Paris Peace Conf. 180.03501/122


Notes of a Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Five Great Powers, Held in M. Pichon’s Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, Monday, January 5, 1920, at 10:30 a.m.

  • Present
    • America, United States of
      • Hon. Hugh Wallace
    • Secretary
      • Mr. Harrison
    • Great Britain
      • Sir Eyre Crowe
    • Secretary
      • Mr. Norman
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau.
    • Secretaries
      • M. Dutasta,
      • M. Berthelot,
      • M. de Saint Quentin
    • Italy
      • M. de Martino
    • Secretary
      • M. Trombetti
    • Japan
      • M. Matsui
    • Secretary
      • M. Kawai
Joint Secretariat
Great Britain Capt. Lothian Small.
France M. de Percin.
Italy M. Zanchi.
Interpreter—M. Mantoux

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

  • Great Britain
    • Cmdr. Lucas, R. N.
    • Cmdr. MacNamara, R. N.
    • Lt. Col. Kisch,
    • Mr. Malkin,
    • Mr. Herman,
    • Mr. Millington Drake
  • France
    • M. Cambon,
    • M. Loucheur,
    • M. Leygues,
    • Gen. Weygand,
    • Gen. Le Rond,
    • M. Laroche,
    • M. Seydoux,
    • Adl. Le Vavasseur,
    • M. Kammerer,
    • M. Fromageot,
    • M. Hermite,
    • M. Arnavon,
    • M. de Montille,
    • Capt. Roper
  • Italy
    • Gen. Cavallero,
    • Vice-Adl. Grassi,
    • M. Pilotti,
  • Japan
    • M. Nagaoka.

Mr. Loucheur stated that at the preceding meeting of the Council1 he had explained the state of the negotiations with the German Delegation concerning the tonnage claimed by the Allies. The German Delegation had sent a telegram to Berlin explaining that the 180,000 tons of docks which had keen over-estimated by the Allies would be deducted from the figure of 400,000 tons originally claimed. That telegram did not take into account the error on the other side committed by the Allies, who had not reckoned the 80,000 tons, whose existence had been revealed by the German inventory. The point of view adopted in that telegram could not evidently be accepted by the Allies. Had it been admitted the 400,000 tons claimed would have been reduced to only 220,000. Mr. Dutasta and himself had explained to Mr. von Lersner that they could not accept the point of view of the German Delegation. Mr. von Lersner had then proposed as a compromise a draft which implied that the reduction agreed to by the Allies could not exceed 150,000 tons. The total amount to be surrendered by the Germans would thus have been 250,000 tons. They had then said to Mr. von Lersner that that figure seemed to them too small for the Council to accept it. After a rather long discussion, Mr. von Lersner had proposed the following draft: 1. States of Negotiations With the German Delegation Concerning the Protocol and The Coming Into Force of the Treaty

“From the 400,000 tons of floating docks, floating cranes, tugs and dredges claimed by the Allies, there will therefore be deducted such tonnage of floating docks as, after verification, shall be found to appear in the Interallied inventory by mistake—tonnage which therefore does not in reality exist. That reduction, however, will not exceed a total of 125,000 tons.”

They had reserved their reply; but upon thinking it over they proposed that the Council accept that text, which constituted a very acceptable basis of compromise.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that if he understood aright that text would guarantee to the Allies a minimum of 275,000 tons with the possibility of obtaining more.

Mr. Loucheur agreed that that was so in principle; but they should not conceal the fact that it was very unlikely that they would obtain a larger figure.

[Page 780]

Sir Eyre Crowe inquired whether it were necessary to arrive at a definite decision on that very day, or whether he might consult his Government on the proposed figure.

Mr. Clemenceau said that naturally if Sir Eyre Crowe expressed the desire to consult his Government, they could not take an immediate decision; the question, however, was urgent, and it was advisable to have it finally decided.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked whether the French Government accepted the text proposed by Mr. Loucheur.

M. Clemenceau replied that it did.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that in that case he also would accept it.

Mr. Loucheur stated that it would be wise to add in the last paragraph of the draft letter to the German Delegation, after the words—“The 192,000 tons proposed by the German Government”—the following phrase:—“And of which the list was submitted when the technical commissions discussed the subject”.

It was a pure question of form but that addition would be useful to obviate all chance of misunderstanding.

It was decided:

to approve the draft letter to the Chairman of the German Delegation contained in Appendix “A”, with the following addition: “and of which the list was submitted when the technical commissions discussed the subject.” That sentence should be placed in the first sentence of the last paragraph of the draft letter, after the words: “The Allied and Associated Powers add that the 192,000 tons proposed by the German Government …”.

(Mr. Wallace would refer the present resolution to Washington for the instructions of his Government.)

General Le Rond said that the Commission over which he presided had had two interviews with the German Delegates since the last meeting of the Council. Questions which it was absolutely important to solve before the coming into force of the Treaty were those concerning, on the one hand, the transmission of administrative powers, and on the other, economic affairs. On the first point agreement had practically been reached, but certain economic questions had been referred back to the Reparation Commission.

With regard to the situation of the plebiscite territories, their point of view had been given to the German Delegates in all its details four days before. The Germans had referred the question to Berlin. It was hoped that the reply of the German Government would arrive either on that or the following day.

Concerning the evacuation by German troops of the territories subject to plebiscite, the Germans had not been able to furnish any precise information. They had endeavored to draw the negotiations [Page 781] to Berlin, but on account of the Allies’ definite refusal they had declared that they would send for experts and the arrival of these was imminent. On questions which affected Poland, they had asked the advice of the Reparations Commission, and they hoped that the latter would communicate to them its opinion in as short a time as possible. As a matter of fact, it was only a question of finding out whether the Reparations Commission accepted the texts which they had proposed.

With regard to Memel and Dantzig, the Supreme Council had decided at its last meeting that the Commission on Polish Affairs would be charged with preparing the draft agreement with the German Government concerning the transfer of sovereignty over those territories.2

Mr. Clemenceau said that it was important that the Commission on Polish Affairs submit to the Council a draft at its next meeting.

General Le Rond remarked that besides the questions which he had just enumerated there remained to be settled the one relating to transportation and that of the strength of the troops of occupation, which had been raised by a recent letter of Mr. von Lersner. (Appendix “B”).

General Weygand said that there was no longer any difficulty on the question of transportation, properly speaking. Mr. von Lersner’s letter, however, to which General Le Rond had just referred, might possibly reopen the whole question as it asked that the strength of the troops of occupation in the various plebiscite zones should be reduced.

