Paris Peace Conf. 184.001101/2

Minutes of Meeting of the Steering Committee, July 2, 1919, at 2 p.m.

  • Present:
    • Dr. James Brown Scott
    • Colonel U. S. Grant
    • Professor Johnson
    • Mr. Harrison
    • Mr. J. F. Dulles
    • Mr. Herter

The Minutes of the Meeting of July 1 were considered.

Mr. Dulles suggested that No. 6 of the questions which had been discussed should more properly read as follows:

“The form in which contributions towards the cost of the war should be made by States acquiring territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was discussed. It was decided that a formal convention should be drafted by the experts, and after drafting should be submitted for approval to the Supreme Council.”

The suggestion was likewise made and approved, that in the future the minutes should be so drafted as to bring into juxtaposition questions which were discussed, together with the decisions reached in each case.

The questions which were considered by the Committee were:

1. The attitude which should be assumed by members of the American Commission towards the Bulgarian and Turkish Treaties. It was decided that the following question should be put up to the Commissioners:

“It being understood that the American representatives are not attending some of the meetings of the Commissions on the subjects relating to the Treaties with Bulgaria and Turkey, the opinion of the Commissioners is desired as to whether our experts should not attend all such meetings and participate fully in the preparatory work for these treaties. If decided that they shall participate in such meetings, we recommend that instructions be issued to that effect.”

2. A memorandum to the Commissioners from Professors Day and Coolidge requesting that certain questions be answered in regard to the Near East. It was decided that this matter should be brought to the attention of the Commissioners, with the recommendation that it be referred to a Special Committee, and we suggest for consideration as members the following: [Page 455]

  • Dr. Johnson,
  • Prof. Coolidge,
  • Mr. Buckler,
  • Mr. Dominian.

3. The matter of preparing a list of outstanding business. It was decided that the following statement should be made in regard to this matter to the Commissioners:

The following subjects appear to require prompt action, and as far as the Committee knows, have not been definitely settled:

The appointment of Commissions of Control, etc, called for to execute the terms of the Treaty of Peace with Germany as shown in the accompanying list (Appendix 1).1
It is suggested that the Commission may decide to designate a Committee to ascertain the desirability of designating Americans to do some preliminary work in anticipation of the definite establishment of Commissions required by the Treaty. In many cases the labors of these Commissions will be such, and the time within which they are to accomplish their work so short, that unless some preliminary work is done for them, it will be difficult to execute the intended treaty.

4. Whether or not the United States had as yet adopted a Russian policy. It was decided that the following recommendation be submitted to the Commissioners:

“It is recommended that the policy of the United States in regard to Russia and the countries formed from the old Russian Empire should be confidentially circulated among the assistants to the Commission for their guidance.”

5. The action of the Italian authorities in Fiume. It was decided that Professor Johnson should gather the facts in regard to this whole question and prepare a memorandum for the Commissioners, suggesting that it be placed on the minutes of the Council of Five for a decision at the earliest possible moment.

The Meeting adjourned at 3:10 PM.

Dr. Scott left the Meeting at 2:50 PM.

  1. The list referred to does not accompany the file copy of the minutes.