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Old 01-20-2020, 03:42 AM   #4366
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Monday, January 19, 1920

PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE

M Pichon’s Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 10:30

Meeting of Premiers.


M Clemenceau: The first question that arises is that of the telegram that ought to have been sent dealing with the arrangement with the Russian Co-operatives. That telegram has not been sent. Why?

M Kammerer: We were waiting for instructions on the point. Last night Mr Berthelot told me that the telegram could be sent. I stated that, for my own part, we had no objection to its despatch.

M Clemenceau: Were you in a position to raise objections to the despatch of that telegram?

M Kammerer: Not at all, but I had to say that I had not any instructions and that I was awaiting them. In any case the telegram is ready and is going to be sent.

S Nitti: To arrange the details of execution of the question in the best way possible, it would be well to send it to the Supreme Economic Council.

Mr Lloyd George: I am in entire agreement. All this ought to be done by the Economic Council and not by the Foreign Ministers.

M Clemenceau: We are then agreed upon that.

(It was decided that economic questions involving the commercial policy of the Allies in Russia should be dealt with by the Supreme Economic Council.)

Mr Wallace will refer the present resolution to Washington for the instructions of his Government.


2. M Clemenceau: We will go on to the Caucasian question. I think that Marshal Wilson or Marshal Foch ought first to be heard.

Marshal Foch: A question on this subject was put to the Interallied Military Committee at Versailles. The committee pronounced an opinion. It is to that opinion that I am now going to refer.

M Clemenceau: You mean, I take it, the pronouncement of the 12th January. That has been circulated; everybody here knows it; have you nothing to add to that?

Marshal Foch: No, Mr. President, I have nothing to add unless it be that since that time the situation cannot have appreciably changed, that in any case, if it has changed, that can only be to our disadvantage, and consequently that the restrictions we formulated are perhaps even more justified at the present moment.

Sir Henry Wilson: I also am in the position of having nothing to add.

Mr Lloyd George: What is necessary at the very outset is to collect all available information so as to be in a position to discuss the matter profitably later on.

M Clemenceau: We are agreed.

Mr Lloyd George: The military advice, if I have understood it correctly, is that no barrier, consisting of less than three divisions would be effective against the Bolsheviks; and Lord Beatty could not send his sailors unless there were already assurance of such effective military measures.

Lord Beatty: I have nothing to add to that statement of the situation.

Mr Lloyd George: The situation may be regarded from another point of view. With the object of holding up the Bolsheviks, would it be any good to supply the Caucasian Republics of Azerbaijan, Daghestan and Georgia with guns and war materiel? And if so, ought it to be done immediately?

Marshal Foch: That question is very difficult to answer from here. Only an officer on the spot would be in a position to say what effective force those countries can muster and whether therefore it is worth while supplying them with anything whatsoever.

Mr Clemenceau: Does the Marshal suggest entrusting such a mission to an Allied general?

Marshal Foch: There is an English general with Denikin and the French general Mangin is also there.

Mr Lloyd George: But what I want now is military advice. We have already been asked to send material to those tribesmen. I want to know if that is militarily expedient.

Marshal Foch: I am entirely without information as to whether those populations are ready to receive materiel and to employ it to advantage or whether all that we might send would not simply fall into the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Sir Henry Wilson: In the meeting that took place the day before yesterday and at which we examined the defense of the Batoum-Baku line, the conclusion is reached that unless the British Navy effectively holds the Caspian, that line could not be effectively defended: and, inversely, that unless there exists the means of defending that line, it is impossible to send Naval forces into the Caspian. For that matter, unless the Caspian is occupied and held, Baku will certainly fall.

Mr Lloyd George: I take it then to be Sir Henry Wilson’s advice that we ought not to send war materiel to those peoples to help them to defend themselves against the Bolsheviks.

Sir Henry Wilson: That, Sir, is undoubtedly my opinion if the Caspian is not effectively held by the British Navy - I should then send nothing.

Mr Winston Churchill: I entirely agree with Sir Henry’s opinion on that point. Indeed, if the Caspian were not held, all that we might send would almost immediately pass into the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Lord Curzon: I should like to add a word. If, as General Wilson says, an Allied military expedition cannot succeed, then obviously we ought not to send one, but the present question it seems to me, is not so comprehensive. I have been speaking with the representatives of the Caucasian republics who are at this moment in the adjoining room. They have told me already that the Bolsheviks will attack them; they are anxious to defend themselves, provided we supply them with food, arms and munitions. So supplied, they believe that the danger could be averted. Without supplies, their fall, they say, is inevitable. In any case I suggest that we take no decision upon the matter without first of all hearing them.

Marshal Foch: I repeat my question: can we inform ourselves sufficiently here? I am willing to accept the discussion which ought to be profitable, but I think that we cannot have really adequate information unless we send actually on to the spot a representative of the Allied Powers.

M Clemenceau: The reason for your remark is, I believe that you did not quite understand what has just been said, to wit, that the representatives of the republics of the Caucasus are at present within the building and that it would be possible to hear them now.


(The representatives of the Republic of Georgia, Messrs Tsheidze, Tseretelli and Avaloff and of Azerbaijan, Messrs Topchibacheff and Magaramoff, are then introduced.)

