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Miscellaneous provisions (Art. 434 to 440)

Notes to Part XV, Articles 434 to 440

The treaty restoring friendly relations between the United States and Germany signed at Berlin, August 25, 1921 and in force on November 11, 1921 with retroactive effect to July 2, 1921, stipulates that “Germany undertakes to accord to the United States and the [Page 727]United States shall have and enjoy … all the rights and advantages” stipulated for its benefit by this part of this treaty, “notwithstanding the fact that such treaty has not been ratified by the United States”. The rights and advantages of nationals of the United States specified in the joint resolution of Congress approved July 2, 1921 (p. 18) were specifically mentioned in an understanding included in the Senate’s resolution of advice and consent to ratification of October 18, 1921. The Senate in that resolution made a further condition “that the United States shall not be represented or participate in any body, agency or commission, nor shall any person represent the United States as a member of any body, agency or commission in which the United States is authorized to participate by this Treaty, unless and until an Act of the Congress of the United States shall provide for such representation or participation”.

This part is, ipsissimis verbis, an annex, technically a schedule, of the treaty restoring friendly relations as printed by the Department of State in Treaty Series 658, but not as printed in 42 Stat. 1939.

Article 434.

Germany undertakes to recognise the full force of the Treaties of Peace and Additional Conventions which may be concluded by the Allied and Associated Powers with the Powers who fought on the side of Germany and to recognise whatever dispositions may be made concerning the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, of the Kingdom of Bulgaria and of the Ottoman Empire, and to recognize the new States within their frontiers as there laid down.

Article 435.

The High Contracting Parties, while they recognize the guarantees stipulated by the Treaties of 1815, and especially by the Act of November 20, 1815, in favour of Switzerland, the said guarantees constituting international obligations for the maintenance of peace, declare nevertheless that the provisions of these treaties, conventions, declarations and other supplementary Acts concerning the neutralized zone of Savoy, as laid down in paragraph 1 of Article 92 of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna and in paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Treaty of Paris of November 20, 1815, are no longer consistent with present conditions. For this reason the High Contracting Parties take note of the agreement reached between the [Page 728]French Government and the Swiss Government for the abrogation of the stipulations relating to this zone which are and remain abrogated.

The High Contracting Parties also agree that the stipulations of the Treaties of 1815 and of the other supplementary Acts concerning the free zones of Upper Savoy and the Gex district are no longer consistent with present conditions, and that it is for France and Switzerland to come to an agreement together with a view to settling between themselves the status of these territories under such conditions as shall be considered suitable by both countries.

ANNEX.

I

The Swiss Federal Council has informed the French Government on May 5, 1919, that after examining the provisions of Article 435 in a like spirit of sincere friendship it has happily reached the conclusion that it was possible to acquiesce in it under the following conditions and reservations:

Text of May 7:

The Swiss Federal Council has informed the French Government that after examining the provisions of Article 435 in a like spirit of sincere friendship it has happily reached the conclusion that it was possible to acquiesce in it under the following conditions and reservations:

(1) The neutralized zone of Haute-Savoie:

(a) It will be understood that as long as the Federal Chambers have not ratified the agreement come to between the two Governments concerning the abrogation of the stipulations in respect of the neutralized zone of Savoy, nothing will be definitely settled, on one side on the other, in regard to this subject.

(b) The assent given by the Swiss Government to the abrogation of the above mentioned stipulations presupposes, in conformity with the text adopted, the recognition of the guarantees formulated in favour of Switzerland by the Treaties of 1815 and particularly by the Declaration of November 20, 1815.

(c) The agreement between the Governments of France and Switzerland for the abrogation of the above mentioned stipulations will only be considered as valid if the Treaty of Peace contains this Article in its present wording. In addition the Parties to the Treaty [Page 729]of Peace should endeavour to obtain the assent of the signatory Powers of the Treaties of 1815 and of the Declaration of November 20, 1815, which are not signatories of the present Treaty of Peace.

