Learn about the beta

5. Agreement between the Allied and Associated Powers with regard to the contributions to the cost of liberation of the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, signed at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, September 10, 19191

1. File 763.72119/7299.

Signed at Saint-Germain-en-Laye September 10, 1919; accessions by the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, December 5, 1919, and by Rumania, December 9, 1919; in force for signatories July 16, 1920, except: Japan, October 14, 1920 (notice of ratification deposited January 25, 1921); Belgium, July 24, 1920; Cuba, August 16, 1920; Nicaragua, January 29, 1921; Poland, August 22, 1924; Portugal, October 15, 1921; Rumania, September 4, 1920; Panama.

United States: Not submitted to the Senate by the President; Unperfected Treaties P–9.

Applicable to Hungary by operation of article 74, paragraph 2, of the treaty of peace with Hungary signed at Trianon, June 4, 1920 and in force July 26, 1921.

AGREEMENT

BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BELGIUM, THE BRITISH EMPIRE, CHINA, CUBA, FRANCE, GREECE, ITALY, JAPAN, [Page 823]NICARAGUA, PANAMA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROUMANIA, THE SERB-CROAT-SLOVENE STATE, SIAM AND THE CZECHO-SLOVAK STATE, WITH REGARD TO THE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE COST OF LIBERATION OF THE TERRITORIES OF THE FORMER AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN MONARCHY.

The Undersigned, duly authorized by their respective Governments, have agreed on the following provisions:

Article 1.

Poland, Roumania, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State and the Czecho-Slovak State, as States to which territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is transferred or States arising from the dismemberment of that Monarchy, severally agree to pay, as a contribution towards the expenses of liberating the said territories, sums not exceeding in the aggregate the equivalent of 1,500,000,000 francs gold, the gold franc being taken as of the weight and fineness of gold as enacted by law on January 1, 1914.

Article 2.

The total amount of the contribution referred to in Article 1 shall be divided between the said States on the basis of the ratio between the average for the three financial years 1911, 1912 and 1913 of the revenues of the territories acquired by them from the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the revenues of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina being excluded from this calculation.

The revenues forming the basis for this calculation shall be those adopted by the Reparation Commission, in accordance with Article 203, Part IX (Financial Clauses) of the Treaty of Peace with Austria [and Article 186, Part IX (Financial Clauses) of the Treaty of Peace with Hungary], as best calculated to represent the financial capacity of the respective territories. Nevertheless, in no case shall the sum paid by the Czecho-Slovak State exceed the sum of 750,000,000 francs. Should the contribution attributable to the Czecho-Slovak State exceed the sum of 750,000,000 francs, the difference between that sum and the sum of 750,000,000 francs shall be in diminution of the aggregate sum of 1,500,000,000 francs and shall not be attributable to the other States.

Article 3.

The amount due as above by each State for liberation, together with the value of the property and possessions of the former [Page 824]Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to each of them, assessed in accordance with Article 207, Part IX (Financial Clauses) of the Treaty of Peace with Austria [and Article 190, Part IX (Financial Clauses) of the Treaty of Peace with Hungary], shall be set off against the approved claims, if any, of these States for reparation.

[Article 4.1]

[If in the case of any of the above States the amount due for liberation and the value of property transferred is in excess of the approved reparation claims, that State shall, within three months of the notification to it by the Reparation Commission of the amount, if any, of its approved claims for reparation, issue bonds to the amount of this excess and shall deliver them to such person or body as the Governments of the United States of America, the British Empire, France and Italy may designate.

[The above bonds shall be to bearer, principal and interest being payable by the issuing State without deduction for any tax or charge imposed by it or under its authority. The bonds shall bear interest at the rate of five per cent. per annum payable half yearly, beginning on January 1, 1926. They shall be repaid in twenty-five equal annual drawings, beginning on January 1, 1931. The issuing State, however, may, at its option, redeem all or part of the bonds issued by it at par and accrued interest at any time, provided ninety days’ notice of its intention so to do is given to the Governments of the United States of America, the British Empire, France and Italy.]

[Article 5.1]

[In the case of those States whose approved claims for reparation are in excess of the amount due for liberation and the value of property transferred, the amount chargeable to these States in accordance with Article 3 shall be reckoned as payments by way of reparation, and no further payments on account of reparation shall be made to them until the other States to which reparation is due shall have received payments on account of a like proportion of their approved claims for reparation.]