3. M Clemenceau: Gentlemen, the Conference has been discussing the urgency of sending to Georgia, Daghestan and Azerbaijan food, arms and ammunition. We are told that you can give us information about an intended Bolshevist attack upon your people and of the means at your disposal for defense. We wish to know if at this juncture you would be in a position to exploit the help that we might be able to send you. We are quite disposed to do something effective but we want to know the present state of your countries and whether such aid would be effectively used against the Bolsheviks, or whether it is more likely to happen, as it did with Denikin, that the Bolsheviks would be strong enough simply to capture from you the materiel sent and thus to make matters worse.

Mr Tseretelli: I speak in the name of the Georgian Delegation as well as in that of the Delegation of Azerbaijan. We are equally likely to be attacked by the Bolsheviks but we do not know whether we shall be or not. Were we helped by the Entente, the Bolsheviks might hesitate to attack us. In any case, we need the material assistance of the Great Powers if we are to defend ourselves.

M Clemenceau: Am I to understand that you are asking us to send troops also?

Mr Tseretelli: That would be better still; but the mere fact of being protected on the sea and receiving the arms, munitions and food we require, would be an invaluable help. The state of mind of our people is such that, should the Bolsheviks attack, and if at the same time we received the material support of the Entente, we hope to defeat every attack. But such material aid is necessary immediately. We would like in any case to point out that the present situation in the Caucasus is dangerous from the point of view of the morale of the populations. When Denikin was in our land, our despairing peoples fought his troops by every means in their power, and a current of sympathy with the Bolsheviks appeared. Today, our people see their independence recognized and we are convinced that all the forces of the Highlanders will be used to resist a Bolshevist invasion and to defend our independence. It is under those circumstances that we build so much hope upon receiving help from the Supreme Council. We do not wish war: we are even ready to come to an agreement if that is possible, with the Bolsheviks, but only upon the condition that they also recognize our independence.

M Clemenceau: You would really sign an agreement with the Bolsheviks?

Mr Tseretelli: Yes, on condition that they pledged themselves not to invade our country and that they did not try to introduce propaganda among our people. But I must repeat, if we were strong, and the Entente were to help us, the Bolsheviks would be obliged to recognize our independence and give up their attempts.

I should nevertheless like to point out that there are three Trans-Caucasian Republics - Georgia, Azerbaidjan and Armenia. We would like to know why Armenia has not received de facto recognition. That recognition would help us all and render easier resistance to any aggression whatsoever. But, in short, it is in immediate help that our hope of resistance lies.

Mr Lloyd George: How many men can Azerbaijan put into the field?

Mr Magaramoff: A military law has been passed by our Parliament; assuming that we have the necessary arms and munitions, we shall be able to put into the field some 100,000 men.

Mr Lloyd George: Have you the troops at the moment?

Mr Magaramoff: We have a little army, in the command of a native Azerbaidjan general, about 50,000 strong, perhaps more, disciplined, but there are only from 10,000 to 12,000 of these men with arms.

Mr Lloyd George: And in Georgia?

Mr Tseretelli: We have about 16 battalions of regular troops, each 600 strong and nearly 15,000 men of the National Guard. These are well-disciplined troops. In a fortnight we could mobilize 50,000 men if we had the necessary arms and munitions. But on the other hand in a war for independence we could count upon the support of our whole people, among whom national enthusiasm runs very high. I am myself not a military specialist; but, if the Supreme Council wishes quite accurate information we can ask our Government by telegraph to supply it.

Mr Lloyd George: Is compulsory military service the system obtaining in Georgia?

Mr Tseretelli: Yes, and, in the Russian Army, Georgian officers were considered the best. Our troops too, were among the flower of the Russian Army.

Mr Lloyd George: Have the young men of Azerbaijan received military instruction?

Mr Magaramoff: There was no compulsory military service with us; but at the beginning of the war there were organized detachments of volunteers who distinguished themselves in the Iron Division. We had remarkable officers and generals. It was only two years ago that our Republic was constituted: henceforth all our youth must serve with the colors.

Lord Curzon: Reports that I have received say that a certain number of officers of Azerbaidjan are Turkish officers. Does the presence of these Turkish officers in the army leave us the guarantees necessary in a fight against the Bolsheviks?

Mr Magaramoff: After the conquest of Azerbaijan by Russia a great part of the population emigrated 25 years ago to Turkey. Later on, when the Turkish Army invaded the Caucasus, a certain number of its officers were natives of our country and of Daghestan. Among these, some 50 preferred to remain in Azerbaijan but they are native Caucasians and we can be certain that they, like all our populations, will use their whole energy in fighting the Bolsheviks for the defense of our independence.

Mr Topchibacheff: We, the inhabitants of Azerbaijan, dread Bolshevism even more than do our Georgian neighbors. We have had an experience of it. The Bolsheviks occupied our country for four months. I myself, head of a Trans-Caucasian committee, was a prisoner with them for two months and a half.

The danger threatens us from two sides: from the north and from the Caspian. On the Caspian side we hope that the English, who have a naval base at Enzeli, will give us perhaps marines and, in any case, arms and munitions. As for the northern frontier, we believe that in order to protect the whole of Trans-Caucasia, and especially Azerbaijan, it is expedient to recognize the Republic of the Highlanders, which would then form a buffer state against Bolshevik attacks. These Highlanders are indeed a very brave people.

Mr Lloyd George: Did the fight against Denikin take place in Georgia or Daghestan?

