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Note to VII, 228—Continued
in the execution of the claim for extradition. It would constitute such assistance, were I to forward your Excellency's note to the German Government. I am therefore returning it to you herewith.
"I have informed my Government that I can no longer fulfil my office and shall leave Paris by the next train."
On this, when the list was sent to the German Chancellor on February 7, the president of the peace conference commented "that M. de Lersner's act was an individual manifestation, which did not bind the responsibility of the German Government". Nevertheless, in the further note of February 13 the Supreme Allied Council found a German proposal to commence final proceedings against German nationals in the Supreme Court at Leipzig "consistent with the execution of Article 228 . . . and expressly provided for at the end of the first paragraph". They would "see whether the German Government... is really prepared to try them itself" and reserved "the right to estimate by [its] actions the good faith of Germany". This constituted a tacit acceptance of the German proposal.
The Allied Council transmitted to the German delegation on May 7, 1920 a revised list of 45 persons who were to stand trial which had been prepared by an Inter-Allied Mixed Commission charged with collecting, publishing, and communicating to Germany details of the accusations against each of the accused persons. The German Government had stated in its letter of March 7 that it was prepared at once to institute penal proceedings before a supreme court at Leipzig, secured by most complete guaranties and distinct from the application of all previous judgments, proceedings, or decisions by German civil and military tribunals against all Germans whose surrender the Allied Governments intended to demand. The Allies regarded this offer as compatible with the execution of Article 228. The protocol concluded at Spa on July 9, 1920 provided formally for this procedure. The protocol reads (United Kingdom, op. cit., Misc. No. 15, Cmd. 1325):
"The Conference decided, with the unanimous agreement of the plenipotentiaries representing the Governments of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan of the one part, and of Germany of the other part, that it is desirable, on the basis of the letter of the 7th May last addressed by the President of the Supreme Council of the Allies to the German Government, to proceed with the preparation of the case for the prosecution and the institution of proceedings
Note to VII, 228—Continued
in the cases submitted to the judgment of the court of Leipzig in conformity with the said letter.
"In order to hasten the preparation of the prosecution in these cases and to obtain all the definite data required, the Attorney-General of the Court of Leipzig shall send direct and as need arises to the Attorney-General of England, or to the Ministers of Justice of the other Allied Powers, as the case may be, any request he may have to make for information or judicial enquiry by interrogatories or in any other way. Such request shall be given effect to with the least possible delay, and the information collected shall be transmitted directly to the Attorney-General of the Court of Leipzig."
Trials at Leipzig began on May 23, 1920. They were hampered by difficulties in bringing the accused to court and in securing evidence. Of six persons brought to trial at the instance of the British. Government, five were convicted and given short sentences which included periods of detention while awaiting trial. Of six persons on the Belgian and French lists, one was convicted of shooting prisoners of war and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. On January 15, 1922 a commission of Allied jurists, appointed to inquire into the Leipzig trials, reported unanimously that it was useless to proceed with further cases and held that some of those acquitted should have been condemned and that the sentences of those condemned were not adequate. The commission recommended that the remaining accused should be handed over to the Allied Governments for trial. No attempt was made to give effect to the recommendation.
See generally, United Kingdom, German War Trials; Report of Proceedings before the Supreme Court in Leipzig (Cmd. 1450).
Persons guilty of criminal acts against the nationals of one of the Allied and Associated Powers will be brought before the military tribunals of that Power.
Persons guilty of criminal acts against the nationals of more than one of the Allied and Associated Powers will be brought before military tribunals composed of members of the military tribunals of the Powers concerned.
In every case the accused will be entitled to name his own counsel.
The German Government undertakes to furnish all documents and information of every kind, the production of which may be considered necessary to ensure the full knowledge of the incriminating acts, the discovery of offenders and the just appreciation of responsibility.
[The vertical rule indicates treaty text.]
Notes to Part VIII, Articles 231 to 247
The treaty restoring friendly relations between the United States and Germany signed at Berlin, August 25, 1921, and in force on November 11, 1921 with retroactive effect to July 2, 1921, stipulates that "Germany undertakes to accord to the United States and the United States shall have and enjoy all the rights and advantages" stipulated for its benefit by this part of this treaty, "notwithstanding the fact that such treaty has not been ratified by the United States". The rights and advantages of nationals of the United States specified in the joint resolution of Congress, approved July 2, 1921 (p. 18), were specifically mentioned in an understanding included in the Senate's resolution of advice and consent to ratification of October 18, 1921. The Senate in that resolution made a further condition "that the United States shall not be represented or participate in any body, agency or commission, nor shall any person represent the United States as a member of any body, agency or commission in which the United States is authorized to participate by this Treaty, unless and until an Act of the Congress of the United States shall provide for such representation or participation".