(2) Free zone of Haute-Savoie and the district of Gex:

(a) The Federal Council makes the most express reservations to the interpretation to be given to the statement mentioned in the last paragraph of the above Article for insertion in the Treaty of Peace, which provides that “the stipulations of the Treaties of 1815 and other supplementary acts concerning the free zones of Haute-Savoie and the Gex district are no longer consistent with present conditions”. The Federal Council would not wish that its acceptance of the above wording should lead to the conclusion that it would agree to the suppression of a system intended to give neighbouring territory the benefit of a special régime which is appropriate to the geographical and economical situation and which has been well tested.

Text of May 7:

The Federal Council makes the most express reservations to the interpretation to be given to the statement mentioned in the last paragraph of the above article for insertion in the Treaty of Peace, which provides that the stipulations of the Treaties of 1815 and other supplementary acts concerning the free zones of Haute-Savoie and the Gex district are no longer consistent with the present circumstances. The Federal Council would not wish that its acceptance to the above wording should lead to the conclusion that it would agree to the suppression of a system intended to give neighbouring territory the benefit of a special regime appropriate to the geographical and economical situation and which has been well tested.

In the opinion of the Federal Council the question is not the modification of the customs system of the zones as set up by the Treaties mentioned above, but only the regulation in a manner more appropriate to the economic conditions of the present day of the terms of the exchange of goods between the regions in question. The Federal Council has been led to make the preceding observations by the perusal of the draft Convention concerning the future constitution of the zones which was annexed to the note of April 26 from the French Government. While making the above reservations the Federal Council declares its readiness to examine in the most friendly spirit any proposals which the French Government may deem it convenient to make on the subject.

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Text of May 7:

In the opinion of the Federal Council the question is not the modification of the customs system of the zones as set up by the treaties mentioned above, but only the regulation in a manner more appropriate to the economic conditions of the present day; the terms of the exchange of goods between the regions in question. …

… While making the above reserve the Federal Council declares its readiness to examine in the most friendly spirit any proposals which the French Government may deem it convenient to make on the subject.

(b) It is conceded that the stipulations of the Treaties of 1815 and other supplementary acts relative to the free zones will remain in force until a new arrangement is come to between France and Switzerland to regulate matters in this territory.

II

The French Government have addressed to the Swiss Government, on May 18, 1919, the following note in reply to the communication set out in the preceding paragraph.

In a note dated May 5 the Swiss Legation in Paris was good enough to inform the Government of the French Republic that the Federal Government adhered to the proposed Article to be inserted in the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Governments and Germany.

Note to XV, 435, II

For the French text of the note of the Swiss Political Department to the French Ambassador of May 5, 1919, see Permanent Court of International Justice, Series C, No. 17–1, vol. ii, 689.

The French Government have taken note with much pleasure of the agreement thus reached, and, at their request, the proposed Article, which had been accepted by the Allied and Associated Governments, has been inserted under No. 435 in the Peace conditions presented to the German Plenipotentiaries.

The Swiss Government, in their note of May 5 on this subject, have expressed various views and reservations.

Concerning the observations relating to the free zones of Haute-Savoie and the Gex district, the French Government have the honour to observe that the provisions of the last paragraph of Article 435 are so clear that their purport cannot be misapprehended, especially where it implies that no other Power but France and Switzerland will in future be interested in that question.

[Page 731]

The French Government, on their part, are anxious to protect the interests of the French territories concerned, and, with that object, having their special situation in view, they bear in mind the desirability of assuring them a suitable customs régime and determining, in a manner better suited to present conditions, the methods of exchanges between these territories and the adjacent Swiss territories, while taking into account the reciprocal interests of both regions.

It is understood that this must in no way prejudice the right of France to adjust her customs line in this region in conformity with her political frontier, as is done on the other portions of her territorial boundaries, and as was done by Switzerland long ago on her own boundaries in this region.

The French Government are pleased to note on this subject in what a friendly disposition the Swiss Government take this opportunity of declaring their willingness to consider any French proposal dealing with the system to be substituted for the present regime of the said free zones, which the French Government intend to formulate in the same friendly spirit.

