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Section V.—Special provision (Art. 379)

Article 379.

Without prejudice to the special obligations imposed on her by the present Treaty for the benefit of the Allied and Associated Powers, Germany undertakes to adhere to any General Conventions regarding the international régime of transit, waterways, ports or railways which may be concluded by the Allied and Associated Powers, with the approval of the League of Nations, within five years of the coming into force of the present Treaty.

Note to XII, 379

The first session of the Assembly of the League of Nations on December 9, 1920 adopted a resolution which, in part, provided: [Page 688]

“I. The Members of the League of Nations are hereby invited to send special representatives to a general conference on freedom of communications and transit to meet at Barcelona as soon as possible after the meeting of the Assembly. This Conference shall be invited to:

“(1) draw up, under conditions laid down in the resolution regarding the relations between the technical organizations and the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations, the measures which may be taken by the Members of the League in fulfilment of that part of Article 23 (e) of the Covenant which concerns freedom of communications and transit, as well as the general conventions on the international régime of transit, of ports, of waterways, and of railways, referred to in Articles 338 and 379 of the Treaty of Versailles.”

. . . . . . .

“II. The Conference shall likewise be invited to organize an advisory and technical committee, the headquarters of which shall be at Geneva. This committee shall be a consultative and technical body, to consider and propose measures calculated to ensure freedom of communications and transit at all times, and to assist the Council and Assembly of the League in discharging the functions entrusted to the League by Article 24 of the Covenant, and by Articles 342, 377 and 378 of the Treaty of Versailles, and the corresponding articles in the other treaties.

“The committee may arrange for any future conference and prepare its agenda; it will exchange all requisite information concerning communications and transit with the appropriate technical ministries of the Members of the League; it will be entrusted with the investigation of any disputes which may be referred to the League under Articles 336, 376, 386 of the Treaty of Versailles, and corresponding articles in the other treaties of peace, and will endeavour to adjust such disputes whenever possible by conciliation between the Parties; in the event of such disputes being brought before the Permanent Court of International Justice, the committee may be called upon to assist the Court.”

The Organization for Communications and Transit was established by a statute adopted by the General Conference on Communications and Transit, Barcelona, March 10–April 20, 1921, at which 44 states were represented. The statute of the organization as revised and in force in 1927 is in Third General Conference on Communications and [Page 689]Transit, IV, 60 (Doc. C.558 (c), M.200 (c), 1927, VIII, 15/IV). A revision, Statute of the Organisation for Communications and Transit (Doc. C.64.1938.VIII.1), adopted by the Council January 29, 1938, was intended to enable the United States to participate.

In fulfilment of the intentions of article 379 of the treaty of peace the following instruments were concluded by the conference:

  • Convention and statute on freedom of transit, Barcelona, April 20, 1921; in force October 31, 1922; signatories, 41 (7 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 11).
  • Convention and statute on the régime of navigable waterways of international concern, Barcelona, April 20, 1921; in force, October 31, 1922; signatories, 32 (7 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 35).
  • Additional protocol of the convention on the régime of navigable waterways of international concern, Barcelona, April 20, 1921; in force October 8, 1921; signatories, 20 (7 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 65).
  • Declaration recognizing the right to a flag of states having no seacoast, Barcelona, April 20, 1921; registered October 8, 1921; signatories, 44 (7 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 73).
  • Convention and statute on the international régime of maritime ports, and protocol of signature, Geneva, December 9, 1923; in force July 26, 1926; signatories, 30 (58 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 285).
  • Convention and statute on the international régime of railways, Geneva, December 9, 1923; in force March 23, 1926; signatories, 36 (47 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 550).