Done in French, in English and in Italian, of which in case of divergence the French text shall prevail, at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, [Page 825]the tenth day of September, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen.

  • Frank L. Polk.
  • Henry White.
  • Tasker H. Bliss.
  • Hymans.
  • J. van den heuvel.
  • E. Vandervelde.
  • Arthur James Balfour.
  • Milner.
  • Geo. N. Barnes.
  • A. E. Kemp.
  • G. F. Pearce.
  • Milner.
  • Thos. Mackenzie.
  • Sinha of Raipur.
  • J. R. Loutsengtsiang.
  • Chengting Thomas Wang.
  • Antonio S. de Bustamante.
  • G. Clemenceau.
  • S. Pichon.
  • L. L. Klotz.
  • André Tardieu.
  • Jules Cambon.
  • N. Politis.
  • A. Romanos.
  • Tom. Tittoni.
  • Vittorio Scialoja.
  • Maggiorino Ferraris.
  • Guglielmo Marconi.
  • S. Chinda.
  • K. Matsui.
  • H. Ijuin.
  • Salvador Chamorro.
  • Antonio Burgos.
  • I. J. Paderewski.
  • Roman Dmowski.
  • Affonso Costa.
  • Augusto Soares.
  • Charoon.
  • Traidos Prabandhu.
  • D. Karel Kramar.
  • Dr. Eduard Benes.

[ANNEX]

excerpt from treaty of peace between the allied and associated powers and austria, signed at saint-germain-en-laye, september 10, 1919

Article 203. 1. Each of the States to which territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is transferred, and each of the States arising from the dismemberment of that Monarchy, including Austria, shall assume responsibility for a portion of the debt of the former Austrian Government which is specifically secured on railways, salt mines or other property, and which was in existence on July 28, 1914. The portion to be so assumed by each State shall be such portion as in the opinion of the Reparation Commission represents the secured debt in respect of the railways, salt mines and other properties transferred to that State under the terms of the present Treaty or any treaties or agreements supplementary thereto.

[Page 826]

The amount of the liability in respect of secured debt so assumed by each State, other than Austria, shall be valued by the Reparation Commission, on such basis as the Commission may consider equitable, and the value so ascertained shall be deducted from the amount payable by the State in question to Austria in respect of property of the former or existing Austrian Government which the State acquires with the territory. Each State shall be solely responsible in respect of that portion of the secured debt for which it assumes responsibility under the terms of this Article, and holders of the debt for which responsibility is assumed by States other than Austria shall have no recourse against the Government of any other State.

Any property which was specifically pledged to secure any debt referred to in this Article shall remain specifically pledged to secure the new debt. But in case the property so pledged is situated as the result of the present Treaty in more than one State, that portion of the property which is situated in a particular State shall constitute the security only for that part of the debt which is apportioned to that State, and not for any other part of the debt.

For the purposes of the present Article there shall be regarded as secured debt payments due by the former Austrian Government in connection with the purchase of railways or similar property; the distribution of the liability for such payments will be determined by the Reparation Commission in the same manner as in the case of secured debt.

Debts for which the responsibility is transferred under the terms of this Article shall be expressed in terms of the currency of the State assuming the responsibility, if the original debt was expressed in terms of Austro-Hungarian paper currency. For the purposes of this conversion the currency of the assuming State shall be valued in terms of Austro-Hungarian paper kronen at the rate at which those kronen were exchanged into the currency of the assuming State by that State when it first substituted its own currency for Austro-Hungarian kronen. The basis of this conversion of the currency unit in which the bonds are expressed shall be subject to the approval of the Reparation Commission, which shall, if it thinks fit, require the State effecting the conversion to modify the terms thereof. Such modification shall only be required if, in the opinion of the Commission, the foreign exchange value of the currency unit or units substituted for the currency unit in which the old bonds are expressed is substantially less at the date of the conversion than the foreign exchange value of the original currency unit.

[Page 827]

If the original Austrian debt was expressed in terms of a foreign currency or foreign currencies, the new debt shall be expressed in terms of the same currency or currencies.

If the original Austrian debt was expressed in terms of Austro-Hungarian gold coin, the new debt shall be expressed in terms of equivalent amounts of pounds sterling and gold dollars of the United States of America, the equivalents being calculated on the basis of the weight and the fineness of gold of the three coins as enacted by law on January 1, 1914.