Moreover, the French Government have no doubt that the provisional maintenance of the régime of 1815 as to the free zones referred to in the above mentioned paragraph of the note from the Swiss Legation of May 5, whose object is to provide for the passage from the present régime to the conventional régime, will cause no delay whatsoever in the establishment of the new situation which has been found necessary by the two Governments. This remark applies also to the ratification by the Federal Chambers, dealt with in paragraph 1 (a), of the Swiss note of May 5, under the heading “Neutralized zone of Haute-Savoie”.

Note to XV, 435, in toto

Article 435 remits to France and Switzerland a territorial and administrative matter which took shape from the Final Act of Vienna (2 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 3; 1 Hertslet, Map of Europe by Treaty, p. 208), concluded between Austria, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Spain, and Sweden on June 8, 1815, and the treaty respecting the frontiers of France, etc., concluded at Paris, November 20, 1815 (3 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 280) between France and Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia. The Permanent Court of International Justice called the article a “declaration of disinterestedness” on the part of those governments which were parties to the treaty of peace. The provisions of article [Page 732]435 were also inserted in the treaties of peace with Austria as article 375, with Bulgaria as article 291, and with Hungary as article 358. Spain and Sweden, which were not parties to this treaty, gave their adhesion to article 435 on April 8, 1920 and March 22, 1921 respectively (Permanent Court of International Justice, Series C, No. 17–1, vol. ii, 563).

Negotiations between France and Switzerland culminated in the signature at Paris on August 7, 1921 of a convention regulating the relations of commerce and good neighborhood between the former (anciennes) free zones of Upper Savoy and the District of Gex and the adjacent Swiss cantons (ibid., p. 1060). By the Swiss constitution this convention required approval by plebiscite. The popular vote rejected it, 407,372 to 91,471, on February 18, 1923, two days after a French law had placed the free zones within the customs frontier of France (ibid., p. 1140).

Following a controversial correspondence, an arbitral agreement was concluded on October 30, 1924, which was brought into force by exchange of ratifications only on March 21, 1928. Article 1 provided:

“It shall rest with the Permanent Court of International Justice to decide whether, as between Switzerland and France, Article 435, paragraph 2, of the Treaty of Versailles, with its Annexes, has abrogated or is intended to lead to the abrogation of the provisions of the Protocol of the Conference of Paris on November 3rd, 1815, of the Treaty of Paris of November 20th, 1815, of the Treaty of Turin of March 16th, 1816 [cession by Sardinia of parts of Savoy to Geneva, ibid., p. 644], and of the Manifesto of the Sardinian Court of Accounts of September 9th, 1829 [ibid., p. 940], regarding the customs and economic régime of the free zones of Upper Savoy and the Pays de Gex, having regard to all facts anterior to the Treaty of Versailles, such as the establishment of the Federal Customs in 1849, which are considered relevant by the Court.”

In an order of August 19, 1929 the Court concluded that article 435 neither effected an abrogation nor had abrogation for its object, and gave the parties until May 1, 1930 to reach an agreement (Series A, No. 22). They failed to agree and returned to the Court which on December 6, 1930 pronounced an order granting the governments until July 31, 1931 “to settle between themselves the matter of importations … across the Federal customs line and also any other point concerning the regime of the territories … with which they may see fit to deal” (Series A, No. 24). On June 13 the parties notified [Page 733]the Court that their negotiations had yielded no result and asked for a judgment.

The judgment of the Court of June 7, 1932 (Series A/B, No. 46) was, by six votes to five, to the effect that, “as between France and Switzerland, Article 435, par. 2, … neither has abrogated nor is intended to lead to the abrogation” of the instruments cited in the agreement of October 30, 1924. The French Government must withdraw its customs line in accordance with the provisions of those instruments by January 1, 1934, and the regime under them “must continue in force so long as it has not been modified by agreement between the parties”.