Mr Tseretelli: Denikin invaded Daghestan and the fight developed between the Highlanders and him. As for Georgia, it has always been threatened by Denikin; we displayed our sympathy with the Highlanders, who were defending themselves against him.

Mr Lloyd George: Why did Denikin attack Daghestan?

Mr Tseretelli: Denikin looked upon Daghestan and all Trans-Caucasia as Russian provinces. He judged it easier to invade those territories than to fight the Bolsheviks; it was against the peoples of the Caucasus that he turned the arms which were supplied to him to maintain the fight against the army of the Soviets.

Mr Lloyd George: For that attack had he great forces at his disposal?

Mr Tseretelli: His forces were fairly large, how large I cannot say, exactly. Anyhow, he had to use a great many men in maintaining the strife of factions in which the Highlanders involved him. The fight lasted nearly a year: I do not know whether it is not still going on. We have no recent news. I believe that Denikin has issued an appeal to his troops. Whatever may be the number of his forces, they are disorganized and demoralized and are doubtless no longer worth very much.

Mr Lloyd George: What is the Cossack’s attitude towards Denikin?

Mr Tseretelli: According to reports we have received from Tiflis, confirmed by Mr Bitch, president of the Kouban delegation, who is in Paris, great discontent reigns among the Kouban population; it is possible that the discontent is already receiving some direction. In the existing situation the Red Army is able to invade Kouban. But resistance to the Bolsheviks is being organized under the direction of Mr. Magaramko, the president of the Rada of Kouban. But it is still necessary to have the guarantee that it is not Denikin who will profit by the defeat of the Bolsheviks.

Mr Lloyd George: How long has the Kouban Delegation been in Paris?

Mr Tseretelli: For a year.

Mr Lloyd George: Is there a separatist movement in Kouban?

Mr Tseretelli: That is the political tendency of the Kouban Delegation, which is keeping in touch with its own country. That Delegation presented to the Conference a memorandum asking for recognition of the independence of the Kouban Republic.

S Nitti: If I have properly understood Mr Tseretelli, the real objective of Denikin’s army is the reconstitution of the old centralized Russia, rather than the defeat of the Bolsheviks; is Mr Tseretelli quite sure about that?

Mr Tseretelli: I am certain. I do not know Denikin’s personal ideas, but the unanimous opinion was that, had he managed to defeat the Bolsheviks, he would immediately have turned all his efforts towards the reduction of those nations whose independence has been proclaimed. That is not merely my conviction, it is that of all those independent states of which I speak and which defended themselves against him. It is the conviction also of our Azerbaijan neighbors.

S Nitti: Do you believe that the recognition of the Caucasian Republics, which exist already, or which will be recognized later could arouse the spirit of resistance in the country?

Mr Tseretelli: I am convinced that that recognition will strengthen resistance to all aggression from whatever side the aggression comes. We entertain the high hope that after the first step which has just been taken, the Supreme Council will go to the full length of recognizing our Republics de jure. That is the hope that sustains the courage of our peoples and our Governments; our population will display all the more zeal as they know that this de jure recognition will come about.

As for Denikin’s policy, he has declared officially several times that he does not recognize the right of our nations to self-determination: in his eyes, we still constitute mere provinces of the old Tsarist Russia.

Mr Magaramoff: The Georgian Delegate, in explaining the dangers that might menace his country from the direction of the Black Sea, has shown that on that side the Entente could send ships of war. But for us, on the Caspian, the situation is entirely different. Sending ships of war there cannot be thought of. There is a Bolshevist fleet to the North of Petrovsk and a small fleet of Denikin’s between Petrovsk and Baku; finally, at Enzeli, there is an English ship with some small gun boats.

Recently, the Azerbaijan Government protested against the allocation of a fleet to Denikin; but, at the present moment the volunteer army is beaten and the crews of his fleet, who manifested sentiments of sympathy with the Bolsheviks, are going possibly to join them: hence will arise a danger for Baku and for the defense of all Trans-Caucasia. That is why we should be happy if the Conference would be good enough to take the necessary measures to prevent Denikin’s joining the Bolshevist fleet.

Mr Lloyd George: Could you garrison Baku if you were given the arms? How many men could you find to defend that town?

Mr Magaramoff: There is a strong garrison at Baku already.

M Clemenceau: Of how many men?

Mr Magaramoff: We do not know now, as for two months direct communications have been cut off. Within that time, the strength of the garrison may have varied. However, that may be, two months ago, there were 7,000 men in Baku, all natives of Azerbaidjan, of which state Baku is the capital.

Mr Lloyd George: Why did Denikin not receive the support of the peasants in Ukrainia? Why did they abandon him?

Mr Tseretelli: I think that Denikin was considered in Ukrainia the representative of the counter-revolutionary movement which was going to take the land from the peasants and restore it to the nobility. He was looked upon as a man who had placed the Ukraine under the yoke of a centralized government reminiscent of Tsarism. In fact, both from the social and from the national points of view, the peasants looked upon Denikin as the enemy.

To avoid all misunderstanding, allow me to supplement what I said a little while ago. I spoke of Kouban. I am not qualified to make known here the aspirations of its population and I cannot say whether the separatist movement is very strong in that region or whether it is merely destined to avert the possibility of a civil war. In any case, I should not like to give the impression that the cause of Azerbaidjan and of Georgia ought to be considered from the same standpoint as that of Kouban. As you know, our populations are, from the national point of view, quite different. For centuries they have lived as independent states. I want it to be clearly understood that all I have said has merely the value to be attached to the information that can be given by a man who has read the newspapers. There is a Kouban Delegation in Paris; only that Delegation is in a position to speak precisely upon the national aspirations.

