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Note to XII, 361

In addition to any arrangements with Germany, the realization of a Rhine-Meuse canal by Belgium depended upon its reaching an agreement with the Netherlands for the waterway to traverse Netherlands territory. The project was thus a part of the whole question of the waterways extended from the Meuse, Rhine, and Scheldt that play an important part in the communicative systems of the two countries. In connection with negotiations for the abrogation of the treaty of April 19, 1839 (see art. 31) Belgium and the Netherlands on April 3, 1925 signed a treaty which in article VI gave the consent of the Netherlands to the construction of a RhineMeuse-Scheldt canal across its territory. That treaty failed of approval by the First Chamber of the Netherlands Parliament on March 24, 1927 (Belgium, Ministère des affaires étrangères, Documents diplomatiques relatif à la revision des traités de 1839).


Germany hereby agrees to offer no objection to any proposals of the Central Rhine Commission for extending its jurisdiction:

(1) to the Moselle below the Franco-Luxemburg frontier down to the Rhine, subject to the consent of Luxemburg;

(2) to the Rhine above Basle up to the Lake of Constance, subject to the consent of Switzerland;

(3) to the lateral canals and channels which may be established either to duplicate or to improve naturally navigable sections of the Rhine or the Moselle, or to connect two naturally navigable sections of these rivers, and also any other parts of the Rhine river system which may be covered by the General Convention provided for in Article 338 above.



In the ports of Hamburg and Stettin Germany shall lease to the Czecho-Slovak State, for a period of 99 years, areas which shall be placed under the general régime of free zones and shall be used for the direct transit of goods coming from or going to that State.


The delimitation of these areas, and their equipment, their exploitation, and in general all conditions for their utilisation, including the amount of the rental, shall be decided by a Commission consisting of one delegate of Germany, one delegate of the CzechoSlovak State and one delegate of Great Britain. These conditions shall be susceptible of revision every ten years in the same manner. Germany declares in advance that she will adhere to the decisions so taken.

Note to XII, 364

The Czechoslovak Government received the right to establish a free port at Stettin for the stipulated period of 99 years, but did not exercise the option.

At Hamburg the Czechoslovakian Elbe Navigation Company acquired the use of a zone of about 28,540 square meters on the Hallesche and Dresdener banks of that part of the Elbe River known as the Saale and Moldau harbors. Official negotiations for a free port began a year or so before the expiration of the nonreciprocal privileges of the treaty at a time when Czechoslovakia was already making use of the Adriatic port of Trieste for export purposes. The governmental negotiations were completed late in 1928.

The arrangement took the form (1) of a decision of the commission provided for in article 364, which was signed and entered into force on November 2, 1929 and which was filed with the Secretary-General of the League of Nations; and (2) of an attached lease for 99 years of the Czechoslovak Leased Area for Inland Navigation in the Free Port of Hamburg which was concluded between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The leased area was "intended for the direct transit trade from or to the Czechoslovak Republic" without transshipment or reloading within the German customs area. It was subject to the general regime of free zones set forth in articles 328-30 of the treaty of peace. The rental was at the rate of 2.50 Reichsmarks per square meter after January 1, 1931, with special rates of compensation for the built-over areas, the plant, buildings, and equipment being handed over for use on payment of a lump sum of 230,000 Reichsmarks. Revision was to take place every 10 years (file 662.60 F 24/6). The Leased Area was unaffected by the German declaration of November 14, 1936 denouncing the regime of

Note to XII, 364—Continued

international rivers, but a few months before the expiration of the decade, Germany disrupted the Czechoslovak Republic.

Czechoslovakia and Germany concluded a convention at Hamburg on June 27, 1930 instituting a uniform system of sealing packages with relation to traffic on the Elbe (Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traités, 3 série, xxx, 767). The German Minister at Prague informed the Czechoslovak Government that the note of November 14, 1936 (see p. 651) did not affect this situation, and also volunteered the statement that it did not disturb the Barcelona statute of 1921.

SECTION III.-Railways.




Goods coming from the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers, and going to Germany, or in transit through Germany from or to the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers, shall enjoy on the German railways as regards charges to be collected (rebates and drawbacks being taken into account), facilities, and all other matters, the most favourable treatment applied to goods of the same kind carried on any German lines, either in internal traffic, or for export, import or in transit, under similar conditions of transport, for example as regards length of route. The same rule shall be applied, on the request of one or more of the Allied and Associated Powers, to goods specially designated by such Power or Powers coming from Germany and going to their territories.