Any foreign exchange options, whether at fixed rates or otherwise, embodied explicitly or implicitly in the old bonds shall be embodied in the new bonds also.

2. Each of the States to which territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is transferred, and each of the States arising from the dismemberment of that Monarchy, including Austria, shall assume responsibility for a portion of the unsecured bonded debt of the former Austrian Government which was in existence on July 28, 1914, calculated on the basis of the ratio between the average for the three financial years 1911, 1912, 1913 of such revenues of the distributed territory and the average for the same years of such revenues of the whole of the former Austrian territories as in the judgment of the Reparation Commission are best calculated to represent the financial capacity of the respective territories. In making the above calculation, the revenues of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall not be included.

The responsibilities in respect of bonded debt to be assumed under the terms of this Article shall be discharged in the manner laid down in the Annex hereto.

The Austrian Government shall be solely responsible for all the liabilities of the former Austrian Government incurred prior to July 28, 1914, other than those evidenced by the bonds, bills, securities and currency notes which are specifically provided for under the terms of the present Treaty.

Neither the provisions of this Article nor the provisions of the Annex hereto shall apply to securities of the former Austrian Government deposited with the Austro-Hungarian Bank as security for the currency notes issued by that bank. [Annex omitted; see Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1910–23, iii, 3220.]

Article 207. Each one of the States to which territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is transferred, and each one of the States arising from the dismemberment of that Monarchy, including Austria, shall deal as it thinks fit with the petty or token [Page 828]coinage of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy existing in its territory.

No such State shall have any recourse under any circumstances on behalf either of itself or of its nationals, against any other State with regard to such petty or token coinage.

Note

A “Caisse Commune” or Joint Office of Foreign Holders of Bonds of the Austrian and Hungarian Pre-war Public Debts was established by a protocol signed at Innsbruck, June 29, 1923 and completed by protocols signed at Prague, November 14, 1925 and Paris, March 15, 1926. It handled both secured and unsecured debts. The secured debts were principally the obligations of the Chartered Company for the Austrian and Hungarian Railways (STE 9), the lines of which were divided according to mileage among the succession and cessionary states. The unsecured debts were distributed in the following proportions:

Austrian debt (Percent) Hungarian debt (Percent)
Austria 36.827 1.716
Czechoslovakia 41.700 17.384
Hungary 49.629
Italy 4.087 .812
Poland 13.733
Rumania 1.610 23.659
Yugoslavia 2.043 6.800

(Reparation Commission, Official Documents, VII and XIII)

The managing board of the Caisse Commune and representatives of the succession or cessionary states of former Austria and Hungary agreed on the final deficits and surpluses in the balance sheets for the unsecured annuities by a protocol signed at Paris, June 11, 1930. With respect to the Austrian debts Austria, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia were debtors on the 4 per cent gold annuity to a total of some 255,000,000 florins and on the 4½ per cent Treasury certificates 1914 to some 112,000,000 crowns. With respect to the Hungarian debts Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia were debtors to the extent of 464,000,000 florins on the 4 per cent gold annuity, of 66,000,000 crowns on the 4½ per cent 1913 annuity, 272,000,000 crowns on the 4½ per cent 1914 annuity, and 115,000,000 crowns on the 4 per cent Hungarian 1910 annuity. Italy was a creditor against the two Austrian annuities to over 8,000,000 florins and crowns. Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were creditors against the four Hungarian annuities to the extent of 48,000,000 [Page 829]florins and 15,000,000 crowns, the Czechoslovak claim being 47,922,605 florins. A further protocol of June 12 provided for the continuing functions of the Caisse Commune.

The conditions of payment of coupons of the several Austrian and Hungarian loans were arranged by an agreement signed at Paris on October 31, 1930, and an additional agreement of December 13, 1930, and an agreement of February 11, 1931.

In addition to the publications of Reparation Commission, Nos. VII and XIII, concerning the Austro-Hungarian pre-war debts, the director of the Commission’s Financial Section, Alceste Antonucci, published in 1932 a full account of that complex problem under the title Répartition et Règlement de la dette publique autrichienne et hongroise d’avant-guerre. Altogether 13 conferences were held between September 1922 and February 1931 to bring the matter into its eventual shape.


  1. Superseded by declaration of Dec. 8, 1919, which follows, p. 829.
  2. Superseded by declaration of Dec. 8, 1919, which follows, p. 829.
  3. File 186.5/25.