Mr Winston Churchill: Was the Kouban Delegation regularly appointed by the Rada?

Mr Tseretelli: Yes, and its president is the president of the Rada. He is Mr Bitch, a man very well known in the Caucasian world. He has been here for nearly a year.

(At this point the representatives of Georgia and of Azerbaidjan leave the Conference.)


...
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:41 PM   #4367
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20th January 1920

Former White Forces commander Alexander Kolchak, defeated by the Bolshevik Army in the Russian Civil War, was surrendered by the White Army authorities at Irkutsk. The Bolsheviks placed him on trial the next day and would execute him on February 7.

Alexandre Millerand becomes the new Prime Minister of France, succeeding Georges Clemenceau.


Born this day, DeForest Kelley (d. June 11, 1999), known to colleagues as "Dee", was an American actor, screenwriter, poet, and singer known for his roles in Westerns and as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television and film series Star Trek (1966–1991).


Ship Losses:

USC&GS Isis (United States) The survey vessel/yacht suffered a breached hull on a sunken wreck and was beached to prevent sinking near St. Augustine, Florida. She was later destroyed by a storm before salvage could begin.
Lavonia (United Kingdom) The schooner caught fire in the Florida Straits off Bahía Honda, Cuba and was abandoned.
Macona (United States) The cargo ship ran aground off the Nidingen Lighthouse, Sweden and foundered with the loss of 40 of her 41 crew.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:03 AM   #4368
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21st January 1920

Battle of Marash begins when Turkish National Forces besiege French troops occupying the city of Maraş (Kahramanmaraş, Turkey). A large part of the French forces is the French Armenian Legion.




Ship Losses:

Condor (Spain) The barque sprang a leak and foundered in the Atlantic Ocean 50 nautical miles (93 km) off San Juan, Puerto Rico with the loss of six of her 36 crew.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:58 PM   #4369
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Tuesday, January 20, 1920

PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE

M Pichon’s Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 10:30

Meeting of Premiers.


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Wednesday, January 21, 1920

PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE

M Pichon’s Room, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 11:00

Meeting of Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.


Present

British Empire:
Lord Curzon
Secretaries:
Mr Leeper,
Capt Lothian Small

Italy:
S di Martino,
Secretaries:
Mr. Trombetti,
Mr. Zanchi

France:
M Clemenceau,
M Millerand,
Secretaries:
M Dutasta,
Mr Berthelot,
Mr. Massigli.

Japan
Mr Matsui,
Secretaries
Mr Kawai.

General Cavallero (Italy) is also present at the meeting to deal with questions with which he is concerned.


1. M Mantoux reads a draft letter prepared by the British Delegation in reply to a communication from Mr Lansing.

A draft letter prepared by M Berthelot in reply to the same communication is then read.

M Berthelot: In preparing this draft reply I took up a different point of view, as the Council observes. Lord Curzon’s reply seems to me to be infinitely superior; it is far more complete, and goes to the very bottom of the questions. But I chose to interpret Mr Lansing’s Note as a display of bad temper and not as a direct communication from President Wilson, and I replied without entering very deeply into the questions, which would have been dealt with subsequently in an appendix, in which we should have asked to know the opinion of the American Government.

Mr Clemenceau: It seems to me that the question of peace with Turkey ought not to be included in this reply to Mr. Lansing; it is important, I know; but this is yet another reason why it should be treated separately from the question of the Adriatic; also it is a question to be dealt with by my successor.

I asked M Millerand to permit me to remain until now in order to settle the Italian question, concerning which we have been interrogated by Mr Wilson; there are papers in connection with it which are signed by me, and I intended to make a suitable reply.

The question of peace with Turkey of course remains on the agenda, but it must be discussed with Mr Millerand; I have no right to deal with it.

That being said, I think the two draft letters excellent; each has its advantages and disadvantages: nevertheless, I could not accept that of Lord Curzon without a slight alteration on which he will, I think, be in agreement with me: he says that, once an agreement had been reached, we should not have failed to inform President Wilson; I would rather that we used the following formula: that we should not have failed to submit it for his approval. For it is indeed a matter of approval.

S di Martino: President Wilson may prefer not to pronounce an opinion.

M Clemenceau: Then he will not pronounce one. M Berthelot points out to me that, if we use that formula we appear to make President Wilson an arbitrator: but in our system of discussion we are all arbitrators: we must be unanimous among ourselves; if one of us disagreed, nothing would be done.

I think the wording I propose would quite disarm Mr. Wilson: it only expresses the truth.

Lord Curzon: I agree with you.

M Millerand: So do I.

Mr. Clemenceau: With this alteration, I am prepared, while thinking Mr. Berthelot’s text excellent, to adopt that of Lord Curzon.

Lord Curzon: I think Mr. Clemenceau’s observation is perfectly true.

As to avoiding all mention of the Turkish question, another argument in favour of the point of view supported by M Clemenceau is that the telegram communicated to us only speaks of Russia and Italy and not of Turkey at all.

Moreover, I quite understand that M Clemenceau only wishes to reply to those points which concern the part he has taken in negotiations, and that the Turkish negotiations must in future be considered as within the competence of the new French Cabinet.

