Paris Peace Conf. 184.00101/25

Minutes of the Daily Meetings of the Commissioners Plenipotentiary, Saturday, March 1st, 1919

  • Present:
    • Mr. Lansing
    • Mr. White
    • General Bliss
    • Mr. H. R. Wilson
Mr. Harrison submitted a report of the Finance Committee, and asked whether it was desired to consult Mr. Strauss. Mr. Lansing asked whether Mr. Strauss would be present this afternoon at the discussion. Mr. Harrison answered in the affirmative. Mr. Lansing thought this would be sufficient.
Mr. Harrison stated that the Economic Drafting Commission had decided to recommend a Permanent Economic Drafting Committee, and that Mr. Baruch would probably be present this afternoon.
Mr. Harrison withdrew.
General Bliss stated that he had received a telegram from General Pershing stating that three Colonels had been ordered to report to the Secretary of the Peace Commission for service at Warsaw. This is in answer to General Bliss’ request based on Monsieur Noulens’ telegram.
General Bliss stated that he had noted that Ambassador Francis would go before the Senate Committee concerning Russian affairs. Mr. Lansing stated that he believed this would clear up the atmosphere as it would give an opportunity to explain why the troops were not immediately withdrawn.
General Bliss stated that Admiral Benson would interview the British Admiral concerning the despatching of additional ships to [Page 87] Archangel, which had been requested by the Commander of our naval forces there.
Mr. Wilson read the draft of a telegram which he had been instructed to draw up to be forwarded to the President concerning his return to Paris via Antwerp and the devastated regions. The telegram was approved with certain alterations.
Mr. Wilson was instructed to ascertain what Admiral Benson recommends in the matter since Admiral Benson had informed General Bliss that he would consult the British in regard to the danger of mines in approaching Antwerp. Mr. Wilson was also instructed to show the telegram to Colonel House for his approval.
Mr. Wilson introduced the Memorandum concerning the amendment to the previous resolution regarding the payment of commutation to military personnel. The Commissioners approved the amendment suggested.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 118 concerning the sending of Mr. Ravndal and other consular officers to Constantinople and other consular posts in Turkey and Syria. The Commissioners requested a telegram be sent to the State Department answering telegram No. 716 “A” of February 17th and stating that the Commissioners agreed to the sending of consular officers provided they assumed only consular duties. It must be made clear to Mr. Ravndal that Mr. Heck remains in charge of political matters.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 119 concerning Sergeant Fred A. Carlson and Field Clerk C. A. Leedy. The Commissioners decided that Mr. Patchin should consult Mr. Lansing in regard to this matter.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 120 concerning the recognition of Finland. The Commissioners approved the despatch of the two telegrams appended.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 121 concerning Prof. Herron and Mr. White. The Commissioners decided that Prof. Herron and Mr. White should not remain attached to the Commission, in view of the present situation concerning Prinkipo, nor should they proceed with the organization of their delegation.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 122 concerning the use of the wireless station at Nauen for press reports. The Commissioners were in favor of discouraging this project.
Mr. Wilson introduced Memorandum No. 123 concerning the question of principle in regard to the inclusion and treatment of the German minorities in the Czecho-Slovak State. The Commissioners requested that the points at issue be presented to them in writing.
General Bliss declared that Mr. Dresel had discussed with him the question of the union of German-Austria with Germany, and had left with him a memorandum of a projected pronouncement of [Page 88] the Council of Ten. Mr. White pointed out that the project was so worded that it would not conflict with the principle of the right of self determination of nationalities, but was merely a warning intended to influence the Austrian Constituent Assembly, and to prevent the possibility of the Conference being requested to take subsequent, action contrary to the President’s principles. Mr. Lansing stated that he did not know what America’s attitude was towards this union, and that he felt that any idea of preventing an eventual union between the German peoples was a dream. He expressed an interest in the project of the union between Bavaria and German-Austria.
General Bliss introduced the matter of the boundary discussions and the part that Colonel Miles had played in delimitating a frontier, and was of the opinion that Colonel Miles should be kept as far as possible out of the discussion. Mr. Lansing believed that Colonel Miles’ part should be minimized as much as possible, and that they were trying to save Colonel Miles and Prof. Coolidge in this matter. General Bliss suggested that he might declare that the mission in Austria was reporting on this matter of the frontiers, that it was making an impersonal investigation which perhaps might have a different result from that which the Commission might decide.