The French and Swiss Governments agreed June 7, 1932 upon the appointment of three experts with arbitral powers for regulating the terms of the exchange of goods between the free zones and Swiss territory. The award, delivered on December 1, 1933 (Series E, No. 10, pp. 106–27), embodied articles of settlement which included provision for a permanent Franco-Swiss commission to settle difficulties resulting from the operation of the regime and to supervise execution of the settlement. Enabling legislation by both parties brought the settlement into force on January 1, 1934, implying “the abrogation of all previously existing provisions inconsistent therewith”.

Article 436.

The High Contracting Parties declare and place on record that they have taken note of the Treaty signed by the Government of the French Republic on July 17, 1918, with His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco defining the relations between France and the Principality.

Note to XV, 436

The treaty (111 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 727) was noted here in virtue of a stipulation contained in its article VII. The Government of France assumes for the Principality of Monaco “the defence of its independence and sovereignty and guarantees the integrity of its territory as though that territory formed part of France”. The Monegasque Government undertakes to “exercise its rights of sovereignty entirely in accord with the political, military, naval and economic interests of France”, with which a prior understanding is required respecting “measures concerning the international relations of the Principality”. Confirming the additional [Page 734]articles of the treaty of February 2, 1861 (51 ibid., p. 673), the Prince undertakes “not to alienate the Principality, either in whole or in part, in favor of any power other than France”.

In the event of the Crown falling vacant, “the territory of Monaco shall form, under the protectorate of France, an autonomous state”. The French Government was entitled to introduce into the territory and territorial waters of Monaco “the military and naval forces required for upholding the security of the two countries”. France pledged its good offices to facilitate Monaco’s admission “to international conferences and institutions”. The Assembly of the League of Nations decided in 1920 not to admit Monaco, Liechtenstein, and San Marino on account of their smallness.

Article 437.

The High Contracting Parties agree that, in the absence of a subsequent agreement to the contrary, the Chairman of any Commission established by the present Treaty shall in the event of an equality of votes be entitled to a second vote.

Note to XV, 437

Article 437 lays down a rule that is normal in international procedure when decisions are taken by majority vote. Owing to the abstention of the United States from representation on commissions to be provided by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, the article became more important than originally contemplated. See notes relating to the Reparation Commission, part VIII, annex II, paragraph 2.

Article 438.

The Allied and Associated Powers agree that where Christian religious missions were being maintained by German societies or persons in territory belonging to them, or of which the government is entrusted to them in accordance with the present Treaty, the property which these missions or missionary societies possessed, including that of trading societies whose profits were devoted to the support of missions, shall continue to be devoted to missionary purposes. In order to ensure the due execution of this undertaking the Allied and Associated Governments will hand over such property to boards of trustees appointed by or approved by the Governments and composed of persons holding the faith of the Mission whose property is involved.

[Page 735]

Text of May 7:

… In order to ensure the due execution of this undertaking the Allied and Associated Governments will hand over such property to boards of trustees appointed by or approved by the Governments and composed of persons holding the Christian faith. It will be the duty of such boards of trustees to see that the property continues to be applied to missionary purposes.

The Allied and Associated Governments, while continuing to maintain full control as to the individuals, by whom the Missions are conducted, will safeguard the interests of such Missions.

Text of May 7:

The obligations undertaken by the Allied and Associated Governments in this Article will not in any way prejudice their control or authority as to the individuals by whom the missions are conducted.

Germany, taking note of the above undertaking, agrees to accept all arrangements made or to be made by the Allied or Associated Government concerned for carrying on the work of the said missions or trading societies and waives all claims on their behalf.

Article 439.

Without prejudice to the provisions of the present Treaty, Germany undertakes not to put forward directly or indirectly against any Allied or Associated Power, signatory of the present Treaty, including those which without having declared war, have broken off diplomatic relations with the German Empire, any pecuniary claim based on events which occurred at any time before the coming into force of the present Treaty.

The present stipulation will bar completely and finally all claims of this nature, which will be thenceforward extinguished, whoever may be the parties in interest.