I am therefore prepared to accept these considerations if the text I have proposed is otherwise accepted.

Our draft has, indeed, several advantages. M Berthelot’s is, as he said, in reality a reply to Mr Lansing, but there is no doubt, however the telegram communicated to us is read, that it comes from the Government of the United States; it would consequently be better to address that Government itself.

Finally, it is better to go thoroughly into the questions and give arguments, while showing, of course, the greatest courtesy to the American Government, both as regards substance and form.

S di Martino: Since the American Government addressed the French and British Governments, I am not concerned in the drafting of this reply. I merely thank you for so kindly communicating it to us. Nevertheless, I should like to make one request.

In his draft reply, M Berthelot says that the Allied Governments of France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan never intended to come to a decision apart from and contrary to the advice of President Wilson: this idea does not appear in Lord Curzon’s note. I request that it may be added.

M Clemenceau: I agree.

Mr Matsui: The Japanese Delegation has not always been consulted. It would therefore be better to omit this reference to Japan. I ask that this word be struck out, especially as I do not know the contents of Mr Lansing’s note.

S di Martino: May I, Sir, before you retire, return to the letter sent by Mr Nitti to the President of the Conference on January 17, of which I was speaking to you a short time ago.

It is, in short, a matter of verifying a simple de facto circumstance, and of seeing whether there is or is not a mistake and whether or not S Nitti makes a new proposal.

According to us, it is a mistake which has crept into the text and which S Nitti has to rectify by drawing attention to the enormous difficulty by which he would be faced in order to obtain the acceptance by our Parliament of the limitation of the sovereignty of Fiume, thus placed under the control of the League of Nations. I am going to telegraph to S Nitti.

M Berthelot: I share the opinion of the Council, and so think it would be better not to speak of Turkey in the reply to Mr Lansing. The question was well put recently, but by M Jusserand, who pointed out that the attitude adopted by America would postpone the solution of that question indefinitely. To this Mr Lansing replied that he had no intention of postponing the settlement by the Allies of the Turkish problem. In reality, the opinion of the American Government seems to be as follows: it did not make war on Turkey; we can therefore deal with the Turkish question among ourselves; on the other hand, if it is interested in the Adriatic question, the Russian problem, it is because it was involved in the war against Austria and was associated with Russia.

M Clemenceau: M Jusserand’s telegram is only of value to the Conference for the information it gives.

I do not oppose the request made by the Japanese Ambassador.

Finally, S di Martino states that a drafting error has crept into the text concerning Fiume; this is a question to be settled with the Secretariat. For my part, I think we are bound to defend the document transmitted to the Yugoslavs; our word is pledged; as far as I am concerned, I wish to change nothing in that text.

On the other hand, the British Representative agrees not to mention Turkey in the reply to Mr Lansing and accepts the addition proposed by S di Martino.

We are therefore in agreement.

M Berthelot: Will the note be sent through the intermediary of M Jusserand on behalf of the Conference and signed by the President, or will it on the other hand be transmitted by the British Government?

M Clemenceau: The question is not who will send it, but who will sign it. I think it should be signed by Mr Lloyd George and myself, since I remained here specially for this question; especially as Mr Wallace himself transmitted it to Mr Lloyd George and to me.

Lord Curzon: Then we must give the reply to Mr Wallace signed by Mr Lloyd George and M Clemenceau. I am authorized by the British Prime Minister to sign it for him.

M Clemenceau: The reply will therefore be signed by Mr Lloyd George and myself.

(It is decided that M Clemenceau and Mr Lloyd George will hand the telegram
to Mr Wallace for transmission to Washington.


2. Lord Curzon: I think an error has crept into the decision adopted after hearing Mr. Ador. We decided that the question of the retention of perpetual Swiss neutrality within the League of Nations should be laid before the Council of the League, which would examine it and communicate its decisions to the Supreme Council, which would take the final decision.

After investigation it appears that in this resolution there were certain drawbacks and that the question raised comes exclusively within the scope of the Council of the League of Nations.

It would thus be best to say that the Council of the League of Nations shall pronounce judgment and shall inform the Supreme Council of its decision. The danger of the adoption of contradictory decisions could thus be avoided. It is, moreover, probable that Switzerland will obtain satisfaction; otherwise she will still have the right to appeal to the Assembly of the League in conformity with the Covenant.

I therefore propose to alter the resolution adopted yesterday.

Another question arises.

We decided that the date from which should count the period allowed to Switzerland for admission into the League of Nations as an original member should be that of the entry into force of the last Treaty containing the Covenant; consequently it would perhaps be the date of the entry into force of the Treaty with Turkey, which is not yet drafted. That solution seems impossible.

The neutrals have, indeed, been informed that they had two months from the ratification of the Treaty with Germany in which to adhere to the Covenant; if Switzerland is allowed a special regime, those might plead this precedent and it would then become impossible, in case of necessity, to summon the League of Nations and its Assembly. This cannot have been the intention of the Supreme Council.

Accordingly, it would, I think, be better to retain the original decision, the period of two months from the date of the deposit of ratifications of the Treaty of Versailles.

Mr Matsui: From the legal point of view, this point is open to discussion; thus China, for instance, who did not sign the Treaty of Versailles, can ask to belong to the League of Nations after the exchange of the ratifications of the Treaty with Austria, which also contains the Covenant of the League.