International tariffs established in accordance with the rates referred to in the preceding paragraph and involving through way-bills shall be established when one of the Allied and Associated Powers shall require it from Germany.

Note to XII, 365

The Belgian, French, and Italian Governments authorized the Reparation Commission to notify Germany, on May 17, 1921, that reparation merchandise was not to be charged with heavier transport rates than the cheapest schedules called for by this article.

On July 3, 1924 the Conference of Ambassadors approved conclusions of a British memorandum which found that Germany had

Note to XII, 365—Continued

violated articles 323 and 325 with respect to its treatment of goods in transit to or coming from territories of the Allied and Associated Powers as this treatment was specified under articles 321 and 365.


From the coming into force of the present Treaty the High Contracting Parties shall renew, in so far as concerns them and under the reserves indicated in the second paragraph of the present Article, the conventions and arrangements signed at Berne on October 14, 1890, September 20, 1893, July 16, 1895, June 16, 1898, and September 19, 1906, regarding the transportation of goods by rail.

If within five years from the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty a new convention for the transportation of passengers, luggage and goods by rail shall have been concluded to replace the Berne Convention of October 14, 1890, and the subsequent additions referred to above, this new convention and the supplementary provisions for international transport by rail which may be based on it shall bind Germany, even if she shall have refused to take part in the preparation of the convention or to subscribe to it. Until a new convention shall have been concluded, Germany shall conform to the provisions of the Berne Convention and the subsequent additions referred to above, and to the current supplementary provisions.

Note to XII, 366

Three international conferences of European states on the unification of law concerning railroad transportation were held at Bern under the auspices of the Swiss Government on May 13-June 4, 1878, September 2-October 10, 1881 and July 5-17, 1886. Following the second of those meetings a series of similar conferences on the technical unification of railroads was held also at Bern in October 1882, May 10-15, 1886, and May 6-18, 1907; they elaborated the conventions noticed in article 282, (3) and (4), of this treaty. The 1886 conference on railroad transportation prepared a convention which was remitted to the governments for study with a view to adapting their administrative systems to its principles. The international convention on the transportation of goods by rail was signed at a special meeting on October 14, 1890 (82 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 771). Following a technical conference held at Bern June 5-12, 1893, an additional declaration was

Note to XII, 366—Continued

signed at Bern on September 20, 1893 (85 ibid., p. 750; Recueil des traités de la France, xx, 63).

The subsequent instruments referred to are the additional arrangement signed at Bern July 16, 1895 (87 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 806); the additional convention signed at Paris June 16, 1898 (92 ibid., p. 433), and the second additional convention signed at Bern September 19, 1906 (Martens, Nouveau recueil général de traités, 3e série, III, 920).

In execution of the second paragraph of article 366 a draft convention was elaborated at Bern June 8, 1923.

The second General Conference of the Organization for Communications and Transit of the League of Nations opened for signature the international convention and statute on the international regime of railways on December 9, 1923, which entered into force on March 23, 1926 (47 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 55).

The Bern draft of 1923 was signed as the convention on the transport of goods by rail at Bern on October 23, 1924 by 25 states and entered into force on October 1, 1928 (77 ibid., p. 367). It completely superseded the earlier instruments and established the Central Office for International Transport by Rail.

The international convention concerning the transport of passengers and baggage by rail was also concluded at Bern on October 23, 1924 between 25 European governments and entered into force from October 1, 1928 (78 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 17). It utilizes the Central Office for International Transport by Rail.


Germany shall be bound to co-operate in the establishment of through ticket services (for passengers and their luggage) which shall be required by any of the Allied and Associated Powers to ensure their communication by rail with each other and with all other countries by transit across the territories of Germany; in particular Germany shall, for this purpose, accept trains and carriages coming from the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers and shall forward them with a speed at least equal to that of her best long-distance trains on the same lines. The rates applicable to such through services shall not in any case be higher than the rates collected on German internal services for the same distance, under the same conditions of speed and comfort.

The tariffs applicable under the same conditions of speed and comfort to the transportation of emigrants going to or coming from

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