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1. Assistance to France in the event of unprovoked aggression by Germany.—Agreement between the United States and France, signed at Versailles, June 28, 19191

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Signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919; submitted to the Senate by the President July 29, 1919; project of law authorizing ratification by President of France adopted by Chamber of Deputies October 2, 1919 by vote of 510 to 0 and by the Senate October 11, 1919 by vote of 218 to 0; law of October 12, 1919 (Duvergier, Collection complète des lois et décrets d’intérêt général, 1919, p. 815);

United States: Not considered by the Senate; returned to the Secretary of State by resolution of the Senate February 12, 1935; Unperfected Treaties H–9.

Whereas the United States of America and the French Republic are equally animated by the desire to maintain the peace of the world so happily restored by the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles the 28th day of June, 1919, putting an end to the war begun by the aggression of the German Empire and ended by the defeat of that Power, and,

Whereas the United States of America and the French Republic are fully persuaded that an unprovoked movement of aggression by Germany against France would not only violate both the letter and the spirit of the Treaty of Versailles to which the United States of America and the French Republic are parties, thus exposing France anew to the intolerable burdens of an unprovoked war, but that such aggression on the part of Germany would be and is so regarded by the Treaty of Versailles as a hostile act against all the Powers signatory to that Treaty and as calculated to disturb the Peace of the world by involving inevitably and directly the States of Europe and indirectly, as experience has amply and unfortunately demonstrated, the world at large; and,

Whereas the United States of America and the French Republic fear that the stipulations relating to the left bank of the Rhine contained [Page 758]in said Treaty of Versailles may not at first provide adequate security and protection to France on the one hand and the United States of America as one of the signatories of the Treaty of Versailles on the other;

Therefore, the United States of America and the French Republic having decided to conclude a Treaty to effect these necessary purposes, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, and Robert Lansing, Secretary of State of the United States, specially authorized thereto by the President of the United States, and Georges Clemenceau, President of the Council, Minister of War, and Stephen Pichon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, specially authorized thereto by Raymond Poincaré, President of the French Republic, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article 1.

In case the following stipulations relating to the left Bank of the Rhine contained in the Treaty of Peace with Germany signed at Versailles the 28th day of June, 1919, by the United States of America, the French Republic and the British Empire among other Powers:

  • Article 42. Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the West of a line drawn 50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine.”
  • Article 43. In the area defined above the maintenance and assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military manoeuvres of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilisation are in the same way forbidden.”
  • Article 44. In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 et 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the Powers signatory of the present Treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world.” may not at first provide adequate security and protection to France, the United States of America shall be bound to come immediately to her assistance in the event of any unprovoked movement of aggression against her being made by Germany.

Article 2.

The present Treaty, in similar terms with the Treaty of even date for the same purpose concluded between Great Britain and the French Republic, a copy of which Treaty is annexed hereto, will only come into force when the latter is ratified.

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Article 3.

The present Treaty must be submitted to the Council of the League of Nations, and must be recognized by the Council, acting if need be by a majority, as an engagement which is consistent with the Covenant of the League. It will continue in force until on the application of one of the Parties to it the Council, acting if need be by a majority, agrees that the League itself affords sufficient protection.

Article 4.

The present Treaty will be submitted to the Senate of the United States at the same time as the Treaty of Versailles is submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. It will be submitted before ratification to the French Chamber of Deputies for approval. The ratifications thereof will be exchanged on the deposit of ratifications of the Treaty of Versailles at Paris or as soon thereafter as shall be possible.

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries, to wit: On the part of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson, President, and Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, of the United States; and on the part of the French Republic, Georges Clemenceau, President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of War, and Stephen Pichon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have signed the above articles both in the English and French languages, and they have hereunto affixed their seals.

Done in duplicate at the City of Versailles, on the twenty-eighth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, and the one hundred and forty-third of the Independence of the United States of America.

(seal) Woodrow Wilson.

(seal) Robert Lansing.

(seal) Clemenceau.

(seal) S. Pichon.

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(ANNEX.)

Assistance to France in the Event of Unprovoked Aggression by Germany

Signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919; ratified by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under authorization of 9 & 10 Geo. V, c. 34, July 31, 1919; ratified by President of France under authorization of law of October 12, 1919 (Duvergier, Collection complète des lois et décrets d’intérêt général, 1919, p. 815); ratifications exchanged, November 20, 1919; effect suspended in virtue of article 2.

Whereas there is a danger that the stipulations relating to the left bank of the Rhine contained in the Treaty of Peace signed this day at Versailles may not at first provide adequate security and protection to the French Republic; and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty is willing, subject to the consent of His Parliament and provided that a similar obligation is entered into by the United States of America, to undertake to support the French Government in the case of an unprovoked movement of aggression being made against France by Germany; and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty and the President of the French Republic have determined to conclude a Treaty to that effect and have named as their Plenipotentiaries for the purpose, that is to say:

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC:

  • Mr. Georges Clemenceau, President of the Council, Minister of War;
  • Mr. Stephen Pichon, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND AND OF THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA:

  • The Right Honourable David Lloyd George, M.P., First Lord of His Treasury and Prime Minister;
  • The Right Honourable Arthur James Balfour, O.M., M.P., His Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;

Who having communicated their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

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Article 1.

In case the following stipulations relating to the left bank of the Rhine contained in the Treaty of Peace with Germany signed at Versailles the 28th day of June, 1919, by the British Empire, the French Republic and the United States of America among other Powers:

  • Article 42.—Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the West of a line drawn 50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine.”
  • Article 43.—In the area defined above the maintenance and assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military manœuvres of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilisation are in the same way forbidden”.
  • Article 44.—In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the Powers signatory of the present Treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world.” may not at first provide adequate security and protection to France, Great Britain agrees to come immediately to her assistance in the event of any unprovoked movement of aggression against her being made by Germany.

Article 2.

The present Treaty, in similar terms with the Treaty of even date for the same purpose concluded between the French Republic and the United States of America, a copy of which Treaty is annexed hereto, will only come into force when the latter is ratified.

Article 3.

The present Treaty must be submitted to the Council of the League of Nations and must be recognised by the Council, acting if need be, by a majority, as an engagement which is consistent with the Covenant of the League; it will continue in force until on the application of one of the Parties to it, the Council, acting if need be by a majority, agrees that the League itself affords sufficient protection.

Article 4.

The present Treaty shall before ratification by His Majesty be submitted to Parliament for approval.

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It shall, before ratification by the President of the French Republic, be submitted to the French Chambers for approval.

Article 5.

The present Treaty shall impose no obligation upon any of the Dominions of the British Empire unless and until it is approved by the Parliament of the Dominion concerned.

The present Treaty shall be ratified, and shall, subject to Articles II and IV, come into force at the same time as the Treaty of Peace with Germany of even date comes into force for the British Empire and the French Republic.

In faith whereof the above named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty, drawn up in the English and French languages.

Done in duplicate at Versailles, on the twenty-eighth day of June, 1919.

(seal) G. Clemenceau.

(seal) S. Pichon.

(seal) D. Lloyd George.

(seal) Arthur James Balfour.

  1. File 185.8/11.