M Berthelot: It was desired to render the accession of Switzerland to the League of Nations possible and the constitutional delays required by her in order to organize her referendum were taken into account. That was the question about which Mr Ador was concerned.

On the other hand, as Lord Curzon said, it is obvious that neutrals have only two months after the exchange of the ratifications of the Treaty of Versailles; but the fact that Switzerland is allowed a privileged position on account of the guarantees of perpetual neutrality given by the Powers, is perhaps not enough to alter what was decided for the other States.

It is none the less true that it is perhaps excessive to give Switzerland two months after the coming into force of the last Treaty; between the two extremes a solution might perhaps be found in the ingenious suggestion of the Japanese Ambassador and the period might date from the coming into force of the Treaty with Austria.

M Millerand: Could it not be considered enough for the Federal Government to have given its consent subject to the referendum to be taken?

Mr. Berthelot: The Swiss Government is of the opinion that this solution would not justify it before the country and that it would risk seeing the referendum decide against adhesion to the League.

Lord Curzon: My proposal was suggested to me by Sir Eric Drummond, who has dealt exclusively with the legal point of view and who, as you can well believe, is actuated by no feelings of hostility to Switzerland, but rather the reverse.

Moreover, if it is agreed that the time necessary for taking a referendum must be granted to Switzerland, the suggestion made by the Japanese Ambassador, that the period of two months should only count from the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty with Austria, would perhaps offer a means of evading the difficulty.

Mr Berthelot: Switzerland is in an exceptional position; it is the only state which is perpetually neutral: that is perhaps legitimate reason to make special arrangements for her.

M Clemenceau: Do you then wish us to refer this question for the examination of Mr. Fromageot and his colleagues?

(It was decided:

(1) That the question how far the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland is compatible with her entry into the League of Nations be referred for examination by the Council of the League of Nations, which would be requested to inform the Supreme Council of its conclusions.

(2) That the question as to how Switzerland must notify her adhesion to the League of Nations be referred for examination to the legal experts.


(Mr Clemenceau withdraws and Mr Millerand takes his place in the chair.)


3. Lord Curzon: A resolution was voted by the Supreme Council some time ago according to which:

“The present session of the Peace Conference shall terminate at the latest in the fortnight following the drawing up of the first minutes of the deposit of ratifications of the Treaty with Germany; after the close of the present session, important political questions shall be dealt with by direct communications between the Governments themselves, while questions of detail shall be settled by a Conference of the Ambassadors in Paris.”

We have reached a time when, owing to the departure of Mr Lloyd George and S Nitti, the illness of S Scialoja and the need for my return to England, the Conference can no longer continue in its present form. Accordingly, I think the resolution adopted during the London conferences of December 11–13, 1919, should be executed and that this Conference of Ambassadors should be inaugurated, to deal from day to day with questions concerning the Treaty and its execution, important essential political questions being reserved for direct decision by the Governments.

If we are agreed to inaugurate this new phase of our work, I declare, on behalf of the British Government, that the British representative on that Conference will be Lord Derby.

S de Martino: S Scialoja, whose health is happily slightly improved and whom I saw a short time ago, asked me to support the point of view which he has already defended before the Conference. Indeed, he sees no need to create a fresh organization since there are still important questions to be discussed such as that of the Treaty with Hungary and others; under these circumstances, S Scialoja thinks it would be well to allow the Governments to be represented on that meeting by the men they consider most qualified; it may be their Ambassador but, if necessary, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs could, if they so desire, take part in person.

We are agreed in thinking that important questions of principle will be dealt with in meetings of the Presidents of the Council or by direct communication between the Governments; but the execution of decisions thus taken should nevertheless be examined and prepared by an Inter-Allied meeting. That is why S Scialoja wished to accept the point of view expressed by Lord Curzon to the effect that the Ambassadors would be empowered to take part in that meeting when their Governments thought fit.

Mr Matsui: I can the more readily accept Lord Curzon’s proposal as I am ambassador and at the same time plenipotentiary but it is understood that if I, for instance, or Lord Derby, were prevented from being present at a meeting, we could always send somebody in our place.

M Millerand: In view of the resolution already adopted and the execution of which is alone requested by Lord Curzon, I for my part have no objection to make to the execution of that resolution.

Would it not, however, be well if it was understood that, when a Government considers it better to replace the Ambassador by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or by the Head of the Government, this should take place automatically? In other words, I should not like the term “Ambassadors’ Conference” to be taken in too narrow a sense, so as to prohibit Heads of Governments or Ministers for Foreign Affairs from taking part in the discussion.

Lord Curzon: I agree entirely with the President. We have a resolution to carry out: consequently, this Ambassadors’ Conference must be set working: but, when circumstances render it necessary, there is nothing to prevent the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Head of the Government of a country, or even any individual whose presence is considered necessary by the latter, from taking part in it instead of and on behalf of the Ambassador.

On the other hand, I would reply to S di Martino that, as far as the Treaty with Turkey is concerned, the Governments never intended to entrust the preparation of the Treaty to the Ambassador’s Conference. That is a question reserved for the Supreme Council and which will ultimately render it necessary for it to meet.

