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Preamble

[The vertical rule indicates treaty text.]

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE BRITISH EMPIRE, FRANCE, ITALY and JAPAN,

These Powers being described in the present Treaty as the Principal Allied and Associated Powers,

BELGIUM, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHINA, CUBA, ECUADOR, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, THE HEDJAZ, HONDURAS, LIBERIA, NICARAGUA, PANAMA, PERU, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROUMANIA THE SERB-CROAT-SLOVENE STATE, SIAM, CZECHO-SLOVAKIA and URUGUAY,

These Powers constituting with the Principal Powers mentioned above the Allied and Associated Powers,

of the one part;

And GERMANY,

of the other part;

Note to Preamble

This arrangement of the high contracting parties determines the treaty of peace to be a bilateral instrument of which the party of the first part is plural and divides the 32 components of the first part into two groups, whereas the party of the second part is the single party of Germany. This bilateral treaty type is unusual but not unprecedented, appearing in a much more complex form as early as the treaties of Münister and Osnabrück which constituted the Peace of Westphalia of 1648.

At Paris this form was chosen as a practical matter rather than by reference to precedent. It stemmed from the rules of procedure of the preliminary peace conference which were adopted on January 18, 1919. By those rules the “representatives of the Allied and Associated belligerent” states were distinguished as those with general interests and known as the “Principal Allied and Associated Powers”, whose representatives should attend all sessions and commissions. [Page 58]Representatives of states with special interests should attend “sessions at which questions concerning them are discussed”. In addition, states having broken off diplomatic relations with the enemy were admitted to sessions at which questions interesting them were discussed; and neutrals and “states in process of formation” were heard orally or in writing on being summoned to those parts of meetings in which their direct interests were discussed.

The five largest states, which were able to bear the brunt of the war, took at Paris the responsible leadership and their assumption of various assignments under the treaty as the “Principal Allied and Associated Powers” was a significant feature of the settlement. The idea of the “Principal Allied and Associated Powers” took form in the year before the armistice as the Supreme War Council. In the preliminary peace conference they sat as the Council of Ten, the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Five, and the Council of Four, according to the makeup of a particular meeting. In one or another of those forms they managed the preliminary peace conference, decided upon the functions of the peace conference, and were the chief spokesmen in the peace congress.

The other “Allied and Associated Powers” identified in the treaty’s party of the first part included belligerent states which had broken off diplomatic relations with Germany, and states which were still in process of formation.

The bilateral form of the treaty with its plural party of the first part carried out the plans of the victors. In all their countries, when the Germans called for an armistice, there was a latent feeling that the German authorities were not to be trusted, even after a revolution, in the joint fabrication of a durable peace. The victorious belligerents came together at Paris in a preliminary peace conference and undertook to agree upon the terms and conditions which should be laid before the German Government for acceptance. In the case of Germany, these tentative decisions were drawn up in a document significantly entitled “Conditions of Peace With Germany” and submitted to the German delegation to the peace conference on May 7, 1919 in French and English versions. Until June 16 written negotiations with the German delegation took place, with considerable effect in detail on the final conclusions. From June 16 to June 28 delegates to the peace conference perfected the French and English versions of the text of the treaty of peace that was signed on the latter date.

Notwithstanding the special position assigned to the “Principal Allied and Associated Powers” and to their continuing diplomatic [Page 59]body, the Conference of Ambassadors, developments under the treaty of peace with Germany in large measure became dissipated among Germany and the individual states of the first part. The bilateral relations of Germany and many states were dealt with throughout the treaty of peace in such terms as to call for decisions by the Conference of Ambassadors. Once such decisions were taken, the continuation of relations was understood to be remitted to the parties in interest. In many instances, however, a state with a direct interest did not have an exclusive interest in the matter. The broader interest was occasionally asserted by submission of a question to the League of Nations on the initiative of the Conference of Ambassadors or by inclusion of a clause providing for third-party review of disputes over the application or interpretation of decisions or ensuing treaties. In principle, the multilateral action of the multiple party “of the one part” was devolved into a series of bilateral relations between the states constituting it and Germany, the party “of the other part” to the treaty of peace. As against the text of the treaty, this practice gave Germany a technical advantage in subsequent developments. Multilateral obligations were avoided by bilateral negotiations, and unilateral action became eventually possible against the beneficiaries of particular provisions.

