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a sea and the forces of reaches of thers of the
other Powers, be appointed to inquire into and report upon the following:
1. The responsibility of the authors of the war.
2. The facts as to breaches of the laws and customs of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their Allies, on land, on sea and in the air during the present war.
3. The degree of responsibility for these offenses attaching to particular members of the enemy forces, including members of the General Staffs and other individuals, however highly placed.
4. The constitution and procedure of a tribunal appropriate to the trial of these offenses.
5. Any other matters cognate or ancillary to the above which may arise in the course of the inquiry and which the commission finds it useful and relevant to take into consideration.
Resolution Relative to Reparation for Damage That a commission be appointed with not more than three representatives apiece from each of the five Great Powers and not more than two representatives apiece from Belgium, Greece, Poland, Roumania and Serbia, to examine and report:
1. On the amount which the enemy countries ought to pay by way of reparation.
2. On what they are capable of paying; and
3. By what method, in what form and within what time payment should be made.
Resolution on International Legislation on Labor That a commission, composed of two representatives apiece from the five Great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other Powers represented at the Peace Conference, be appointed to inquire into the conditions of employment from the international aspect and to consider the international means necessary to secure common action on matters affecting conditions of employment, and to recommend the form of a permanent agency to continue such inquiry and consideration in coöperation with and under the direction of the League of Nations.
Resolution Relative to International Control of Ports, Waterways
and Railways That a commission, composed of two representatives apiece from the five Great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other Powers, be appointed to inquire into and report on:
International control of ports, waterways, and railways.
With the exception of the Commission on Reparation of Damages, all of the resolutions provided that the commissions should be composed of two representatives from each of the five Great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the smaller nations. After the adoption of the resolution upon the League of Nations, Mr. Hymans, a delegate of Belgium, questioned the allotment of only five representatives on these commissions to the eighteen Powers termed “Powers with special interests,” and he requested that Belgium be given two representatives on the Commission on the League of Nations, two on the Commission on International Labor Legislation, and one each on the Commissions on International Control of Ports, Waterways and Railways, and Responsibility of the Authors of the War and Penalties.
He was followed by Mr. Calogeras, of Brazil, who questioned the right of the Great Powers to decide the matter, and requested that Brazil be represented on the Commission on the League of Nations, the Commission on the International Control of Railways and Ports, and the Commission on Reparation of Damages.
Sir Robert Borden, of Canada, sympathized with the point of view of the smaller nations and thought that the matter of representation on the commissions should be decided by the full Conference.
Mr. Trumbitch, of Serbia, made the same claims for representation for his country as Belgium.
Mr. Venizelos requested that Greece be given representation on the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on the Commission for the International Control of Ports.
Count Penha-Garcia, of Portugal, likened the procedure to be followed by the Conference with reference to the representation of the various Powers on the commissions as a forecast of their relations in the proposed League of Nations, and he appealed for representation of all the Powers with special interests on commissions which deal with questions in which they are vitally interested. Specifically he requested that Portugal be accorded representation on the Commission on Reparation.
Mr. Benes requested that representatives of the Czecho-Slovak Republic be placed upon the Commission on Reparation for Damages, the Commission on the International Control of Waterways and Railways, and the Commission on the League of Nations.
Mr. Bratiano, a delegate of Roumania, requested the representation of his country upon the Commission on the League of Nations and the Commission on the International Control of Waterways.
Mr. Lou Tseng-Tsiang, a delegate of China, claimed, on the principle of equality of sovereign states, representation for China upon the Commission on the League of Nations, the Commission on International Labor Legislation and the Commission on International Control of Ports, Railways and Waterways. He suggested that the Conference follow in this respect the procedure of the Hague Conferences regarding the formation of committees, which established a panel of delegates from which each delegation interested in any particular questions could select members of the commissions.
Mr. Dmowski associated Poland with the observations made by the representatives of the other Powers, and suggested that each Power should be entitled to put forward a definite claim for a certain number of delegates on each of the commissions and that the distribution among them should be decided by a central committee which would be placed in charge of all the arrangements.
