It is the German Government which is seeking to make use of the prisoner of war question to excite German public opinion against the Allies, and especially against France; the proof may be seen in the fact that the Conference, determined that the ratification and the coming into force of the Peace Treaty should take place on December 1st, fixing thereby the date for the early return of the prisoners; instead of agreeing to the last negotiations under consideration, the German Government has taken a dilatory attitude and begun a discussion in an unjustifiable tone relative to the repatriation of prisoners, whose return at the end of last month, that is to say, a few days later depended on itself. The dilatory character of such a proceeding and the delay in the ratification, caused by Germany, makes her entirely responsible for the upkeep of her prisoners in France where, moreover, they have been treated not only in a humane way, but also with kindness.

Without going into detailed explanation outlined relative to Schleswig and Upper Silesia, or in the matter of the Baltic Provinces (where Germany decided to partially fulfill her obligations only when constrained and forced to do so), or Article 61 of the Constitution, which has not been suppressed up to the present time (The German Government always delaying until the last moment, and until morally and physically constrained to execute her obligations); I will only consider the discussion concerning the handing over of the accused.

The Germans themselves do not deny that numerous crimes have been committed and that universal morality would be seriously injured if these crimes, whose authors are known, should remain unpunished. Any human being going through the northern regions of France, as well as into Belgium and who sees with his own eyes these provinces systematically ravaged, with all industrial establishments leveled to the ground, dwellings reduced to dust by savage methods, all the fruit trees sawed within a meter of the ground, mines blown up and filled with water, human work of entire centuries spitefully annihilated, cannot understand Germany’s hesitation to consent to the reparation [Page 425] for her crimes. If the same impartial observer then heard from the mouths of the inhabitants the tale of the treatment to which they have been subjected for four years, the violences and the abominable constraints imposed on young girls, brutally separated from their families; he would be unable to restrain his indignation in face of the attitude of Germany and the arrogant tone of your letters.

As to the Allies, they are profoundly surprised to see that German public opinion, even at the present time, is so unconscious of its responsibilities as not to ask, itself, for the just punishment of crimes committed, and that among the criminals there seem to be neither sufficient courage, nor patriotism, to come forward for trial as they have deserved, to defend their conduct, and to facilitate, for their country, the fulfillment of its obligations. Until the German conscience understands, like that of the whole world, that wrong must be righted, and criminals punished, Germany must not expect to enter the communion of Nations, nor obtain from the Allies forgetfulness of her crimes or attenuation of just peace conditions.

Appendix J to HD–103

representative of the russian armies
with the allied government
and high command

No. 3—1103

From: General Tcherbatcheff, Military Representative of the Supreme Chief of Russia, with the Allied Government and High Command.

To: Marshal Foch, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies.

I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that the Russian Armies, which are fighting against the bolchevists, are almost deprived of cartridges (cartouches de 3 lignes) for the Russian rifles.

All the stocks of Russian cartridges which were possessed by the Russian Armies and the Entente are already exhausted. Nevertheless, two big stocks of those cartridges still exist, one in Rumania, of which I had the honor to inform you by letter on November 15th, No. 11570, [11571?]12a and another in Germany.

According to the information of the Russian Delegation on matters pertaining to prisoners of war in Berlin, there are in Germany about 150,000,000 Russian cartridges. This number is not exaggerated.

However, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs affirms, according to the communiqué of the Russian Delegation, that the German Government does not possess any Russian cartridges.

It may be inferred therefrom that the Government sold those cartridges to private individuals. The latter have two alternatives; either to clandestinely pass those cartridges to the Bolchevists, which they [Page 426] have certainly been doing, or to sell them directly to the anti-Bolchevist Armies, which is not in accord with the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, according to which the war material is to be gratuitously restored to the Russian Government.

Owing to the bad faith of the German authorities, no blockade is capable of stopping the sale of cartridges to the Bolchevists. On the other hand, it would be very difficult to force the German Government to restore these cartridges to Russia. In any case, even if it were possible to discover the stocks of the latter, the search would be so long that the individuals interested would have time to pass the cartridges to the Bolchevists.

I think that the only means of receiving the cartridges in the shortest time possible, is to authorize the Russian authorities to start negotiations with all the persons who possessed them, for the purchase of cartridges, and, then, to charge this purchase expense to the account of the German Government, if this is not contrary to the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.