This part is, ipsissimis verbis, an annex, technically a schedule, of the treaty restoring friendly relations as printed by the Department of State in Treaty Series 658, but not as printed in 42 Stat. 1939. Data on the various phases of reparation, for the most part in addition to officially published material, have been drawn from file
Notes to Part VIII, Articles 231 to 247—Continued
462.00 R 29/1314, /3815, /4185, /4362, and /4370. Specific use has been made of 462.00 R 29/828 and 462.00 R 29/4403.
CHANGES IN THE SYSTEM
The immediate application of the provisions of part VIII extended from the establishment of the Organization Committee of the Reparation Commission in July 1919 until the entrance of the Experts' (Dawes) Plan into force on September 1, 1924. The results of that period are summarily accounted for in the notes to articles 231-47 and annexes I-VII.
In the earlier years the period was dominated by collection of the immense amount of material to which reparation was applicable, determination of procedures and methods of evaluation, the appraisal of claims, the development of systematic schemes for handling types of continuing deliveries, laying the legal bases of the whole vast network of deliveries, receipts, and credits, and the fixation of the Schedule of Payments of May 5, 1921. Germany accepted the Schedule of Payments while the sanction of a second default-additional occupation in the Ruhr-was being enforced and in the face of a decision to apply the same sanction to a third default (see annex II, par. 17).
The modification of annex II by the addition of paragraph 12A as an incident of elaborating a feasible Schedule of Payments introduced a new piece of reparation machinery in the Committee of Guarantees, which immediately encountered the difficulties raised by Germany in making cash payments. The additional difficulties attendant upon the creation of a system of deliveries in kind were evolving into the Wiesbaden agreement which gave that series of problems its early workable form. Promise of progressive adjustment was halted by the timber default found on December 26, 1922, leading to the occupation of the Ruhr and attended by the German inflation of 1923-24. This circumstance marked the cessation of the operation of the reparation system which had prevailed, as the accounts show. It was succeeded by the orderly period of the Experts' (Dawes) Plan.
In order to round out the picture a running narrative is here set down of the governmental steps that were taken from the relaxation due to the moratorium of 1922 until the elaboration of the Lausanne settlement in 1932. As these steps were taken by the governments
Notes to Part VIII, Articles 231 to 247—Continued
concerned and by the United States, they were outside of the terms of the treaty of peace itself.
THE EXPERTS' (DAWES) PLAN AND ITS OPERATION
While the Reparation Commission, with the assistance of the Committee of Guarantees, was arranging the 1922 modification of German payments (see art. 241), the creditor governments were considering measures for "securing payment of reparation, both by restoring order to German finance under effective supervision and by enabling Germany to pay off part of the capital of her debt by the issue of foreign loans". As a step in this direction the finance ministers of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Japan on March 11, 1922 concluded at Paris an agreement which dealt with the distribution of receipts, limited armies of occupation costs, and provided for the allocation of deliveries in kind (United Kingdom, Reparation, Financial Agreement . . . Signed at Paris, March 11, 1922, Cmd. 1616, printed post, p. 870).
The five governments participated in a conference at London from August 7 to 14, 1922 (United Kingdom, Misc. No. 16 (1924), Cmd. 2258) in which "their points of view were irreconcilable". No decision was reached upon a German demand for a moratorium in respect of all cash payments up to December 31, 1924. On August 1 Great Britain had offered its war debtors relief in proportion as the United States granted relief (see p. 397), and delegates were at the time in the United States with a view to learning whether that proposal would be discussed. Uncertainty as to the outcome of that mission contributed to the failure of the conference.
On November 7, 1922 international financial experts, summoned by the German Government to advise it on the financial situation, made their report on the stabilization of the mark, which was then at 7000 to the dollar. The Belgian, British, French, and Italian premiers met at London on December 9 and 10, 1922 to consider a formal request from Germany for a final fixation of Germany's liability and a moratorium from all payments for three or four years, except restoration of the devastated regions. The German. plan submitted was rejected (United Kingdom, Inter-Allied Conferences on Reparation and Inter-Allied Debts, Misc. No. 3 (1923), Cmd. 1812). The Belgo-French occupation of the Ruhr began on January 11, 1923 (see annex II, par. 17).