Mr. Loucheur said that he did not believe that Mr. von Lersner’s letter really re-opened the whole negotiation. The Chairman of the German Delegation was merely calling the attention of the Conference to the considerable expenses involved in occupying the Plebiscite Areas by the numbers of forces proposed. For Dantzig alone, the costs would amount to 80 million of gold marks, or nearly 800,000,000 of paper marks at the existing rate of exchange.

Mr. Clemenceau stated that that was certainly an important point, and suggested that it should be referred to a commission composed of the Chairmen of the Plebiscite Commissions.

Sir Eyre Crowe inquired whether M. Clemenceau thought that a commission of that kind could give the Council useful advice.

General Weygand replied that the question of the forces in the areas of occupation had already been examined by a mixed commission composed of diplomats and army members. Should they wish to proceed with a fresh inquiry into the question, it might be [Page 782] dealt with by the said commission, which had already been in operation, and consequently possessed the requisite working knowledge.

Mr. Loucheur said that it was not to be wondered at that the Germans were a little taken aback by the amount of the sums demanded from them. Thus, for Danzig, whose budget was four millions of marks per year, the cost of occupation as estimated was to be 800 millions of marks.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that, with regard to Dantzig, they had only decided on the organization of a base. The cost of maintenance of those troops could only be set against the Germans in the event of their having to be employed in the maintenance of order in the territory.

Mr. Loucheur remarked that the Germans were depending upon a figure of 8,000 men to be sent to Dantzig.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that they should take care not to reduce their forces too much. In Upper Silesia, for example, the Germans had massed considerable forces and difficulties might be expected. It would be unwise not to have sufficient Allied forces on the spot.

General Le Rond said that the question of Upper Silesia presented itself in a very special light. But there was no reason to prevent their maintaining the forces agreed upon for Upper Silesia, while they might make reductions in the quieter regions, such as those of Allenstein and Marienwerder.

Mr. Loucheur said that it was evident that the Germans themselves understood the difficulties which might take place in Upper Silesia. And for that reason, they only asked in that province for a reduction of one-third on the estimated Allied forces.

Mr. de Martino stated that they had always been in favor of as great a reduction as possible of the Allied forces in the territories to be occupied. It was only because of the reiterated demand of the Allies that they had consented to sending the number of battalions which had been asked of them and which on account of their demobilization made it very difficult for them to furnish.

It was decided:

that the Commission which had decided the strength of the troops of occupation to be sent to the plebiscite zones in Germany, as well as to Dantzig and Memel, should be entrusted with the further inquiry into that question, as also the objections contained in Mr. von Lersner’s letter dated January 2, 1920. (See Appendix “B”.); this commission would be entitled to hear the Chairmen of the various Plebiscite Commissions.

Mr. Loucheur commented upon a note of the Organization Committee of the Reparations Commission on that question, dated December 29, 1919. (See Appendix “C”).

[Page 783]

He added that besides its being purely a matter of form, he wished very earnestly to draw the attention of the Council to the situation in Austria which remained extremely threatening. No serious steps had yet been taken to protect Austria from famine with the exception of the sending of the 20,000 tons of food-stuffs now at Trieste. The victualing of Austria was only assured until the end of January. The Czecho-Slovaks had stated that they were unable to furnish the coal they had promised, as they lacked the rolling stock necessary for its transport. The situation could only be alleviated by the granting of a loan to Austria at the earliest possible moment. In this respect, however, it was impossible for the Allies to take any action until America had declared her intentions. [2] Conditions for a Loan to the Austrian Government

Mr. Wallace said that before taking any action the United States Government required a decision of Congress, which had not yet been obtained.

Sir Eyre Crowe remarked that if nothing were done a famine would occur in Austria by the end of the present month. Could not Mr. Wallace bring influence to bear on his Government, in order that the gravity of the situation in Austria might be emphasized to Congress, and that the latter be asked to reach a quick decision in the matter.

Mr. de Martino inquired what time would be required for sending to Austria the actually indispensable foodstuffs, and would they arrive in time to save Austria from famine.

Mr. Loucheur replied that as soon as they knew exactly where they stood, they could act rapidly. If need be, they would divert certain cargoes which would proceed to Trieste and the redistribution from there could be effected without much delay.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked how far they had got with the question of the creation of a commission for the temporary distribution of rolling stock between the various states resulting from the breaking-up of the ex-Austro-Hungarian Kingdom.

Mr. Loucheur replied that the decisions of the Council on the subject3 were being dealt with.

With regard to the loan of 30,000 million [30,000,000?] of florins which a Dutch group was to make to Austria,3a the terms put up to the Austrian Government seemed very hard and there was the risk of a deadlock. The Austrian Minister of Finance was to arrive in Paris very shortly to discuss that question. In order to save time they intended to have him assisted by two members of the Reparations Commission. But in any case, this deal could not be concluded for a [Page 784] certain time and he wished to clearly state that it seemed impossible to him to stave off famine from Austria if the United States Government did not furnish a definite reply by the following week at the latest.

Mr. Wallace said that he would submit to his Government the situation described by Mr. Loucheur.

Mr. Clemenceau inquired what the situation would be, should the America’s reply be in the negative.

Mr. Loucheur replied that nothing could then prevent starvation in Austria. Even if they decided to make the necessary financial sacrifices without America, their efforts would be unsuccessful, for the reason that it would be impossible for them to get dollars, which America alone had.

Mr. Kammerer commented upon two notes of the French Delegation on the question, dated December 31, 1919, and January 6[4], 1920. (See Appendices “D” and “E”.) 3. Assistance Demanded by General Denikin

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he thought the question presented itself from a military standpoint. Before attending to Denikin’s demands they should decide whether the measures which he required of the Allies were not utterly useless. That was a question upon which their military experts should be called upon to give their opinion.

Mr. Kammerer said that General Denikin was of the opinion that the Allies had three ways of helping him: (1) Bring pressure to bear upon Poland and Roumania to force them to give adequate help to the Russian Army fighting against the Bolsheviks. That question was essentially one of a political nature. (2) Authorize the Bulgarians to send detachments to the assistance of Denikin’s forces. The question at issue was really whether appeal could be made to an enemy power with whom peace had not yet been ratified. It should be noted as a matter of fact, that the enrolment of Bulgarian troops in the Russian armies was expressly forbidden by Article 103 of the Treaty of Neuilly.3b (3) Lastly, any armament in Bulgaria in excess of that allowed for under the Peace Treaty might be sent to Denikin. That third question was of a military nature.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he believed that the military considerations should be the foundation of the decision to be taken, and that it was therefore necessary to consult their military experts. Why, for example, apply pressure on the Poles in order to ask them to help Denikin, if their assistance were not to change anything in the unfavorable situation in which that general found himself. He was personally inclined to think that Denikin’s troops would continue to retreat whether the Poles intervened or whether they remained at a standstill. In any event, they could not give a decision without knowing what their experts thought.