Mr. Berthelot: The Premiers who met in London had no idea of an Ambassadors’ Conference; this meeting was given a much more modest title, that of “Ambassadors’ Committee”; it was thought that current affairs could be treated in this way by general collaboration: but it was also understood that, whenever a question required the opinion of the Governments, a meeting might be held to discuss it either at London, at Rome, or Paris, as decided by the Heads of Governments.

Accordingly, when it was decided to deal with the Turkish question, the Ambassadors’ Committee would not have power to discuss it: it would be examined in a meeting of the Premiers in one of the three capitals.

Moreover, unless my memory fails me, it was agreed between Mr Lloyd George and M Clemenceau that when the Turks were summoned it should be to Paris, and that in the same way the Treaty would be signed in Paris.

Lord Curzon: I wish to make two remarks.

First, as regards the term “Ambassadors’ Conference”, since the expression is used in the resolution, I think it would be better for us to retain it, instead of substituting that of “Ambassadors’ Committee”; especially as the result of the latter phrase would be to limit the object of that meeting.

In the second place, I know of no arrangement concluded between Mr Lloyd George and M Clemenceau concerning the place to which the Turkish representatives would be summoned or where the Peace with Turkey would be signed. All I know is that Mr Lloyd George intends the discussion of Turkish affairs to take place in London, for it will for a long time be difficult for him and for me to leave England.

I wish to make this statement, so as not to be bound by what M Berthelot has just said.

M Berthelot: In the conversation which I ventured to recall, it was indeed decided that the discussions on Turkish affairs should take place in London, but at the same time it was added that the Turks would be summoned to Paris, where the Treaty with them would be signed.

M Millerand: That is, moreover, what M Clemenceau told me. It is clearly understood, as I have already told Mr Lloyd George, that I am at his disposal and at yours to go to London as soon as this is desired, in order to begin discussing the Treaty with Turkey.

I only ask permission to reserve the two points indicated by M Berthelot, i e the summoning of the Turkish delegates to Paris and the signature of the Treaty at Paris.

M Berthelot: M Clemenceau also relied on the fact that the Turkish delegates have already been summoned to Paris and that, at a time, when the Conference has sent them a reply that the question is pledged.


4. Mr Matsui: I wish to make a remark on the powers of this conference of Ambassadors.

A resolution was passed on the 28th July last establishing the Council of Ambassadors and investing it with certain powers; but the resolution adopted in London in December is not at all the same. What is the opinion of the meeting on the subject?

Mr Millerand: I imagine that it will be necessary to decide definitely on the powers of the respective assemblies.

As I understand it, the Committee or the Conference of Ambassadors will only sit in the intervals of the meetings of the Supreme Council: it is therefore essential to establish exactly the powers of the two assemblies.

For example, which of them is to deal with the Treaty with Hungary? the Committee of Ambassadors, or will it be necessary to convoke the Supreme Council.

Mr Berthelot: The Treaty has already been handed to the Hungarians, it is therefore only a question of details and henceforth these will be examined and decided by the Conference of Ambassadors. The resolutions passed by that Conference will be submitted to the various Governments for approval and for decisions as to concessions: final decisions will be taken by the Heads of Governments.

S di Martino: Are the Ambassadors then not to have full powers as the plenipotentiaries of their Governments?

Mr Millerand: It would appear so from the second paragraph of the London resolution; the Ambassadors are to have powers only on questions of detail. It has also been decided that the Governments represented at the Conference of Ambassadors can, if they think necessary, be represented by a substitute for the more general questions.

Lord Curzon: Mr Clemenceau has expressed the opinion that it would be better, in the answer to be made to the telegram of the United States Government, not to mention Turkey at all but to speak only of Italy and Russia; on the other hand the negotiations on the Turkish question will be commenced as soon as Mr Millerand is able to go to London. Would it not be a good thing therefore to see in what way we could advise the United States that we desire their presence and their counsels? Not to take this step might cause grave offence.

It was with this in mind that I drafted my telegram on the subject of Turkey: could we not now express the same idea in some way?

M Millerand: This idea you wish to express is already contained in your first draft, apart from all reference to Turkey: you say there “It goes without saying that the French and British Governments attach the greatest importance to the presence of a United States representative.”

S di Martino: That is so; nevertheless, when the time comes actually to begin negotiations with Turkey, it would be expedient to ask once more for the co-operation of the United States. The United States Government will then have either to accept co-operation, and this would be all to the good, or to refuse: in neither case will it have any cause for complaint.

M Millerand: We could now inform the United States what negotiations are about to be opened and that we should be glad to see a representative of the United States take part in them.

Lord Curzon: Who is to make this communication?

M Millerand: All the Allies.

Lord Curzon: Has the passage referring to Turkey been left in the draft letter?

M Millerand: I think that the most satisfactory solution both for you and for us would be to delete all reference to Turkey from your note, as was indeed decided, leaving only the passage in which you express the value we attach, generally speaking, to the presence of a United States representative here.

Further, before the meeting to be held in London, the Allies should send a note to Washington, asking the American Government to send a plenipotentiary as its representative, if possible.

Lord Curzon: I think that we should communicate this to Washington at once in as definite a way as possible; the situation in the East will not allow delay; we must not be content with merely formulating in a general way our wish to obtain the collaboration of the United States on other matters and put off until the moment of our meeting in London our request that they send a plenipotentiary to London.