Note to XV, 439

The states which broke off diplomatic relations with the German Empire were Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay. Ecuador did not ratify and resumed relations with Germany without special treaty.

Costa Rica broke off diplomatic relations with Germany on September 21, 1917 and declared war on Germany on May 23, 1918. The revolutionary Government of Costa Rica was not recognized by the President of the United States and Costa Rica was not admitted [Page 736]to the Paris Peace Conference. Costa Rica declared the state of war at an end by a decree of February 4, 1920 and Germany by a law of May 15, 1921, effective May 27, 1921.

Article 440.

Germany accepts and recognises as valid and binding all decrees and orders concerning German ships and goods and all orders relating to the payment of costs made by any Prize Court of any of the Allied or Associated Powers, and undertakes not to put forward any claim arising out of such decrees or orders on behalf of any German national.

The Allied and Associated Powers reserve the right to examine in such manner as they may determine all decisions and orders of German Prize Courts, whether affecting the property rights of nationals of those Powers or of neutral Powers. Germany agrees to furnish copies of all the documents constituting the record of the cases, including the decisions and orders made, and to accept and give effect to the recommendations made after such examination of the cases.

Note to XV, 440

The German delegation protested that Germany had to recognize all decisions of the Allied prize courts, whereas the Allies reserved the right to examine the decisions of German prize courts; which would permit the enemies of Germany to obtain indemnities that rightly belonged to Germany (Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vi, 899). Nothing was said about the return of the tonnage condemned by German prize courts which had to be surrendered under the armistice or the return of German ships and cargoes condemned by enemy prize courts. Objections were also raised to paragraphs 7 to 9 of annex III to part VIII.

The Present Treaty, of which the French and English texts are both authentic, shall be ratified.

The deposit of ratifications shall be made at Paris as soon as possible.

Powers of which the seat of the Government is outside Europe will be entitled merely to inform the Government of the French Republic through their diplomatic representative at Paris that their ratification has been given; in that case they must transmit the instrument of ratification as soon as possible.

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A first procès-verbal of the deposit of ratifications will be drawn up as soon as the Treaty has been ratified by Germany on the one hand, and by three of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers on the other hand.

Note to final clauses

The German National Assembly authorized the signing of the treaty of peace on June 22, 1919 by a vote of 237 yeas to 138 nays, 5 abstentions, and one vote invalid. The signing by the German delegates on June 28 was ratified on July 9 (Reichsanzeiger, no. 154, July 11, 1919), and the deposit of the instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of the Peace Conference on July 12 resulted in the abolition of blockade and other conditions affecting Germany which had been enforced under the armistice. A law of July 16 (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1919, p. 687), in force on August 12, made the treaty of peace legally binding within Germany. Article 178 of the constitution of the German Reich adopted at Weimar on August 11, 1919 provides that “the provisions of the treaty of peace signed on June 28, 1919 at Versailles are not affected by the Constitution”. A general law for the execution of the treaty was passed on August 31, 1919 (ibid., p. 1530).

The first procès-verbal of the deposit of ratifications was drawn up on January 10, 1920 at 4:15 p.m. on behalf of the following: The British Empire, Canada, Australia, Union of South Africa, New Zealand and India, France, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Poland, Siam, Czechoslovakia, and Uruguay.

Deposits of ratification were subsequently made as follows: Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, February 10, 1920; Cuba, March 8, 1920; Greece, March 30, 1920; Portugal, April 8, 1920; Haiti and Liberia, June 30, 1920; Rumania, September 14, 1920; Honduras and Nicaragua, November 3, 1920; Panama, November 25, 1920.

From the date of this first procès-verbal the Treaty will come into force between the High Contracting Parties who have ratified it. For the determination of all periods of time provided for in the present Treaty this date will be the date of the coming into force of the Treaty.

In all other respects the Treaty will enter into force for each Power at the date of the deposit of its ratification.

