Paris Peace Conf. 184.001101/12

Minutes of Meeting of the Steering Committee, July 21, 1919, at 2 p.m.

  • Present:
    • Dr. James Brown Scott
    • Colonel U. S. Grant
    • Dr. Douglas Johnson
    • Mr. Leland Harrison
    • Mr. J. F. Dulles
    • Mr. A. W. Dulles, Secretary
Dr. Scott stated that he had been informed by the British representative on the Drafting Committee that Mr. Balfour was insistent that the Treaties with Bulgaria and Hungary should be finished by August 15 at the latest.
Dr. Scott reported that the Austrian Treaty had been handed in on Sunday, the Austrians being given copies in three languages, French, English and Italian. They will have ten days in which to file their reply.
Dr. Scott stated that the Drafting Committee was at present working on the Economic clauses of the Bulgarian Treaty.
With reference to the question raised by Mr. J. F. Dulles regarding the reply of the Allies to the German note on The Rhineland Convention, Dr. Scott reported that the Drafting Committee had decided not to make use of the phrase “Imperial” in the Allied reply as the translation of the German “Reich” but to use the phrase “of the Empire”. A first proof of the Allied reply, as corrected by the Drafting Committee, would be submitted to Mr. J. F. Dulles for approval.
Mr. J. F. Dulles reported that satisfactory progress was now being made on the Reparation clauses for the Bulgarian Treaty. There was one question which had not been settled, namely: Whether the United States was to be represented on the Bulgarian Reparations Commission. Mr. Dulles stated that he was drafting a telegram of inquiry from the Commission to the President in regard to such representation.
Dr. Johnson reported that a number of documents had been brought to his attention showing that the Yugo-Slavs had failed to carry out the order of the Allies regarding the evacuation of Klagenfurt. Mr. Harrison reported that this question had been put upon the agenda of the Supreme Council for the meeting of the 21st.
Mr. Harrison reported that two questions which had been brought to the attention of the Commissioners by the Steering Committee, namely: That of full powers for the signing of the Bulgarian Treaty and as to whether Colonel House would be one of the signers—had been discussed and telegrams had been drafted to cover them. As regards the language to be used in the treaties to be prepared with the New States and with Bulgaria and Hungary, Mr. Harrison desired information why the question had been raised by the Committee as he thought the precedent set by the Austrian treaty, in which the French language was to be authoritative in case of divergence, was to be followed in other treaties to be prepared. Dr. Scott stated that the question had been raised because of the objection of the British Delegate on the Drafting Committee to accepting this method of procedure.
9 [sic].
Mr. J. F. Dulles inquired exactly what action was being taken regarding the preparation of the Turkish Treaty. He added that in view of the probability that the Financial Liquidation of Turkish affairs would require many months, he did not feel that he could in any way become involved in this task. Mr. Harrison reported that when the President left for America, it was understood that the preparation of the Turkish Treaty would be delayed pending determination of America’s attitude regarding a Mandate; that the President has subsequently telegraphed that as there might be considerable delay before he could give the final answer in this regard, he suggested that the Conference go ahead with the preparation of the Treaty; that this reply was referred to the Supreme Council which had reached the conclusion that it would be impossible to proceed with the Treaty until America’s attitude was known, but that in the meantime every effort would be made to preserve peace in the Turkish Empire. This opinion of the Supreme Council has been referred to the President, and no reply has yet been received from him.
Mr. A. W. Dulles stated that it was suggested to him that it might be desirable to confidentially circulate the minutes of the Steering [Page 465] Committee to the persons at the weekly meetings of the Commissioners. The meeting approved of this being done, and directed the Secretary to make the necessary arrangements.

The meeting adjourned at 2:35 P.M.