Bearing in mind that on the request of the Imperial German Government an Armistice was granted on November 11, 1918, to Germany by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in order that a Treaty of Peace might be concluded with her, and

Note to Preamble

Germany’s request for an armistice on October 4, 1918 resulted in the granting of an armistice on terms fixed and signed by the principal “Allied and Associated Powers” on November 11, which was prolonged by conventions of December 13, 1918, January 16, 1919, and February 16, 1919 (Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1910–23, iii, 3307). With certain modifications the armistice conditions controlled relations with Germany until the entrance into force of the treaty of peace on January 10, 1920. However, many clauses of the treaty of peace itself were put into execution upon the delivery by the German Government of its ratification at Paris on July 12, 1919.

The Allied and Associated Powers being equally desirous that the war in which they were successively involved directly or indirectly [Page 60]and which originated in the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary on July 28, 1914, against Serbia, the declaration of war by Germany against Russia on August 1, 1914, and against France on August 3, 1914, and in the invasion of Belgium, should be replaced by a firm, just and durable Peace,

Note to Preamble

It appears from this paragraph that the German Government acknowledged that the war of 1914–18 originated in the declarations of war which it made against Russia and France in August 1914 and in the invasion of Belgium.

For this purpose the HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES represented as follows:

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, by:

  • The Honourable Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, acting in his own name and by his own proper authority;
  • The Honourable Robert Lansing, Secretary of State;
  • The Honourable Henry White, formerly Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States at Rome and Paris;
  • The Honourable Edward M. House;
  • General Tasker H. Bliss, Military Representative of the United States on the Supreme War Council;

Note to Preamble

The plenipotentiaries are listed as representatives of the chiefs of the states, which is characteristic of a treaty of the most formal type. The listing follows the order of the state names at the beginning of the Preamble.

As the President of the United States of America accredited the delegation of that state and the President was a member of it, an unusual accrediting problem arose. In as much as his powers were included among those “found in good and due form”, the text notes that he was “acting in his own name and by his own proper authority”. That is an exact statement of the case.

The United States did not ratify the treaty.

[Page 61]

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

  • The Right Honourable David Lloyd George, M.P., First Lord of His Treasury and Prime Minister;
  • The Right Honourable Andrew Bonar Law, M.P., His Lord Privy Seal;
  • The Right Honourable Viscount Milner, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., His Secretary of State for the Colonies;
  • The Right Honourable Arthur James Balfour, O.M., M.P., His Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;
  • The Right Honourable George Nicoll Barnes, M.P., Minister without portfolio;

And

for the DOMINION of CANADA, by:

  • The Honourable Charles Joseph Doherty, Minister of Justice;
  • The Honourable Arthur Lewis Sifton, Minister of Customs;

Text of May 7:

  • The Right Honourable Sir Robert Laird Borden, G.C.M.G., Prime Minister;
  • The Right Honourable Sir George Eulas Foster, G.C.M.G., Minister of Trade and Commerce;

for the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRALIA, by:

  • The Right Honourable William Morris Hughes, Attorney General and Prime Minister;
  • The Right Honourable Sir Joseph Cook, G.C.M.G., Minister for the Navy;

for the UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, by:

  • General the Right Honourable Louis Botha, Minister of Native Affairs and Prime Minister;
  • Lieutenant-General the Right Honourable Jan Christian Smuts, K. C., Minister of Defence;

for the DOMINION of NEW ZEALAND, by:

  • The Right Honourable William Ferguson Massey, Minister of Labour and Prime Minister;

[Page 62]

for INDIA, by:

  • The Right Honourable Edwin Samuel Montagu, M.P., His Secretary of State for India;
  • Major-General His Highness Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., A.D.C.;

Note to Preamble

His Britannic Majesty, the head of the British Empire, accredited six separate delegations. Representatives of the self-governing dominions and India are subordinated under the main entry, outside of the alphabetic order. The arrangement reflects a nice and difficult question which was the subject of some debate in the preliminary peace conference and which virtually established a new category of the entities which are the persons of international relations. The British Empire until 1919 in international relations was regarded as a unit. The autonomous character of the several dominions and the special position of India required adjustment in the international scheme of things. The arrangement, internationally accepted in the treaty of peace with Germany and carried over into the Covenant of the League of Nations and the International Labour Organisation, was a step of fundamental significance in the evolution of what came to be known from 1926 on as the British Commonwealth of Nations. This development received constitutional status in the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

Other states parties of the first part are listed in the French alphabetic order and include those which were full belligerents, some which merely severed diplomatic relations, and three states which were in process of formation or reorganization during the peace conference.