After the delegates had concluded their remarks, Mr. Clemenceau replied to the effect that the five Great Powers would have been justified, on account of their more important contributions and sacrifices in the war, to consult only themselves in the peace settlement, but, actuated by the idea of the League of Nations, they had invited the coöperation of all the nations interested in the settlement. He stated that to satisfy every one, each Power would have to be represented on each commission, which would make the commissions too large to arrive at conclusions; that the procedure decided upon by the Bureau was devised to accomplish immediate and useful work, and that, although each Power could not be represented on every commission, it had the right to be fully heard by any commission and later before the full Conference when the commissions' reports were submitted. He suggested that the draft resolutions be voted so that the various commissions could start to work, with the reservation of amending the provision concerning representation. The discussion ended by the agreement of the Powers with special interests to meet on the following Monday, January 27th, to elect the representatives indicated in the resolutions but reserving the right later to claim larger representation.
The representatives of the Powers with special interests accordingly met on January 27th, 1919, at three o'clock, at the French Foreign Office, under the Presidency of M. Jules Cambon, French delegate, and elected representatives as follows upon the four commissions :
Commission on the League of Nations: one representative each for Belgium, Brazil, China, Serbia and Portugal.
Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War: one representative each for Belgium, Serbia, Roumania, Greece and Poland.
Commission on International Legislation on Labor: two representatives for Belgium and one representative each for Cuba, Poland and the Czecho-Slovak Republic.
Commission on International Control of Ports, Waterways and Railways: one representative each for Belgium, China, Greece, Serbia and Uruguay.
The reservations of the smaller nations upon the question of increased representation were not wholly ineffective in securing them additional delegates on some of the Commissions. At the first meeting of the Commission on the International Control of Ports, Waterways and Railways, on February 3d, the official communiqué states that “the Peace Conference reported that a request had been received to increase the representation of the minor Powers by includ. ing representatives nominated by Roumania, Czecho-Slovakia, Portugal and Poland, and that it had been decided to leave the question to the decision of the Commission. It has unanimously decided to include these representatives." The question was similarly brought before the Commission on the League of Nations at its meeting on February 6th and discussed. At the meeting on the following day, the official communiqué states that it was unanimously agreed that the representatives of Czecho-Slovakia, Greece, Poland, and Roumania should be associated with the Commission. The additions to these Commissions gave them a total membership of nineteen, ten representing the five Great Powers, and nine, or a bare minority, representing the smaller Powers.
While the full meetings of the delegates of all the Powers represented are commonly referred to as the Conference, the business transacted at them is of relative unimportance, and only four plenary sessions were held from the opening of the Preliminary Conference on January 18th until the meeting of the actual Peace Conference with the enemy delegates on May 7th, the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. Their principal function, after the election of the Bureau selected by the Great Powers, is to receive reports from the Commissions and go through the formality of ratifying them.
The real working body of the Conference is made up of the representatives of the five Great Powers which, under the regulations, are alone entitled to attend all the sessions of the Conference. Their meetings, therefore, are just as much sessions of the Peace Conference as the plenary sessions of all the delegates, and they apparently do not regard their actions as subject to review or confirmation by the larger body, for none of their decisions are submitted to the full body for consideration or action. Only the work of the Commissions authorized by resolutions of all the delegates is submitted to the plenary sessions.
The representatives of the Great Powers held a number of meetings during the week preceding the formal opening of the Conference, at which they decided upon the countries which would be admitted to the Conference, the number of representatives to be allowed to each, the Bureau to be organized to carry on the administrative work of the Conference, and the rules of the Conference itself. Their decisions on these matters were submitted to the full Conference for its guidance, not for its approval.
These meetings of the representatives of the Great Powers are commonly described in the official communiqués as “meetings of the President of the United States, the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of the Allied and Associated Powers and the Japanese representatives.” Ordinarily two representatives from each Power were in attendance and they became popularly known as “The Council of Ten.” Later this number was seemingly regarded as too large for