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Notes on Occupation of the Rhineland-Continued

special ordinances ceased to operate and the cancelation of 19 others was confirmed. The validity of acts directly or indirectly done under them was, of course, confirmed.

The winding up of the Inter-Allied Offices set up during the occupation was effected by technical conferences provided for in article 6 of the same agreement of August 30, 1924. The Allied and German technical delegates concluded a "compromis" at Coblenz, October 20, 28, 1924 which dealt with the settlement of accounts and the distribution of receipts, prescribed a procedure of arbitration for the settlement of claims, and constituted a German-Allied paritative commission on customs matters for the transitional period until October 21, 1924 (41 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 461; Official Gazette, 1924, p. 643).

Return of the population to the pre-Ruhr status was effected by the direct arrangement between the 14 Allied creditor governments and Germany in article 7 of the same agreement. These mutual amnesty provisions read:

"Article 7. In order to bring about mutual conciliation and in order to wipe out the past to the utmost possible extent, the Allied Governments and the German Government have agreed on the following stipulations, it being understood that, as regards future incidents, the jurisdiction and legislation of Germany, notably in the matter of the security of the State, and the jurisdiction and the legis lation of the Occupying Authorities, notably in the matter of their security, will respectively follow their normal course in conformity with the Treaty of Peace and the Rhineland Agreement:

"(1) No one shall, under any pretext, be prosecuted, disturbed or molested or subjected to any injury, whether material or moral, either by reason of acts committed exclusively or principally for political reasons or by reason of his political attitude in the occupied territories from January 11, 1923, up to the putting into force of the present agreement, or by reason of his obedience or disobedience to orders, ordinances, decrees or other injunctions issued by the occupying authorities or the German authorities respectively and relating to events which have taken place within the same period, or by reason of his relations with the said authorities.

"(2) The German Government and the Allied Governments concerned will remit all sentences and penalties, judicial or administrative, imposed for the above facts from January 11, 1923,

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Notes on Occupation of the Rhineland-Continued

up to the putting into force of the present agreement. It is understood that fines or other pecuniary penalties, whether judicial or administrative, already paid will not be reimbursed.

“(3) The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to crimes committed against the life of persons and resulting in death.

"(4) The offences to which the amnesty provided for in the stipulations of paragraphs (1) and (2) does not apply and which are at the present moment subject to the jurisdiction of the Occupying Authorities by reason of the creation of special organisations which are to be suppressed under the terms of the present agreement, will be transferred to the German tribunals.

"(5) The Governments concerned will each take, so far as they are concerned, the measures necessary to assure the fulfilment of this article. If need arise, this fulfilment will be amicably arranged by the Governments concerned, and if necessary by means of mixed commissions set up by common agreement."

Those provisions resulted in February 1925 and later in new ordinances canceling 18 prior ordinances and four instructions. Alleviations continued to culminate in the fruits of the "atmosphere of reconciliation" created by the Locarno settlement, and in ordinance No. 308, in force December 1, 1925 (ibid., 1925, parts 9-12, p. 25), brought a comprehensive review of existing legislation “in a reciprocal spirit of confidence, good faith and good will". This ordinance in 19 parts superseded or canceled 31 ordinances and three instructions and was calculated to introduce the principle of collaboration into the occupation.


On the occasion of the evacuation of the Cologne zone, a further amnesty agreement was concluded by the exchange of notes between the German Government and the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission at Coblenz, September 10, 1926 (62 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 141; Official Gazette, 1926, parts 10-12, p. 3). This had the effect of stopping all prosecutions for offenses with the exception of those at common law or of espionage, and it resulted in the repealing of ordinances which provided for the unilateral intervention of the High Commission in the exercise of German judicial and administrative sovereignty. This amnesty covered all persons of German nationality imprisoned by Allied authorities for acts committed

Notes on Occupation of the Rhineland-Continued

in the territories of the Ruhr, the bridgeheads of Duisburg-Ruhrort and Düsseldorf or the Cologne zone.

Six "protective" ordinances were canceled on September 17, 1926 (ibid., 1926, parts 10-12, p. 13).

Financial regulations for the contributions under articles 8-12 of the Rhineland Agreement were drawn up on May 5, 1925 (file 462.00 R 29-828/275; 462.00 R 294/531; Reichsgesetzblatt, 1925, п, 24), in order to gain the precision in accounts required under the Experts' (Dawes) Plan. The regulations were prepared by one delegate each of Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy and an equal number of German representatives. The delegates met from November 17 to 26, 1924 and thereafter worked as a mixed committee, in accordance with their instructions from the Conference of Ambassadors and the German Government, under the chairmanship of Rudolf J. H. Patijn, who in the course of the proceedings rendered 28 arbitral awards. Along with a number of subsidiary agreements, the regulations established a list of 18 main and 15 miscellaneous classes of contributions under articles 8-12 of the Rhineland Agreement, determined the procedure for the assessment of contributions for local commissions and a commission of arbitration, and for the supervision of payments. An addition to the regulations was made January 19, 1927 (Reparation Commission, annex 3089 b).