[Page 785]

Mr. de Martino said that he believed with Sir Eyre Crowe that if their aid were not sufficient to remedy the unfavorable situation of Denikin’s army, it would hardly be worth while to force the Poles into an enterprise which would surely be useless and which involved certain dangers for Poland.

M. Clemenceau stated that it seemed to him that the opinion of the Council was against any pressure being applied on the Poles to make them intervene in Denikin’s favor. That was also his feeling. As for using Bulgarian troops, he would be very much opposed to that course, for it would cause considerable difficulties in the Balkans.

Sir Eyre Crowe stated that, with regard to the first question, he could not express any opinion without referring to his Government. As for the use of Bulgarian troops, he was absolutely in accord with the President’s way of thinking.

Mr. Kammerer said that it would, in principle, be quite desirable to send the surplus materiel to Denikin. The continued retreat of Denikin might, however, result in the loss of that materiel by allowing it to fall into the hands of the Bolsheviks. It would, therefore, be wise to send it only to places from which it could be rapidly evacuated, in case of need. That was a question for the military experts and for General Franchet d’Esperey, who was on the spot, to examine.

Mr. Clemenceau agreed that they might refer the question either to Marshal Foch or directly to General Franchet d’Esperey.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that, as the situation in Southern Russia was changing from day to day, it would be wiser to leave the matter to the judgment of the Allied military representatives on the spot.

It was decided:

to let General Franchet d’Esperey decide upon the wisdom of sending the Bulgarian war materiel in excess of the amount provided for in the Treaty of Neuilly to General Denikin’s troops, as well as on the means to be used for ensuring the forwarding, if need be, of that materiel.

(Mr. Wallace would refer the present resolution to Washington for the instructions of his Government.)

The Council had before it a note of the British Delegation on the question, dated January 4, 1920 (See Appendix “F”).

Sir Eyre Crowe said that as he had explained at the preceding meeting,4 the British Government deemed it useless to send General Niessel to Reval in order to re-organize the Russian Army of the Northwest, which had been thrown back onto Esthonian territory. Army He thought that the best course to follow would be to [Page 786] allow the Esthonian Government to take the measures it deemed necessary with regard to General Yudenitch’s troops. His Government, therefore proposed that the Esthonian Government be informed that the Allied and Associated Governments had no further objection to its proceeding with the dissolution of the Russian Forces of the Northwest in accordance with its original plan. 4. Representations To Be Made by the Allies to the Esthonian Government Concerning the Relations Between That Government and Yudenitch’s Army

Mr. Berthelot said that the idea of sending General Niessel to Reval to re-organize Yudenitch’s army had been abandoned, and he agreed with Sir Eyre Crowe in thinking that General Niessel’s mission would be inopportune. He did not, however, think it possible to accept the British proposal, for the present situation was as follows: The Esthonians had badly used and completely disorganized the Russian forces which had taken refuge on their territory. They had, on the other hand, signed an armistice with the Bolsheviks and seemed disposed to negotiate a definite treaty with them, which would be absolutely contrary to the Allies’ views. They had, furthermore, quarrelled with the Letts on the subject of some contested territory, and were threatening military occupation. As a result we had no reason to be satisfied with the present attitude of the Esthonians. The Allies had asked the Esthonian Government to spare Yudenitch’s forces;5 the Esthonians had not taken any account whatever of that admonition of the Allies. They might of course, leave the situation as it was, but it seemed to him that they would be going too far if they expressly withdrew the observations they had made. It would seem to encourage the Esthonians at a time when they were not satisfied with their attitude. If the Esthonians concluded peace with the Soviets it was to be feared that the whole cordon of Baltic States, perhaps even Poland, would soon follow their example, and that would constitute a very real danger.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he did not wish to hide the fact that serious arguments could be brought forth in favor of a policy of inaction. The situation did not, however, seem to him to be quite as just described by Mr. Berthelot. They had asked the Esthonians to suspend the disarmament of the Russian troops while waiting for a decision of the Council. They should therefore let them know what course the Council had decided to follow. He had accused the Esthonians of having concluded an armistice with the Bolsheviks; they should, however, not forget that when the Esthonians had asked them for assistance against the Soviets, they had refused to intervene. It might very well be that the Esthonians had been so closely pursued by the Bolsheviks forces that no other course was open to them. It appeared that the maintenance of a Russian army under arms on Esthonian territory was contrary to certain clauses of the armistice [Page 787] which had just been concluded and that measures were to be taken to effect the withdrawal of the Russian troops after disarmament.

Mr. Kammerer said that from the latest news they had received from Esthonia, the situation of Yudenitch’s forces appeared to be desperate. They comprised approximately 15,000 sick men, and the 3 or 4 thousand remaining fit men did not offer any military value. It was rumored that these weak contingents would be transferred south. But that news had not been confirmed.

Mr. Berthelot stated that they had not merely requested the Esthonians not to disarm Yudenitch’s army; they had also informed them that they were opposed to any armistice with the Bolsheviks. That armistice was all the more regrettable as the Esthonians did not seem to have been forced in any way to conclude it.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that they did not know anything about that. A telegram received from Esthonia and which seemed more recent than the information given by Mr. Kammerer, indicated that the withdrawal of the Russian troops was under way, under the conditions of the preliminary disarmament which was required by the armistice concluded between Esthonia and the Soviets.

Mr. Berthelot said that they were ignorant of the real situation. It therefore seemed that the best course would be to close their eyes with regard to the present attitude of the Esthonian Government and to leave, for the present, affairs in the status quo.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he agreed that no communication be made to the Esthonian Government.

It was decided:

that no representations should be made, for the time being, by the Allies to the Esthonian Government on the subject of the relations of that Government with the Army of General Yudenitch.

General Weygand commented upon a note of the French Delegation, dated January 3, 1920, on that question. (See Appendix “G”).

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the exceptions to the general rule consented to by the Supreme Council in favor of General Yudenitch and of the Czecho-Slovak Government were of minor importance.6 The exception now proposed in favor of Poland was of greater import. It seemed that before consenting, they should first find out whether the Poles actually lacked rifles and cartridges and whether their present claims did not conceal a desire to procure war materiel at small expense. 5. Authorization Demanded by the Polish Government To Buy Arms and Munitions in Germany

General Weygand remarked that even for any army which was not fighting, it was necessary to be constantly replacing rifles, as the [Page 788] wear and tear was extremely rapid. They had no means of verifying the needs of the Polish Army, but he was inclined to think they were real.

