The Chargé in France ( Harrison ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 30—5:50 p.m.]
1468. Mission. See my 1462, July 28th, 11 p.m. Following is the translation of text of Teschen agreement:47
“The United States, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan, Principal Allied and Associated Powers,
Having by a decision dated at Paris September 27th, 1919, resolved to provide the former Duchy of Teschen and the territory of Orava and of Spisz with a political status by proceeding to a plebiscite, presenting all the necessary guarantees of loyalty and sincerity,
But considering that the measures in execution of that decision with a view to permitting this plebiscite to be realized under the conditions recalled above have remained without result;
Considering that there is in the interest of general peace urgent [necessity] for settling the fate of these territories;
Considering that the Governments of Poland, of Czechoslovakia, have declared by act dated at Spa, July 10th, 1920, that they agree that their respective frontiers in the said territories should be determined by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers,
Have charged the Conference of Ambassadors with the settlement of this question,
Consequently the Conference of Ambassadors has decided as follows:
I. The limits of the sovereignty of Poland and of Czechoslovakia, respectively, over the former Duchy of Teschen and over the territories of Orava and Spisz shall be fixed by a frontier line determined as follows (see annexed maps)”, (description of frontier line follows, for which see my 1424, July 21, 7 p.m.48). “Consequently the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, decide and declare by these presents that, dating from the present day, the sovereignty of Poland and the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, respectively, shall extend over the territories situated on either side of the frontier line herein above described.
II. A Boundary Commission composed of a representative of each of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers as well as of Poland and Czechoslovakia shall be constituted within one month after the present decision to trace on the spot the frontier line described above.
The decisions of this Commission, which are obligatory upon the interested parties, shall be taken by a majority vote, the President having the casting vote in case of a tie.[Page 63]
The Commission [shall] have full power to propose to the Conference of Ambassadors such modifications as may seem to it to be justified by the interests of individuals or of communities in the neighborhood of the frontier line taking into account special local circumstances.
The [expenses] of the said Commission [shall] be borne half by Poland and half by Czechoslovakia.
III. (1) Individuals having previously to January 1st, 1914, nationality (pertinenza, heimatsrecht) in the territory of Teschen, Spisz, Orava over which the sovereignty of Poland or of Czechoslovakia, respectively, has been recognized will ipso facto acquire Polish or Czecho-Slovak nationality respectively. The same will apply to individuals who, without having nationality, may have been domiciled in the said territories since a date prior to January 1, 1908.
Individuals having acquired nationality in the said territories after January 1st, 1914, will only acquire, according to the case, Polish or Czecho-Slovak nationality on the condition that they obtain authority for this from Poland or Czechoslovakia; if this authorization is not requested or is refused these persons will preserve Austrian or Hungarian nationality as the case may be. The same thing will apply to individuals who without having nationality may have been domiciled in the said territory since a date prior to January 1st, 1908.
(2) Individuals upwards of 18 years of age acquiring ipso facto Polish or Czecho-Slovak nationality, according to their respective cases, by virtue of clause 1, will have the right for a period of one year from the coming into force of the present treaty to opt for Czecho-Slovak or Polish nationality respectively.
[Wherever individuals are concerned] whose nationality in the territories of Teschen, Spisz, or Orava dates from a time subsequent to January 1st, 1914 or who without having [nationality] there have had their domicile there since a date subsequent to January 1st, 1908, the acquisition of Polish or Czecho-Slovak nationality by way of option will be subordinate to the authorization of the Polish or Czecho-Slovak Government as the case may be. If [this] authorization is refused these individuals will be governed by the second paragraph of clause 1 of this article.
Option by a husband will cover his wife and option by parents will cover their children under 18 years of age.
Persons who have exercised the right of option mentioned above must within the ensuing 12 months transfer their place of residence to the state in favor of which they have opted.
They will be entitled to retain the immovable property which they own in the territory of the other state in which they were habitually resident before opting.
They may carry with them their movable property of every description, no export or import duties may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such property.[Page 64]
(3) Individuals who have nationality in a territory attributed to Poland or to the Czecho-Slovak state by virtue of the present decision but who are of different race or language from the majority of the population, may within six months from the present day opt for that one of the countries which formed part of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or which has received territories of the said monarchy in which the majority of the population is composed of persons speaking the same language and having the same race as themselves. The provisions of clause 2 concerning the exercise of the right of option shall be applicable to the exercise of the right recognized by the present clause.
(4) No obstacle shall be placed in the way of the exercise of the right of option granted by the present decision and permitting interested parties to acquire any other nationality which may be open to them.
(5) Married women will take the status of their husband, and children less than 18 years of age that of their parents in so far as everything relating to the application of the preceding provision is concerned.
IV. None of the inhabitants of the former Duchy of Teschen or of the territories of Spisz and Orava shall be annoyed or molested either by reason of their political attitude since July 28th, 1914, up to the taking possession by Poland and Czechoslovakia, respectively, especially with respect to acts connected with the settlement of the rights of sovereignty or by reason of the settlement of their nationality by virtue of the present decision.
V. The proportion and the nature of the financial charges of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and as the case may be of the former Austrian Empire or of the former Kingdom of Hungary which Poland and Czechoslovakia will have to bear by reason of the acquisition of the said territories, shall be regulated as the case may be in conformity with articles 203, part IX (financial clauses) of the peace treaty with Austria or 186, part IX (financial clauses) of the peace treaty with Hungary.
