Paris Peace Conf. 184.001101/11

Minutes of Meeting of the Steering Committee, July 19, 1919, at 2 p.m.

  • Present:
    • Dr. James Brown Scott
    • Colonel U. S. Grant
    • Mr. J. F. Dulles
    • Mr. A. W. Dulles (Secretary)
With regard to the summary of the stage of preparation of the Bulgarian Treaty, Dr. Scott reported that section 10 in regard to Aerial Navigation has been completed, approved by the Drafting Committee and put in final form in the Treaty. Colonel Grant pointed out that these clauses were contained in recommendation of the Military, Naval and Air representatives of June 5.
The Committee discussed the question of full powers for the signing of the Bulgarian Treaty and decided to invite the attention of the Commissioners to the desirability of determining immediately and before the arrival of the Bulgarian delegation on July 25 what countries are to sign the Bulgarian Treaty, if it is to be signed by the American Commissioners and if so what Commissioners are to sign it. The Committee recommends that the necessary steps be taken to have the credentials of the American Commissioners in due form for exchange with the Bulgarians upon their arrival, if the American Commissioners are to sign.
Dr. Scott reported regarding difficulty which he had previously experienced in making rapid progress with the work of the Drafting Committee. He stated however that on his recommendation the Drafting Committee had agreed to continue their work on the Bulgarian Treaty taking as guides the treaties with Germany and Austria and also working into final form clauses based upon unanimous reports of Committees, pending the approval of these reports by the Supreme Council, in order that if these reports were approved the Treaty clauses would be completed.
Mr. J. F. Dulles called attention to a question which had arisen in drawing up an authoritative interpretation of the Rhineland Convention. He stated that as the Convention was official in both French and English he had taken the position that an authoritative interpretation should also be in these two languages. Mr. Dulles added that although this position had met with some opposition by Mr. Clemenceau it had been finally accepted by the Supreme Council.
The Commitee after some discussion of the question of the Treaty clauses decided to call the attention of the Commissioners to the desirability of determining the language or languages to be used in the treaties with the new States, in the Treaty with Bulgaria and in the [Page 463] arrangements of protocols that may be drafted to complete these treaties. While these treaties would necessarily be drafted and signed in French and English and possibly Italian the Committee felt it was desirable that the text in one language should be accepted as a standard in case of divergence. In the Austrian Treaty this language was French. Secretary Lansing, before leaving, expressed to Dr. Scott the desirability that the French text should as in the case of the Austrian Treaty, prevail in case of divergence.
Dr. Scott requested that six copies of the German Edition of the Treaty of Peace as ratified at Weimar on July 9, 1919, containing the instrument of ratification, which were printed by the German Government, be obtained.

The meeting adjourned at 2:45 P.M.