Sir Eyre Crowe replied that they knew the importance attached in England to the idea of a progressive disarmament; he would not, therefore, like to furnish the Poles with war materiel of which they were not strictly in need. As a matter of fact, there was another point of view: if the Poles were in possession of too great a quantity of guns of German origin they would be obliged to continue to obtain German material which would be contrary to the business interests of the Allies.

General Weygand said that the latter argument had a certain value, but that on the other hand, they should recognize that Poland found itself isolated in opposing the Bolshevik wave and it was necessary that she should be strong to resist it.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that before taking a decision he would ask for the opinion of his Government.

Mr. Clemenceau said that they had a double reason for strengthening Poland: she constituted the strongest rampart against Bolshevism and on the other hand, on account of the strategical position she occupied, she might be of decisive aid in case of difficulties with Germany. All the other considerations seemed to him secondary and there would be time to examine them later. The Poles would not be using Mauser rifles forever. As for the allusion which Sir Eyre Crowe had made to disarmament, he wished to state that he was in favor of that policy, but that it was necessary that Germany should be the first to disarm. He did not personally see any objection to the 300,000 rifles in question being in Poland, a friendly country, rather than in Germany.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he would be surprised if the Germans consented to selling this materiel to the Poles.

General Weygand said that they would not have to interfere in that aspect of the question. The Poles said that they had the means of buying the materiel in Germany and asked for their authorization. The rest concerned the Poles.

Mr. Clemenceau said that it seemed to him difficult to refuse to the Poles what they had granted to the Czecho-Slovaks. They had every reason to make use of the Poles to bring that troubled part of Europe to that state of equilibrium which alone would allow the possibility of the disarmament policy to which Sir Eyre Crowe had just referred.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he would point out that the materiel in question could not in any case remain in the hands of the Germans as the Treaty provided for its destruction. The whole question, for him, was whether the Poles were really in need of that materiel. [Page 789] He would explain to his Government the arguments which had been put forward in the discussion which had just taken place.

Mr. de Martino said that the question would be brought before the Council when the British Delegate had received the instructions of his Government. He wished, however, to say at once that the Italian Delegation was of the opinion that if the transaction proposed by the Poles took place, the proceeds of the sales of these arms and munitions should be paid into the Reparations fund.

Mr. Wallace stated that he would refer the question to his Government and would communicate its opinion as soon as he had received the necessary instructions.

The discussion was adjourned to a later date.

Mr. Seydoux commented upon a note of the French Delegation on the question, dated December 29, 1919. (See Appendix “H”.) 6. Prohibition of Enemy Trade in Turkey

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he had been instructed by his Government to support the proposal of the High Commissioners at Constantinople. He would point out that Bulgaria was in exactly the same situation as Turkey as their relations with her were still governed by the Armistice Convention. He would summarize in five points the proposal of the High Commissioners, such as he understood it:

—No further license would be granted to German ships to enter Turkish ports,
—Ships used for the repatriation of Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian prisoners would no longer be authorized to land goods in Turkey,
—All goods embarked in a German or Bulgarian port on an Allied, neutral or enemy ship, could no longer be landed in Turkey, and no goods could be shipped by an Allied, neutral or enemy ship in Turkey destined for a German or Bulgarian port,
—No goods could be landed in Turkey by a German or Bulgarian ship; no goods could be shipped on a German or Bulgarian ship in Turkey,
—All goods shipped in ports situated outside Germany and Bulgaria, by any non-German or Bulgarian ship could be landed in Turkey, whatever their origin might be.

If he understood Mr. Seydoux, he believed that these five points simply summarized the proposal of the French Delegation and coincided with it.

Mr. Seydoux agreed.

Mr. de Martino stated that the question before them was being submitted to the examination of the Organization Committee of the Reparations Commission. The Italian Delegation was in favor of [Page 790] the suppression of Article 23 of the Armistice of October 30, 1918, with Turkey,7 for the following reasons:

Because the Convention had been signed on October 30, 1918, i. e., while they were still in a state of war with Germany and there was need to strengthen the blockade against Germany; whereas at the present time the Treaty of Peace was signed and on the point of coming into force, the blockade had been raised, thus allowing Germany to trade freely.
Because Article 23 of the Armistice Convention was intended primarily to closely encircle Germany and was not directed against Turkey, who might, and still could, transact every kind of business with Allied or neutral countries. The blockade of Germany having come to an end, Article 23 no longer had the same importance.
Because it was admittedly in the interest of the Allied and Associated Powers that Germany should be able to recover economically so as to be in a position to pay its debts.

The question which was before them having been postponed a number of times, he would ask that it be submitted to the Reparations Commission and that the latter should communicate its opinion before any decision was taken by the Council.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he did not believe that the Reparations Commission was qualified to interfere in the present case.

Mr. Clemenceau said that he also thought that the Reparations Commission was not competent, as there was no Treaty with Turkey.

Sir Eyre Crowe said that the question was to prevent the Germans from getting a footing commercially in Turkey, before peace with that Power was signed, and from devoting themselves to a propaganda which, as recent incidents proved, might be full of danger. It was that which they had to consider and not the whole question of foreign trade in Turkey, a question bristling with difficulties.

Mr. de Martino said that he would consult his Government on the subject but would point out that the Organization Committee of the Reparations Commission had already dealt with questions referring to the preparation of Treaties which had not yet been signed.

The discussion was adjourned to a later date.

Captain Roper commented upon a draft note to be addressed to the German Government in reply to the German note of November 17, 1919 (Appendix “I”). 7. Reply to the German Note of November 17, 1919, Concerning the Manufacture of Aeronautical Materiel and the Organization of Aerial Navigation

After a short discussion,

It was decided:

to adopt the draft note to be addressed to the German Government in reply to the German note of November 17, 1919 (See Appendix “I”).

(Mr. Wallace would refer the present resolution to Washington for the instructions of his Government.)

[Page 791]

Mr. Fromageot commented upon the Drafting Committee’s note of January 3, 1920 (See Appendix “J”) concerning the Polish protest against modifications of the financial arrangements of the Treaty. (See Appendix “K”).

Sir Eyre Crowe said that he believed with the Drafting Committee that the modifications which the Poles complained of, tended, as a matter of fact, only to improve their situation. 8. Non-Signature by Poland of the Declarations of December 8, 1919, Modifying the Financial Arrangements of St. Germain-en-Laye8

Mr. Fromageot stated that an examination of the Polish note had led the Drafting Committee to ask whether, for the purposes of reparations, the Poles should or should not be considered as creditors of Austria. The natural deduction was, as a matter of fact, that if that question was to be answered in the negative the situation of Poland would not be in any way affected by the modifications made to the financial arrangements of St. Germain.