M Millerand: If we are agreed as I think we are, that in the letter to be sent in answer to Mr Lansing’s telegram, all mention of Turkey should be omitted, and that the expression of our wish to see the United States represented should be maintained, I see no reason why we should not at the same time draw up a special note advising the United States Government, in the name of the Allies, that a Conference by the Heads of Governments is to be held in London immediately on Turkish affairs and that we attach the greatest importance to the participation of an American plenipotentiary.

Lord Curzon: We are agreed and I therefore ask your permission to draw up the communication in question with M Berthelot.

Mr Berthelot: In these circumstances, the first telegram might be remitted to Mr Wallace who would forward it to his Government; the other note would be transmitted to the United States Government by M Jusserand. The two communications would be kept definitely separate, as a sign of deference to Washington.

(It is decided that a telegram be sent to Washington in the name of the Supreme Council to invite the United States Government to send a plenipotentiary as its representative to the forthcoming negotiations on the Turkish Question.)

S di Martino: I understand that the Conference of Ambassadors will decide the outstanding questions on the Italian frontier?


5. The frontiers of what ought to have been the buffer state have already been fixed but the line has not yet been defined from the north of the buffer state to the Austrian frontier.

Mr Berthelot: All that remains to be done, I believe, is the work of delimitation by the commissions on the spot.

S di Martino: It is a question of adjusting the line laid down by the Treaty of London and the Wilson line to the north of the territory to form the buffer state.

General Cavallero: I think that is not so. From the buffer state to Tarvis nothing definite has been decided, either in principle or in fact.

Mr Berthelot: It is difficult to discuss this question without the aid of a map. We might study it separately and bring the matter up again before the Council of Ambassadors who in its turn would decide whether it is necessary to refer it to the Heads of Governments.

S di Martino: In any case, the question cannot be decided without our co-operation.

Mr Millerand: This will be an example of a case in which the Ambassador of the Royal Government can, if he judges necessary, ask to have the matter referred to the Supreme Council.

Mr Laroche: The memorandum of the 9th December 19195 had decided in principle the question of the whole Italian frontier, and only matters of detail remain which can only be established on the spot.

General Cavallero: The Italian Delegation considers that the frontier has not been laid down between the buffer state and Tarvis.

Mr Berthelot: It is simply a matter of referring to the minutes of the Commission on Yugoslav Affairs which dealt with the question.

M Millerand: If you allow, we will refer this matter to the Commission on Yugoslav Affairs and wait for the answer of the Serb-Croat-Slovene Government. If their answer involves the fixing of the frontier and if the Italian Delegation on receipt of it considers that there is any omission necessitating a decision by the Supreme Council the matter will be put before it.

General Cavallero: We consider that this is still an open question.

Mr Millerand: You know the terms in which the Serb-Croat-Slovene representatives have been addressed. In the case of their refusal, the Treaty of London comes into force; if, on the contrary, they agree to our views and if, then, you still consider that there is a gap in the scheme as drawn up, it will be a case of bringing the matter before the Supreme Council.

S di Martino: I suggest that this question be submitted without delay to the Commission on Yugoslav Affairs for their examination.

Mr Millerand: Then we are agreed.

(It is decided that the Commission on Roumanian and Yugoslav Affairs be entrusted with the study of the line of the frontier between Italy and Yugoslavia to the South of Tarvis in so far as this frontier has not yet been established.)

(The meeting adjourns at 12:50.)


This is the last time the Supreme Council will meet.

Since the United States Senate refused to ratify the League of Nations Charter, that country is unable to be a Member of that League.

Mr Lloyd George is stepping down from his position as his role as Representative from Great Britain. His place will be taken by Lord Curzon.

M Clemenceau is also stepping down as Representative from France. He will be succeeded by M Millerand.

The new Council will be subservient to the League of Nations, and serve in an advisory capacity only.


With the Supreme Council disbanded, this narrative is now ended.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:23 AM   #4371
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22nd January 1920

The Australian Country Party (now the National Party of Australia) is founded with William McWilliams as its first leader.


View of the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe’s Island (Liberty Island)
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:24 AM   #4372
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23rd January 1920

Royal Navy HMS Yarmouth going through the Panama Canal.


The Netherlands refuses to extradite ex-Emperor Wilhelm II; on May 15 he moves into Huis Doorn in the country where he remains permanently in exile.


Ship Losses:

Arlette (United Kingdom) The coaster was driven ashore on Walney Island, Lancashire. Her crew were rescued.
Eos (Sweden) The cargo ship was wrecked at Stoktaskeri, Iceland.
Sigvard (Sweden) The cargo ship collided with another ship off Barry, Glamorgan, United Kingdom and sank with the loss of one of her eighteen crew.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:40 AM   #4373
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24th January 1920

German troops leave Danzig, Upper Silesia, and Schleswig as part of the Treaty of Versailles. German troops leaving Flensburg.


Royal guards of King Alexander of Greece in Athens.


Ship Losses:

Niagara (United States) The 20-gross register ton, 42.5-foot (13.0 m) halibut-fishing vessel ran aground and sank in Moira Sound in Southeast Alaska near Lane′s Cannery. She was refloated, repaired, and returned to service.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:09 AM   #4374
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25th January 1920

First locomotive produced by the Krupp factory, as it renounces arms manufacturing after the war.


Ship Losses:

Marne (United States) The cargo ship suffered an explosion in her fuel tanks at Colón, Colombia and was scuttled by gunfire. She was a total loss.
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