It will be noted that the number of plenipotentiaries varies. The size of delegations was regulated by the rules of procedure of the preliminary peace conference ( Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, iii, 172). Belligerents “with general interests”, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, had five plenipotentiaries each, though Italy’s delegation was incomplete at the signing of this treaty with Germany by reason of the voluntary absence of certain delegates. Belligerent states “with special interests” were assigned three, two, or one representative according to the extent of their concern with the subject-matter of the treaty. The four states which had broken off diplomatic relations with Germany had one representative each.

[Page 63]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, by:

  • Mr. Georges Clemenceau, President of the Council, Minister of War;
  • Mr. Stephen Pichon, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • Mr. Louis-Lucien Klotz, Minister of Finance;
  • Mr. André Tardieu, Commissary General for Franco-American Military Affairs;
  • Mr. Jules Cambon, Ambassador of France;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, by:

  • Baron S. Sonnino, Deputy;
  • Marquis G. Imperiali, Senator, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Italy at London;
  • Mr. S. Crespi, Deputy;

Text of May 7:

  • Mr. V. E. Orlando, President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Baron S. Sonnino, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  • Marquis G. F. Salvago Raggi, Senator of the Kingdom, formerly Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Italy at Paris;
  • Mr. A. Salandra, Deputy, formerly President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Mr. S. Barzilai, Deputy, formerly Minister;

HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN, by:

  • Marquis Saïonzi, formerly President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Baron Makino, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Diplomatic Council;
  • Viscount Chinda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of H. M. the Emperor of Japan at London;
  • Mr. K. Matsui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of H. M. the Emperor of Japan at Paris;
  • Mr. H. Ijuin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of H. M. the Emperor of Japan at Rome;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, by:

  • Mr. Paul Hymans, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State;
  • Mr. Jules van den Heuvel, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Minister of State;
  • Mr. Emile Vandervelde, Minister of Justice, Minister of State;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOLIVIA, by:

  • Mr. Ismael Montes, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Bolivia at Paris;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL, by:

  • Mr. João Pandià Calogeras, Deputy, formerly Minister of Finance;
  • Mr. Raul Fernandes, Deputy;
  • Mr. Rodrigo Octavio de L. Menezes, Professor of International Law at Rio de Janeiro;

Text of May 7:

  • Mr. Epitacio Pessoa, formerly Minister of State, formerly Member of the Supreme Court of Justice, Federal Senator;
  • Mr. Pandià Calogeras, Deputy, formerly Minister of Finance;
  • Mr. Raul Fernandes;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHINESE REPUBLIC, by:

  • Mr. Lou Tseng-Tsiang, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • Mr. Chengting Thomas Wang, formerly Minister of Agriculture and Commerce;

Note to Preamble

China did not sign this treaty because it was unwilling to accept articles 156–58 relating to Shantung. Separate agreements regarding the restoration of the state of peace were concluded between China and Germany on May 20, 1921 (9 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 271) by reason of the fact that China did not ratify the treaty of peace. The main agreement, which entered into force on July 1, 1921, took the form of a German declaration pointing out that Germany had been obliged to renounce all its rights, titles, and privileges in China by this treaty, and included German consent to the abrogation of consular jurisdiction in China.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CUBAN REPUBLIC, by:

  • Mr. Antonio Sànchez de Bustamante, Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of Havana, President of the Cuban Society of International Law;

[Page 65]

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR, by:

  • Mr. Enrique Dorn y de Alsúa, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Ecuador at Paris;

Note to Preamble

Ecuador did not ratify the treaty of peace.

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE HELLENES, by:

  • Mr. Eleftherios K. Venisélos, President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Mr. Nicolas Politis, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUATEMALA, by:

  • Mr. Joaquin Méndez, formerly Minister of State for Public Works and Public Instruction, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Guatemala at Washington, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on special mission at Paris;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI, by:

  • Mr. Tertullien Guilbaud, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Haiti at Paris;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE HEDJAZ, by:

  • Mr. Rustem Haïdar;
  • Mr. Abdul Hadi Aouni;

Note to Preamble

The Hedjaz did not ratify the treaty of peace.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS, by:

  • Dr. Policarpo Bonilla, on special mission to Washington, formerly President of the Republic of Honduras, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, by:

  • The Honourable Charles Dunbar Burgess King, Secretary of State;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA, by: [Page 66]

  • Mr. Salvador Chamorro, President of the Chamber of Deputies;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA, by:

  • Mr. Antonio Burgos, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Panama at Madrid;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PERU, by:

  • Mr. Carlos G. Candamo, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Peru at Paris;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC, by:

  • Mr. Ignace J. Paderewski, President of the Council of Ministers, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • Mr. Roman Dmowski, President of the Polish National Committee;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC, by:

  • Dr. Affonso Augusto da Costa, formerly President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Dr. Augusto Luiz Vieira Soares, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ROUMANIA, by:

  • Mr. Ion I. C. Bratiano, President of the Council of Ministers, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • General Constantin Coanda, Corps Commander, A. D. C. to the King, formerly President of the Council of Ministers;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE SERBS, THE CROATS, AND THE SLOVENES, by:

  • Mr. Nicolas P. Pachitch, formerly President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Mr. Ante Trumbic, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • Mr. Milenko Vesnitch, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the King of the Serbs, the Croats and the Slovenes at Paris;

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SIAM, by:

  • His Highness Prince Charoon, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of H. M. the King of Siam at Paris;
  • His Serene Highness Prince Traidos Prabandhu, Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHO–SLOVAK REPUBLIC, by:

  • Mr. Karel Kramàř, President of the Council of Ministers;
  • Mr. Eduard Beneš, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF URUGUAY, by:

  • Mr. Juan Antonio Buero, Minister for Foreign Affairs, formerly Minister of Industry;

GERMANY, by:

  • Mr. Hermann Müller, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Empire;
  • Dr. Bell, Minister of the Empire;

Text of May 7:

  • Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Empire;
  • Dr. Landsberg, Minister of Justice of the Empire;
  • Mr. Giesberts, Minister of Posts of the Empire;
  • Oberbürgermeister Leinert, President of the Prussian National Assembly;
  • Dr. Schücking;
  • Dr. Karl Melchior;

Acting in the name of the German Empire and of each and every component State,

Note to Preamble

The German plenipotentiaries signed “in the name of the German Empire and of each and every component state” in the German Reich of 1871–1918. In 1914 Baden, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt, Saxe-Coburg, Saxony, and Wurttemberg were in diplomatic relations with Great Britain and other states, while Bremen, Brunswick, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, Saxe-Altenburg, and Saxe-Weimar were in diplomatic relations with Russia and some other states. Component states were not separately represented in the German delegation to the peace conference. The treaty of peace consequently favored the unification of Germany. It was not until the issuance of a decree of March 17, 1933 that the German states were completely deprived of their right to enter into foreign relations.

[Page 68]

WHO having communicated their full powers found in good and clue form have AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

From the coming into force of the present Treaty the state of war will terminate. From that moment and subject to the provisions of this Treaty official relations with Germany, and with any of the German States, will be resumed by the Allied and Associated Powers.

Note to Preamble

This paragraph is to be read with the final clauses, which determine when the treaty came into force. After representatives of the American Commission To Negotiate Peace had ceased to be required in enemy countries and a trend toward peace relations began, the United States appointed “commissioners” at Vienna as of May 15, 1919; at Budapest, December 4, 1919; and at Berlin, November 4, 1919, though arrival was delayed until January 17, 1920 so as “not to unnecessarily irritate” the British and French. These commissioners were instructed not to undertake the customary diplomatic relations; for the instructions see Foreign Relations, 1919, ii, 244, 410.

The United States did not resume diplomatic relations with Austria, Germany, and Hungary until the entry into force of its treaties restoring friendly relations in 1921.

Bolivia severed diplomatic relations with Germany on April 18, 1917, and its ratification of the treaty of peace was included in the deposit of January 10, 1920, the procès-verbal of which brought the treaty into force. On July 20, 1921 (10 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 301) Bolivia and Germany executed a protocol for the resumption of diplomatic relations. Such a special provision was not deemed necessary by the other states which ratified the treaty but had only severed diplomatic relations, namely, Uruguay, whose severance of relations with Germany extended from October 7, 1917 to November 8, 1920, and Peru, from October 8, 1917 to November 9, 1920. Ecuador severed relations on December 9, 1917 but did not ratify the treaty and resumed diplomatic relations with Germany only on July 28, 1923.