Mr. Clemenceau said that the Supreme Council had not, as far as he knew, given a decision on that point.

Mr. de Martino said that the terms of the reply to be made to the Poles should not leave it possible for the latter to interpret them as constituting a decision of the Supreme Council in their favor, since the Council had not thereby intended to settle that delicate question.

Mr. Fromageot said that they would avoid giving to the Poles on that point any assurances whatsoever.

It was decided:

to request the Drafting Committee to reply to the Polish Delegation’s note of December 19, 1919 (See Appendix “K”). That reply should take into account the considerations set forth in the Drafting Committee’s note of January 3, 1920 (See Appendix “J”). The reply should, however, avoid giving the Polish Delegation the impression that the question whether Poland was or was not a creditor of Austria under the heading of Reparations had been settled in one way or the other by the Supreme Council.

Mr. Fromageot stated that the draft Treaty with Hungary as it now stood left in suspense a certain number of questions which ought to be solved without delay. If the Council did not find it inconvenient, they would furnish a list of those questions to the Secretariat-General which might in turn put them, if advisable, before the Supreme Council. 9. Preparation of the Treaty with Hungary

The proposal was adopted.

Mr. Wallace stated that he noticed that in the draft note to the German Government on the aeronautical materiel existing in Germany (See Appendix “I”,) the expression “Allied and Associated [Page 792] Powers” was used. As he had already explained at the last meeting of the Council his Government asked that if it had not explicitly given its assent, this formula should not be employed in any document.9 It would therefore be necessary to modify in the sense of the observations he had just made the text of the reply the Council had just approved. 10. Use of the Term “Allied and Associated Powers”

Mr. Fromageot said that the question raised by Mr. Wallace was of a very grave character. The American representative on the Supreme Council had no power of decision. If the American Government now intended to forbid their using the expression “Allied and Associated Powers”, the tendency was nothing less than the dissolution of the Conference. That would be an extremely serious decision, for which he, for his part, would not assume responsibility.

Sir Eyre Crowe asked whether they might not avoid the use of the formula “the Principal Allied and Associated Powers”. That was a question of drafting.

Mr. de Martino observed that the American Government did not oppose in principle the use of the expression “Allied and Associated Powers”. It simply asked that it should be used only in documents which it had expressly approved.

Mr. Clemenceau said that the essential thing was to know whether or not they could use the expression “Allied and Associated Powers”. To be unable to do so would amount to the dissolution of the Conference. In that case each one would resume his own freedom of action and his own responsibilities; about his own, to speak for himself, he had no misgivings.

Mr. Wallace said that if the Council would only refer to the Minutes of the last meeting (See H. D. 121), it would see that they were not objecting in principle to the use of the formula under discussion, and that they only wished to restrict its use to the documents expressly approved by the Government at Washington.

Mr. Clemenceau said that they would examine anew that question at a further meeting, for it was absolutely necessary to know whether or not they could continue to use a formula which expressed, in the eyes of the enemy and neutral Powers, the unity of the Conference.

Mr. Harrison explained that Mr. Wallace had not opposed the employment of the phrase “Principal Allied and Associated Powers”, but had requested that when its use was proposed, as in the present instance, the assent of the United States Government should first be obtained.

(The meeting then adjourned).

[Page 793]

Appendix A to HD–122

Note From the Supreme Council to the German Delegation of January 6th Regarding the Signature to the Protocol

Now that the Protocol of November 1st10 has been signed by the qualified representative of the German Government, and the ratifications of the Treaty of Versailles deposited in consequence the Allied and Associated Governments wish to assure the German Government again that although they claimed necessary reparations for the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow they do not wish to injure Germany’s vital economic interests. By the present letter they confirm the declarations which the Secretary-General of the Peace Conference was directed to make verbally on this point, December 23rd, to the President of the German Delegation. These declarations were as follows:

—The Secretary-General was authorized by the Supreme Council to assure the German Delegation that the Interallied Commissions of Control and the Reparations Commission would act scrupulously in conformity with the assurances contained in the note of December 8 concerning the safeguard of Germany’s vital economic interests.
—As the experts of the Allied and Associated Powers are inclined to believe that part of the data upon which they based their demand for 400,000 tons of floating docks, floating cranes, tugs and dredges may have been inaccurate in certain minor details, they think a mistake may have been made as to the 85,000 tons of floating docks in Hamburg. If the investigation to be conducted by the Interallied Commission of Control proves that an error has really been made the Allied and Associated Powers will be disposed to reduce their claims proportionately, so as to bring the quantity down to 300,000 tons in round figures or even lower if convincing arguments prove that this is necessary. But absolute facilities must be granted qualified representatives of the Allied and Associated Powers to make all necessary investigations in view of verifying the German assertions before any reduction of the original demands of the Protocol can be made by the Allied and Associated Powers.
—The Allied and Associated Governments referring to the last paragraph of the letter containing their reply do not consider that the scuttling of the German ships at Scapa Flow constitutes a crime of war for which individual penalties should be demanded according to Art. 228 of the Peace Treaty.

On the other hand, the Allied and Associated Powers draw attention to the fact that, mindful of Germany’s vital economic interests, they had requested 400,000 tons on the basis of the inventory made by them. The German experts made a statement, which will be verified and which sets forth an inferior figure. Therefore, from the 400,000 tons of floating docks, floating cranes, tugs and dredges demanded [Page 794] by the Allies, will be deducted the tonnage of the floating docks which, upon verification will prove to have been erroneously included in the Interallied inventory and which, therefore, do not exist. Nevertheless, this reduction must not exceed the amount of 125,000 tons.

The Allied and Associated Powers add that the 192,000 tons offered by the German Government must be delivered immediately. For the remainder of the tonnage as determined by the Reparation Commission a time limit of not more than two years will be granted to the German Government for the full delivery.

Please accept, etc.

Appendix B to HD–122

president of the
german peace delegation

From: Von Lersner.

To: Clemenceau.

By order of my Government, I have the honor to present the following remarks relative to the plan for dividing the Allied contingents destined to occupy the plebiscite zones, and also the territories of Dantzig and Memel.

Article 95 of the Peace Treaty provides for the evacuation of the territory of Eastern Prussia (Allenstein) by the German troops, but not for the occupation of this territory by Allied troops. By the terms of Article 97, the Commission for Western Prussia (Marienwerder) will have at its disposal “in case of need” the necessary allied forces, while paragraph 2 of the Annex to Article 88 provides for the occupation of Upper-Silesia by the troops of the Allied and Associated Powers, at once, and unconditionally. As the German Delegation has already pointed out on several occasions, this is not due to an error in the drafting of the articles, but to a difference which is caused by the peculiar position of the territories in question.