[Page 738]

On January 13, 1920 the Secretary of State of the United States addressed to the German Government the following statement (Foreign Relations, 1920, ii, 258):

“The Government of the United States regards the armistice as continuing in full force and effect between the United States and Germany notwithstanding the deposit of ratifications of the Treaty of Versailles which took place in Paris on January 10, 1920.”

The treaty restoring friendly relations between the United States and Germany signed at Berlin, August 25, 1921 and in force on November 11, 1921 with retroactive effect to July 2, 1921, stipulates in article II, paragraph 5, “that the periods of time to which reference is made” in this article “shall run, with respect to any act or election on the part of the United States, from the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty”, that is, November 11, 1921.

The French Government will transmit to all the signatory Powers a certified copy of the procès-verbaux of the deposit of ratifications.

In Faith Whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty.

Done at Versailles, the twenty-eighth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, in a single copy which will remain deposited in the archives of the French Republic, and of which authenticated copies will be transmitted to each of the Signatory Powers.

  • (l.s.) Woodrow Wilson.
  • (l.s.) Robert Lansing.
  • (l.s.) Henry White.
  • (l.s.) E. M. House.
  • (l.s.) Tasker H. Bliss.
  • (l.s.) D. Lloyd George.
  • (l.s.) A. Bonar Law.
  • (l.s.) Milner.
  • (l.s.) Arthur James Balfour.
  • (l.s.) George N. Barnes.
  • (l.s.) Chas. J. doherty.
  • (l.s.) Arthur L. Sifton.
  • (l.s.) W. M. Hughes.
  • (l.s.) Joseph Cook.
  • (l.s.) Louis Botha.
  • (l.s.) J. Chr. Smuts.
  • (l.s.) W. F. Massey.
  • (l.s.) Ed. S. Montagu.
  • (l.s.) Ganga Singh, Maharaja de Bikaner.
  • (l.s.) G. Clemenceau.
  • (l.s.) S. Pichon.
  • (l.s.) L. L. Klotz.
  • (l.s.) André Tardieu.
  • (l.s.) Jules Cambon.
  • (l.s.) Sidney Sonnino.
  • (l.s.) Imperiali.
  • (l.s.) Silvio Crespi.
  • (l.s.) Saionzi.
  • (l.s.) N. Makino.
  • (l.s.) S. Chinda.
  • (l.s.) K. Matsui.
  • (l.s.) H. Ijuin.
  • (l.s.) Hymans.
  • (l.s.) J. van den heuvel.
  • (l.s.) Émile Vandervelde.
  • (l.s.) Ismael Montes.
  • (l.s.) Calogeras.
  • (l.s.)
  • (l.s.) Rodrigo Octavio.
  • (l.s.)
  • (l.s.)
  • (l.s.) Antonio S. de Bustamante.
  • (l.s.) E. Dorn y de Alsua.
  • (l.s.) Eleftherios Veniselos.
  • (l.s.) Nicolas Politis.
  • (l.s.) Joaquin Mendez.
  • (l.s.) Tertullien Guilbaud.
  • (l.s.) M. Rustem Haidar.
  • (l.s.) Abdul Hadi Aouni.
  • (l.s.) P. Bonilla.
  • (l.s.) C. D. B. King.
  • (l.s.) Salvador Chamorro.
  • (l.s.) Antonio Burgos.
  • (l.s.) C. G. Candamo.
  • (l.s.) I. J. Paderewski.
  • (l.s.) Roman Dmowski.
  • (l.s.) Affonso Costa.
  • (l.s.) Augusto Soares.
  • (l.s.) Ion. I. C. Bratiano.
  • (l.s.) General C. Coanda.
  • (l.s.) Nik. P. Pachitch.
  • (l.s.) Dr. Ante Trumbic.
  • (l.s.) Mil. R. Vesnitch.
  • (l.s.) Charoon.
  • (l.s.) Traidos Prabandhu.
  • (l.s.) Karel Kramar.
  • (l.s.) Dr. Edward Benes.
  • (l.s.) J. A. Buero.
  • (l.s.) Hermann Müller.
  • (l.s.) Dr. Bell.