Paris Peace Conf. 184.001101/21
Minutes of Meeting of the Steering Committee, August 19, 1919, at 2 p.m.
- Dr. James Brown Scott
- Col. U. S. Grant
- Mr. J. F. Dulles
- Mr. L. Harrison
- Mr. Woolsey
- Mr. A. W. Dulles (Secretary)
1. Dr. Scott requested the views of the Committee in regard to the powers which should be included as contracting parties in the agreements to be made with Italy and other states obtaining territory from the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy, specifying the share of these states in the cost of the war of liberation. It was the opinion of the Committee that only the principal Allied and Associated Powers should be contracting parties with the contributing states above mentioned, rather than all the Powers that figure in the Treaties of Peace with Germany and Austria.
The Committee desired that this expression of their opinion be brought to the attention of the Commissioners, in order that a ruling might be obtained on the question for the guidance of the American delegate on the Drafting Committee.
2. Dr. Scott stated that a difference of opinion had arisen in the Drafting Committee regarding the Powers which should be included as contracting parties in the “Arms Convention,” “Liquor Convention,” and the “Revision of the Berlin-Brussels Acts.” The British delegate on the Drafting Committee desired only the states having colonies in Africa, together with the United States, to be parties. Mr. Beer, the American delegate, had felt quite strongly that all the Allied and Associated Powers should be parties to and bound by these conventions and that neutrals should have the right of adhering.
The Committee was of the opinion that Mr. Beer’s position in this matter was entirely correct and should receive the support of the American delegation. It was decided to bring this matter to the attention of the Commissioners, in order that a ruling might be obtained for the guidance of the American delegate on the Drafting Committee.
3. Dr. Scott submitted revised clauses on nationality for the Austrian Treaty and requested Mr. A. W. Dulles to examine them in the light of criticism which had been submitted of the former clauses of the Austrian Treaty.
4. The Committee remarked on the fact that the German Government had issued a publication giving publicity to certain events and [Page 477] confidential discussions which had led up to the conclusion of the Armistice.6 The Committee requested the Secretary to obtain copies of this publication and to see that a copy was sent as soon as possible to Washington.
Mr. A. W. Dulles reported that Mr. Dresel had already received three copies of this publication.
5. The Committee decided to investigate whether the German Government had issued a publication giving details regarding the abdication of the Kaiser, as the German press had recently given a number of new facts in regard to this matter.
6. Mr. Woolsey inquired whether the Commission was in possession of a certified copy of the original Armistice conditions and the conditions of prolongation of the Armistice. Mr. Woolsey was informed that the Commission had no such certified copy. It was decided that it was highly desirable to obtain such a copy for the archives of the Department of State, and the Committee decided to bring the matter to the attention of the Commissioners and to suggest that a letter be addressed to Mr. Clemenceau, as President of the Peace Conference, requesting him to furnish the American Commission with such a certified copy of the original Armistice conditions.
7. The meeting adjourned at 2:55 P.M.
- The publication referred to is probably Germany, Reichskanzlei, Vorgeschichte des Waffenstillstandes; amtliche Urkunden (Berlin, 1919); see translation by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Preliminary History of the Armistice (New York, Oxford University Press, 1924).↩