However, if the Allies insist in placing foreign troops at the disposal of the International Commission in Eastern Prussia as well, they are going beyond the rights which they themselves stipulated in the Peace Treaty. Furthermore, in this instance, it cannot be contended that such a course was necessary as the Commission has sufficient police forces at its disposal for the guarding of the frontier and the maintenance of order.

Nevertheless, the German Government does not wish to enter any protest against the plan of the Allies: The Government accepts that this plan deviates from the provisions of the Peace Treaty on certain [Page 795] points. However, in the Allenstein territory, as in the other plebiscite zones, the troop strength should remain limited to that absolutely required by the circumstances. In Allenstein, for example, it will only be necessary to accompany the ceremonies of transferring the powers of administration to the International Commission by the presence of a small detachment. In Marienwerder, the protection of important railway lines must be added. In Upper-Silesia the situation is, it is true, a little different. The industrial region contains numerous disturbing elements and it will also be necessary to dispose of an important corps of military frontier guards. Nevertheless, order has been completely re-established for several months, and a lifting of the state of siege appears practicable. Finally, and above all, it is certain that a foreign corps of occupation need have no fear of an aggression on the part of insurgents from localities beyond the frontier.

The sending of contingents of greater strength than is absolutely necessary also presents objections: the financial situation of the States interested should be taken into account, and the fact that the unfavorable rate of exchange will greatly increase the expenses should be reckoned with. The regards which are due the population are also an important factor: experience has shown that all military occupation entails burdens and inconveniences, the aggravation of which is out of proportion with the increase of the strength of the occupying forces.

For these reasons the German Government requests that the occupation forces for Eastern and Western Prussia be reduced to one battalion for each of these territories, and that the troops destined for Upper Silesia, especially the Infantry, be reduced by about one-third.

Concerning the territories of Dantzig and Memel, the Peace Treaty does not stipulate upon whom will be incumbent the expenses of military occupation. The German Government supposes that neither the free city of Dantzig nor the territory of Memel should bear these expenses, because their paying capacity is far from sufficient. Furthermore, the projected occupation would be a heavy burden on the population. The garrison strength of the troops destined for Dantzig will be considerably superior to that of peace times, and it will be impossible to billet them in the military buildings. In Memel, where the population is peaceful and, in greater part, rural, a very small garrison would suffice to assure peace and order.

Consequently, the German Government feels obliged, in the interest of the populations concerned, to request that the effectives destined to occupy these territories, be also reduced.

Please accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]
[Page 796]

Appendix C to HD–122

organization committee
of the
reparation commission

Note of December 29 in Regard to Granting Credits to Austria

We have the honor to inform you that in execution of the Resolution of the Supreme Council of November 20, 1919 (H. D. 97 IV),11 the Organization Committee of the Reparation Commission again examined the paragraph of its conclusions beginning with the words “require immediately the Austrian Government”.

The Organization Committee of the Reparation Commission agreed to propose to the Supreme Council the following draft of this paragraph:

Inform the Austrian Government that no granting of credits could be considered if it did not agree to:
Not effect, or allow to be effected, any alienation of public properties, or disposal of public authorities, even in the form of concessions or monopolies, without the consent of the Reparation Commission, and to declare null and void any alienation of this sort effected since the Armistice, November 3, 1918.
To take, at the request of the Organization Committee of the Reparation Commission all measures liable to prevent the alienation outside of Austria, or to other than Austrian nationals, without the consent of the Reparation Commission, of all private property if the alienation of such property would be of a nature to compromise the guarantees for credits to be opened.

B. O. of the Committee
The Interallied Secretary

Appendix D to HD–122

Assistance Requested by General Denikin

The gravity of the military situation in Southern Russia has been the subject of two requests, of which the French Delegation deems it its duty to make a report to the Supreme Council.

On one hand, General Denikin sent to the French Government, a telegram thus drafted:

“The failure of the struggle against the Bolshevists in the East of Russia, the anti-Russian policy which has broken the north-western [Page 797] front, and the passivity of the Polish troops, have made it possible for the Bolchevists to concentrate as many as 500,000 men against the army of Southern Russia. The obvious superiority of the adversary has placed my troops in a difficult situation and causes a retreat which might lead to abandoning the coal basin of Donetz, where are kept the reserves of coal, which aliment all Southern Russia, all the ships and ports of the Black Sea, and where are a great number of foreign establishments. Considering the fight I am fighting against the Bolchevists as an undertaking, not only of Russia, but of all Europe, I deem it my duty to inform you that a certain help in troops from the Allies is necessary for us, even if it were only one or two army corps. Without this help, the struggle threatens to drag on, for a long time, and not only to destroy what is left of Russian culture, but also to spread over the countries which escape moral and economic disorganization. At the same time that I inform you of these facts, I beg you to let me know, if I can count in a short time, on the assistance of the Allied troops, to what extent and on what conditions.”

On the other hand, the Russian Embassy in Paris has suggested that the Allies might authorize the enlistment in the Denikin Army of Bulgarian volunteers. It thinks that about 30,000 commissioned and non-commissioned officers and Bulgarian soldiers might be recruited in this way.

This suggestion is different to that of General Denikin’s in that it is based on the help of an enemy country, with which peace is signed, but not yet ratified.

The French Delegation, deems it its duty in a similar order of ideas, but not identical, to point out, the results of a study made by General Franchet d’Esperey, on the conditions of the Bulgarian Armament.

According to this document, after the operations at present in course of execution, or provided for, (sending arms and munitions to General Denikin, restoring to the Rumanians, the Rumanian material seized by the Bulgarians, unbreeching the arms in the army depots, army inspections, etc.,) there will remain in Bulgaria, in comparison with the armament provided for this country by the Peace Treaty, an excess immediately available of about:

181,300 rifles
600 machine guns
900 cannons and trench guns
3,697,000 shells
210,200,000 cartridges

It must be remarked that as Bulgaria has to be disarmed, it is necessary to evacuate this material. Owing to General Denikin’s situation, is it advisable to send it to him?

[Page 798]

Appendix E to HD–122

french delegation

Enrolment of Bulgarians in the Denikin Army

General Mangin, sent by General Denikin, arrived at Constantinople on January 1. He reports that the military situation of the Volunteer Army is getting worse every day, the demoralized troops are not able to hold any halts. Only foreign help can prevent a disaster. Poland and Roumania, could help Denikin but require territorial compensations, which the latter has no power to accord. Denikin affirms that Bulgaria offers him 40,000 equipped, armed and officered men. He could transport them by sea, if coal were supplied to him. The serious objections the Allies may think of making to this project do not escape him: viz: the necessity of altering the Bulgarian Treaty, the possible pretentions of Bulgaria, the discontent and perhaps the opposition of Greece, Serbia and Roumania. But he adds that he is fighting for all Europe, and that the Allies have a primordial interest in saving him from defeat.