On account of the great necessity for the Russian Armies to have these cartridges, in order to energetically continue the fight against the Bolchevists, I beg you to kindly give the necessary orders so that the possibility of resuming possession of these cartridges, be studied as soon as possible, apart from the general question of the delivery of Russian war material.

I am sending in the same mail, a letter on the same subject, to the President of Council, Minister of War.

I earnestly beg you to kindly inform me of the decision made.

General Tcherbatcheff

Appendix K to HD–103

the marshal
commander-in-chief
of the allied armies

General Staff G–3
Paris, 4bis, Bd. des Invalides.
No. 5.421

From: The Marshal of France,

To: The President of the Peace Conference.

By letter No. 3–1,103—of November 17,13 General Tcherbatcheff requests me to have the possibility of assuring the Russian authorities the immediate possession of Russian gun cartridges in Germany considered without waiting for the general question of restitution of Russian war material.

[Page 427]

I have the honor to enclose herewith copy of this letter, as the procedure of General Tcherbatcheff can only be carried out after proper decision by the Supreme Council.

P. O. The Major General:
Desticker

Appendix L to HD–103

royal ministry
for foreign affairs
for montenegro

No. 1086

From: F. S. Plamenatz.

To: President Clemenceau.

It is in vain that the Royal Government of Montenegro referred up to the present time to Montenegro’s incontestable rights in her demands to be represented at the Peace Conference. The latter has disregarded all these justified claims. It has persistently refused to take into account the fact that Montenegro voluntarily entered the war and that according to the very avowals of the Serbian Government which is hostile to Montenegro (“Military efforts of the Serbs-Croats-Slovenes during the war of 1914–1918, p. 16”), Montenegro has lost 20,000 soldiers killed and a third of her population. The Peace Treaties with Germany and Austria have been signed without the presence of Montenegro although she has been at war with them from the very first day. Within a few days will be signed the Peace Treaty with the third Enemy State, Bulgaria, and again without the participation of Montenegro.

Such an attitude by the Peace Conference might lead us to suppose—which the Royal Government of Montenegro refuses to believe—an aid designed to favor Serbia in the perpetration of her crime against Montenegro, a crime surpassing in horror that committed by William II against Belgium in 1914. The attitude adopted by the Conference is not only contrary to the solemn obligations taken by the Governments of the Great Powers in respect of Montenegro, but is also contrary to the decision of the Supreme Council,14 a decision which, moreover, is unjust and disadvantageous for Montenegro.

On behalf of the Royal Government, I have the honor to renew my protest against the injustice of the Peace Conference with regard to Montenegro, and I beg it to respect their rights and to convoke our Delegate as soon as possible with a view to the subsequent signing of the Peace Treaties with Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria.

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I have the honor to inform your Excellency that should the contrary be the case, that if within a short time no reply to our justified request reaches us from the Peace Conference the Royal Government of Montenegro will do what duty and right impose upon it, and what any other Government would long since have done. It will address the Governments of Germany, Austria and Bulgaria with a request to conclude a peace treaty, Montenegro not caring to remain in a state of war with these countries.

The responsibility for these steps will not rest upon Montenegro, but upon the Peace Conference.

At the same time, I have the honor to call your Excellency’s attention to the fact that the Treaties of Versailles, St. Germain and Neuilly do not prohibit the Governments of Germany, Austria and Bulgaria to conclude a peace Treaty with Montenegro.

Please accept, etc.

F. S. Plamenatz
  1. Gen. Nicholas N. Yudenitch, commander in chief of the White Russian forces in the Baltic Provinces.
  2. HD–88, minute 5, p. 84.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. i, p. 442.
  4. See HD–102, minute 5, and appendix B, pp. 370 and 377.
  5. See HD–60, minute 10, and appendix L, vol. viii, pp. 350 and 370.
  6. See HD 71, minute 2, vol. viii, p. 674.
  7. Appendix B to HD–80, vol. viii, p. 863.
  8. Appendix C to HD–80, ibid., p. 865.
  9. Appendix XI to CF–92, vol. vi, p. 695.
  10. Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed October 18, 1907, Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. 2, p. 1204.
  11. Annex not attached to file copy of this document.
  12. See appendix G, supra.
  13. Appendix H, supra.
  14. Appendix B to HD–80, vol. viii, p. 863.
  15. Ante, p. 342.
  16. Supra.
  17. BC–Al, minute 2, vol. iii, p. 487.