VI. Poland and Czechoslovakia should respectively recognize the rights and interests of all kinds, especially land rights, concessions and privileges acquired by individuals or companies particularly by mining or industrial companies in the former Duchy of Teschen or in the territories of Orava and Spisz. For 25 years no legislative measure of a mining, industrial or commercial character shall be put into force in the said territories which will not be equally applicable in the whole of the territory of Poland and Czechoslovakia respectively.
VII. A special convention between Poland and Czechoslovakia shall be concluded within two months which will regulate on the bases herein after set forth, the reciprocal deliveries of these two countries in coal and naphtha.
Czechoslovakia must undertake to insure to Poland annual supplies of coal which in quantity and quality shall not be inferior to those delivered during the year 1913, to territory which today is Polish, by the coal districts of the former Duchy of Teschen over which Czecho-Slovak sovereignty is henceforth recognized. However, if [in any] year the production of these districts should be less than that of the year 1913, the said supplies [for] that same [Page 65] year [may] be reduced proportionately to the said decrease of production. Under the same conditions Poland must undertake as far as possible to furnish annually by way of [payment] to Czechoslovakia, if she requires it, a quantity and quality [of] naphtha corresponding to an equitable equivalent of the coal received. If at the expiration of the said two months period the said convention has not been concluded, the questions herein above set forth shall be settled by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers whose decision shall be binding upon Poland and Czechoslovakia; this convention should remain in force until [the] plebiscite in Upper Silesia has taken place; the Principal Allied and Associated Powers reserve the right then to reexamine the question, taking into account the new situation resulting therefrom.
Subject to the provisions of articles 224 of the treaty of peace with Austria and 287 of the treaty of peace with Hungary, and in order to take into account the general coal situation in Europe, an agreement will be concluded between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and Czechoslovakia for an apportionment of the coal of the Teschen basin in conformity with the general policy of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in this respect. Provisionally and until this agreement is concluded Czechoslovakia should satisfy every demand for the supply of coal which may be made to her by the Separations Commission in the name of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in favor of a power or of a territory which in 1913 received coal from the said coal mine districts. Nevertheless, Czechoslovakia shall not be bound to supply quantities and qualities superior to those supplied during the year 1913 as determined by the Reparations Commission.
Until the conclusion of the said convention or in default thereof until the decision of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, existing agreements and contracts shall remain in force.
VIII. Within the same two months provided by article VII Poland and Czechoslovakia shall reach an agreement to guarantee all facilities of transit of Polish traffic both in general and especially on the Oderberg-Petrowitz Railway and likewise to facilitate transit and access to the railway station of Teschen; in default of an understanding within the said period these questions shall be settled as stated in article VII [by] the Principal Allied and Associated Powers whose decision shall be binding upon Poland and Czechoslovakia.
IX. All other questions financial, judiciary or administrative shall be settled by special arrangement between Poland and Czechoslovakia according to the principles adopted in the peace treaties with Austria and Hungary, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers reserving the right to intervene, if necessary, in case of disagreement in order to facilitate a settlement.
Done at Paris July 29 , 1920.
The undersigned representatives, [duly authorized,] of the Polish and Czecho-Slovak Governments express by these presents in conformity with their declaration of July 10th, 1920, the full acceptance by their respective Governments of the preceding clauses.
Done at Paris July 28th, 1920.”
In accordance with instructions contained in Department’s last telegram on the subject, the following changes were secured in draft [Page 66] agreement considered by Conference at its 68th, 69th and 70th meetings: first, in article II, paragraph 1, original draft provided that Delimitation Commission should be constituted within 15 days; second, paragraph 3 of article II did not figure at all in original draft; third, the wording of paragraph 3, article III, was made more clear than that in original draft; fourth, after the words “might [may] be reduced proportionately to the said decrease of production,” article VII in the original draft read as follows:
“in exchange and under the same conditions Poland must undertake to furnish annually to Czechoslovakia, if she requires it, a quantity and quality of naphtha corresponding to an equitable equivalent of the coal received.
If at the expiration of the said two month period the said agreement has not been concluded, the above mentioned questions shall be settled by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers whose decision shall be binding upon Poland and Czechoslovakia.
During the five years following the conclusion of the said convention or in default thereof, the decision of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and without prejudice to the provisions of article 224 of the peace treaty with Austria and 207 of the peace treaty with Hungary, Czechoslovakia must satisfy every demand for the supply of coal which may be made upon her by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in favor of a power which in 1913 received coal from the said mining districts or by any one of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers which itself in 1913 received coal from the said mining districts. However, Czechoslovakia shall not be bound to supply quantities and qualities superior to those supplied during the year 1913.
Until the conclusion of the said convention or in default thereof until the decision of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, the existing agreements and contracts shall remain in force.”
After securing the foregoing modifications the position of the United States in the matter was stated pursuant to Department instructions. Conference took note thereof and after observing that satisfaction had been given to view of the American representative with respect to the agreement, expressed earnest hope that after examination of its text the Government of the United States would authorize its representative to sign.
- Bracketed corrections and changes in paragraphing have been made in order to bring the text as telegraphed into conformity with the official French text of the agreement, of which printed copies were transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in France on Aug. 13 (file no. 760c.60f/54).↩
- Description of frontier omitted from telegram no. 1424 as printed on p. 52.↩