General Denikin is right in anticipating the opposition of the Balkan States, which are hostile to Bulgaria. In a letter dated December 27, addressed to the Minister of War, Colonel Eactivan, the Greek Military Attaché, at Paris, protested against the possible enrolment of Bulgarian officers in Denikin’s Army. He argues that this enrolment is forbidden by Article 103 of the Treaty of Neuilly, which obliges Bulgaria to prevent her nationals from taking service, even as instructors, in the naval, military, or air forces of a foreign country. He requests the French Government to assure the execution of this clause of the Treaty.

Appendix F to HD–122

british delegation

General Niessel’s Projected Mission to Reval

The British Government considers that any attempt which might be made either to re-organize the Russian Army of the Northwest on the Esthonian territory, or to transport certain units of this army, specially selected to be utilized elsewhere, would be both vain and impracticable. The British Government thinks that the best way would be to authorize the Esthonian Government to take freely such measures [Page 799] as may be deemed necessary, to disarm and utilize the forces still remaining on the Esthonian territory. In case the Supreme Council should share this point of view, the intervention of a corps, Commission or Officer with a special mission would be useless, whether of an Interallied character or not.

The Esthonian Government has been invited to suspend the disarmament of Russian troops, while awaiting the decision of the Supreme Council. The British Government suggests that this Government might be now informed that the Allied and Associated Governments do not object to the continuation of the dissolution of the Russian forces of the Northwest, according to the plan originally proposed by it.

Appendix G to HD–122

Note From the French Delegation

The Polish Government Asks To Buy Arms and Munitions in Germany

The Polish Government asks to buy in Germany:

300,000 Mauser rifles
8,000,000 Cartridges
1,000,000 kilos of powder

The purchase would be made through the intermediary of Mr. Louis Moon, agent for the Purchasing Commission of the Polish Delegation to the Peace Conference, acting in the name of the Polish Minister of War; Mr. Moon would have to go to Berlin, as soon as possible, for this purpose.

Marshal Foch favors this request, on account of the critical situation in which General Denikin’s defeats may place the Polish Army.

The French Delegation on this subject recalls that in its meeting of August 22 last, the Supreme Council decided that although Germany cannot alienate her war material, the Allies have the right to deliver licenses in certain special cases. In consequence, the Supreme Council, in the same meeting, authorized Germany to delivery miscellaneous material to General Youdenitch as well as to the Czecho-Slovakian Government.12

The French Delegation has the honor to suggest to the Council that a similar measure be taken in favor of the Polish Government.

[Page 800]

Appendix H to HD–122

Note From the French Delegation on the Prohibition of Enemy Trade in Turkey

In a telegram, copy of which is enclosed, the Allied High Commissioners at Constantinople, make to the Supreme Council two propositions, with a view to restrict trade with the enemy in Turkey, and assuring integral application of Art. 23 of the Armistice.13

It must be recalled that when the Armistice with Turkey was concluded, the blockade was still in force, and that consequently, it was necessary to prevent Germany being provisioned by Turkey. The situation is different now, and Germany has been authorized to resume commercial relations with various foreign countries, on certain conditions.

However, it seems to be dangerous, from a political point of view, to authorize Turkey to resume her commercial relations with the Central Powers, before a treaty has been concluded with her; this would open the way to German influence in the East, before the Allies established the economic status of the former Turkish Empire.

At a time when the Treaty of Versailles is going into force, and when in consequence, Germany is going to enjoy equal rights, it seems unnecessary to adopt stricter measures than those at present existing in Turkey. The present provisions which prohibit direct importation in Turkey of goods loaded on a German ship, or in a German Port, seem to be sufficient to prevent any German political action, and any action of her business men for propaganda purposes; in consequence, the aim of the Allies is realized.

On the other hand, any modification of the Armistice Convention of October 30, 1919 [1918], seems to be premature, as long as the Peace negotiations with Turkey are not ended.

Therefore, it is proposed that the existing measures destined to assure the execution of Art. 23 of the Armistice be maintained.



The High Commissioners are trying to assure the execution of Art. 23 of the Armistice and to prevent, as much as possible, the resumption of enemy trade in Turkey.

[Page 801]

For his [this?] purpose, they have taken measures, of which I informed you, prohibiting the importation in Turkey of all goods loaded on a German ship or in a German port.

But this prohibition is not sufficient.

The Germans have promptly found means to evade it, by sending their goods from Allied or neutral ports and in Allied or neutral ships.

Therefore it is necessary to take some other measures.

The best means would be to require certificates of origin: but the resumption of this system, which has been applied during the war, seems to be impossible at present.

The High Commissioners propose (two) solutions.

Impose on the German products, destined to Turkey, and which, under the present regime, may be unloaded there, after having travelled through an Allied or neutral country, the obligation to be nationalized in this country, by paying importation duties. This obligation would not entirely prevent German goods from being introduced into Turkey, but would constitute an obstacle and would place these goods in a disadvantageous situation, in comparison with the Allied or neutral products; the nationality should be verified upon the arrival in Turkey, by showing the receipt of the Allied or neutral customs-house, which received the duties.
Publish a notice that no goods of German origin shall be received in Turkey, whatever may be the nationality of their owner, the port of embarcation, and the nationality of the transporting ship. This measure would be most efficacious, and would prevent, even the Allied or neutral tradesmen from introducing into Turkey, any goods of German origin, they may possess. But its application would be difficult on account of the circumstantial verifications which should be made at the unloading.

It should be notified that the Commanders or the agents of the navigation Companies could transport goods of German origin, only at their own risks, and that they should declare, upon their arrival in a Turkish port, that they have no German goods, bound to Turkey.

In case of false declaration, the Commander of the Allied ports should inflict upon them a penalty, and they should re-embark, at their own expense those German goods. Besides, the Allied customs-houses, and especially the Chambers of Commerce, could often give the necessary information for the application of this measure.

However, the Italian High Commissioner insists upon remarking, that, it would be advisable to consider whether the shipment, from an Allied or neutral port to a Turkish port, of German goods, nationalized in the States from which they come, would constitute an infringement of Art. 23 of the Armistice.

[Page 802]

Before adopting one of the above solutions, and on account of the repercussions which the second might have on the Allied or neutral trade, the High Commissioners decided to refer to their Governments, and to ask them, by this telegram to the Supreme Council, for instructions.