An agreement relative to the scope of fiscal exemptions granted to the services and personnel of the occupation concluded at Coblenz on February 11, 1928 between the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission and the German Commissioner for their respective governments (ibid., 1928, parts 2-4, p. 11) provided for the payment by the persons concerned of 11 taxes and for their continued exemption from 10.

The evacuation of the Cologne or northern zone in 1926 cut down greatly the area occupied by Belgian and British troops. It eliminated from the occupation the Ruhr bridgehead, held by the Belgians since 1921, and the Cologne bridgehead which was held by the British. South of the border of the Coblenz zone the Belgian troops continued to hold the area in the vicinity of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), while the British shifted southward to occupy that part of the Mainz bridgehead arc which lay north of the Rhine, known as the Wiesbaden bridgehead.

In the "atmosphere of reconciliation" of the period this occupation remained repugnant to the Germans, and was quite passively con

Notes on Occupation of the Rhineland-Continued

tinued by the three occupying governments. Further evacuation became an incident of the adoption of the New (Young) Plan for reparation payments. The authority of the Inter-Allied Rhineland 2 High Commission in the second or Coblenz zone ceased on November 30, 1929, and both the Belgian and British troops completely withdrew.


This left the French alone in occupation of the third zone, which extended from opposite Eupen along the Franco-German border to Luxembourg and the Saar frontiers and from these points eastward to take in the Mainz bridgehead section, whence it ran by the irregular southerly course of the Rhine to Lauterburg. And it included, as it had from the beginning, the separate bridgehead of Kehl opposite Strasbourg to the south. By the Hague agreements of January 30, 1930 the evacuation of this third zone was to take place on June 30. Before that date the German National Socialist Party gave the High Commission trouble. The High Commission which since evacuation of the second zone had made its seat at Wiesbaden held its final meeting there on June 28. The flags of the High Commissioners were lowered at 9:30 A.M., June 30, and at 11:30 the last French troops marched to the train to cross the border.

The Rhineland thereafter was the scene of National Socialist agitation. On March 7, 1936 the Hitlerite Government introduced troops into the territory interdicted to them by articles 42-44 of the treaty of peace. There they remained until they launched into war.

3. Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and Poland'

Signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919; in force for signatories in virtue of its final provisions January 10, 1920, except

United States: Submitted to the Senate by the President's message of August 29, 1919; not considered by the Senate; Unperfected Treaties J-5.


'File 763.72119/6399.

The Principal Allied and Associated Powers,


on the one hand;

on the other hand;

Whereas the Allied and Associated Powers have by the success of their arms restored to the Polish nation the independence of which it had been unjustly deprived; and

Whereas by the proclamation of March 30, 1917, the Government of Russia assented to the re-establishment of an independent Polish State; and


The Provisional Government of Russia which succeeded the imperial régime issued a proclamation on March 30, 1917 to the Polish people which began:

"Poles! The old political régime of Russia, the source of our own servitude and disunion and of yours, has now been overthrown for ever. Liberated Russia, personified in its Provisional Government, which is invested with full powers, hastens to send you a fraternal salutation and to call you to new life and to liberty."

The proclamation asserted that the Russian nation "recognizes also the absolute right of the brother-nation of Poland to decide its own lot by the exercise of its own will". The Provisional Government regarded "the creation of an independent Polish State, formed of all the territories of which the majority of the population is Polish, as a pledge of a durable peace in the remodeled Europe of the future. Bound to Russia by a free military union, the Polish State will be a solid rampart against the pressure of the Central Powers against the Slav nations". The Polish Government would result from the decisions of a constituent assembly selected by universal suffrage, while the Russian assembly would give its consent to the territorial modifications "indispensable for the formation of a free Poland formed of all its three divisions at present separated". (London Times, Mar. 31, 1917, p. 6.)

Whereas the Polish State, which now in fact exercises sovereignty over those portions of the former Russian Empire which are inhabited by a majority of Poles, has already been recognised as a sovereign and independent State by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; and

Whereas under the Treaty of Peace concluded with Germany by the Allied and Associated Powers, a Treaty of which Poland is a

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