Appendix I to HD–122

commission on air clauses,
of the peace treaty

No. 80

From: General Duval, President of the Commission on Air Clauses.

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

I have the honor to enclose herewith, a draft of Note to be sent to the German Government, in reply to its Note No. 6724 of Nov. 17, 1919, copy of which was transmitted to me, in a letter from Marshal Foch, under date of Nov. 21, 1919.

This draft of note, after having been drawn up by the Commission on Air Clauses, has been read and corrected by the drafting Committee of the Peace Conference.


Draft of Note, To Be Addressed to the President of the Interallied Air Commission of Control, for Transmission to the German Government, As Soon As the Going Into Force of the Peace Treaty

I have the honor, in the name of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, to reply as follows, to the German Government’s Note, A. A. I. No. 6724, under date of November 17, 1919.

Concerning the three first paragraphs of this Note, I beg to recall the terms of my Note … in which the opinion adopted by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, as to what material, actually existing in Germany, may be considered as civil material, is clearly expressed.

The Principal Allied and Associated Powers are obliged to reject the interpretation of Art. 201, which the German Government seems to have adopted. Article 198 permanently forbids Germany to possess any naval or military air force. Moreover, Art. 201 forbids for six months, the fabrication or importation of any air material in Germany. If it did not concern civil air material, this article would be meaningless, considering the stipulations of Article 198.

Part XI as indicated by its title, deals only with Air Navigation, and has no relation to the obligations imposed on Germany, for military reasons, and from an aeronautic point of view, and especially [Page 803] with the six months’ prohibition of fabrication and importation of any air material, whether its character be military, naval or civil.

The Principal Allied and Associated Powers do not pretend that the existence in Germany of routes for air Navigation, will be impossible after the going into force of the Treaty.

The existence of such routes may be admitted, and these routes may be utilized by:

Any aircraft, the civil nature of which shall have been thoroughly verified by the Interallied Air Commission of Control.
Any aircraft of non-military type which may be imported or constructed in Germany, after the expiration of the period of six months provided for by Article 201.

Concerning the neutral zone, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, shall only have to see that Article 43 is not violated.

They do not lay down, as a principle, that no landing fields for the civil air circulation, should not [sic] be established in the said zone, but it is obvious that the creation of landing fields might give rise to a state of things inconsistent with the strict execution of the clauses of Article 43.

In consequence, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers have a right to see that the Commissions on the Establishment and Upkeep of landing fields be of such a nature, as to assure the execution of the stipulations of the Peace Treaty.

Appendix J to HD–122

Note Relative to the Polish Protest Against the Declaration Tending To Modify the Financial Arrangement

No reason has been given by Poland in explanation of her protest, which rather indicates a certain susceptibility of pride.

It is, furthermore, rather difficult to understand this protest considering that the modification, brought about by the Declaration of December 8,14 in reality creates a more advantageous situation for Poland than resulted from the original Arrangement.

In fact, supposing that in Poland’s case the liberation debt is greater than the Reparations credit:—The modification does not alter the conditions established by the original Arrangement. There is compensation between the credit and the debt, and the issuing of bonds to cover the debit balance.

Supposing the reparations credits to be greater than the liberation debt: According to the original Arrangement, Poland would pay off her debt by means of immediate compensation from her credits, but [Page 804] would not be allowed to receive anything from the credit account, as long as the other credit States had not themselves received sums corresponding to the amount already received by Poland in compensation. According to the modification, no compensation is to be effected between the reparations credit which is to remain untouched, and which allows Poland to immediately receive successive payments from this fund, on one hand,—and, on the other hand, the liberation debt, which Poland is to pay off by issuing bonds which will not be redeemable or interest-bearing until after periods of five and ten years. Until the expiration of these five and ten year periods, the share of Poland in the reparations is unencumbered; after these five and ten year periods, this share will be encumbered by an impost for the payment of the interest and the amortization of the bonds. Poland’s position appears more favorable under the new system than under the original system.

In the opinion of the Drafting Committee, the best course to be taken would be, to induce Poland to withdraw her protest and agree to sign the Arrangement, by again presenting the Polish Delegation with the explanations which she has probably misunderstood.

In case Poland should persist in her refusal to sign, the consequences do not seem to be very important. Of course, in that case, the modification cannot be imposed on Poland. However, nothing prevents the application of the original system in the settlement of the Polish credit and debt, and, at the same time, the application of the new system in the settlement of the credits and debts of the other new States. The only difficulty which would result, would be, primarily, a certain material complication in the accounts, and secondly, an eventual abbreviation of the period, during which the Polish credit balance will have to wait for its settlement, because the other new States, by receiving their part of the reparations from the commencement would have thus hastened the proportional exhaustion of their credits proportionately with the Polish compensation.

For the Drafting Committee:
Henri Fromageot

Appendix K to HD–122

polish delegation
to the peace conference

To: The Secretary-General of the Peace Conference.

From: The Polish Delegation.

After having learned the reasons for the modification of the Arrangement of September 10th regarding the contribution towards [Page 805] the costs of liberation of the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy,15 and considering that the modifications proposed do not correspond to the interests of Poland, the Polish Delegation has the honor to solicit that, as far as Poland is concerned, the Arrangement which she signed, together with the Allied and Associated Powers, September 10, 1919, be maintained.

The Polish Delegation at the same time takes the liberty of expressing its keen regret that it did not have the opportunity to present, at an earlier date, its point of view in this respect.

Please accept, etc.

[No signature on file copy]
  1. HD–121, minute 1, p. 761.
  2. HD–121, minute 2, p. 762.
  3. HD–10, minute 10, p. 546.
  4. See HD–111, minute 5, p. 562.
  5. British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxii, p. 781.
  6. HD–121, minute 8, p. 770.
  7. See HD–103, minute 3, p. 389.
  8. HD–36, minute 4, vol. vii, p. 789.
  9. See telegram No. 32 from the Special Representative at Paris, Foreign Relations, 1918, supp. 1, vol. i, p. 441.
  10. See HD–107, minute 1, and appendix A, pp. 472 and 479.
  11. HD–121, minute 2, p. 762.
  12. Appendix C to HD–80, vol. viii, p. 865.
  13. Ante, p. 239.
  14. HD–36, minute 4, vol. vii, p. 789.
  15. See telegram No. 32 from the Special Representative at Paris, Foreign Relations, 1918, supp. 1, vol. i, p. 441.
  16. See HD–107, minute 1, and appendix A, pp. 472 and 479.
  17. Appendix I to HD–37, vol. vii, p. 830.