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United States Senate,
Committee On Foreign Relations,

Washington, D. 0. The committee met at lO.oO o'clock a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in room 426, Senate Office Building, Senator Henry Cabot Ijodge presiding.

Present, Senators Lodge (chairman), McCumher, Brandegee, Knox,

Johnson of California, New. Moses, Williams, Swanson, and Pomerene.

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. Mr. Davis,

will you be kind enough to give your full name to the stenographer.


Mr. Davis. My full name is Norman IT. Davis.

The Chairman. And what is your business in this country?

Mr. Davis. I was finance commissioner to Europe.

The Chairman. Yes; finance commissioner to Europe.

Mr. Davis. And was financial adviser to the Peace Commission.

The Chairman. And what is your business here?

Mr. Davis. I have no business here now. I have given up everything, for the last two years, since we were in the war. I am a hanker by profession, but I retired from all my banking connections.

The Chairman. What banks were you connected with?

Mr. Davis. I was president of the Trust Co. of Cuba, in Havana, Cuba, and I have been a stockholder in several other banks in this country—interested in that way.

The Chairman. The members of the committee desire to ask you some questions in regard to the work in Paris. I was not here when you were called. I had to be on the floor of the Senate. Some of the Senators who were here desire to ask you questions. Senator Moses, will you proceed?

Senator Moses. The financial commission to Paris comprised how many members?

Mr. Davis. There were two members from each Government— from each of the big powers.

Senator Moses. Who was your colleague*

Mr. Davis. Thomas Lamont.

Senator Moses. He especiahVrepresented the Treasury Department?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. You also represented the Treasury Department?

Mr. Davis. Yes; as Finance Commission to Europe, I represented the Treasury Department, and Lamont represented them also u connection with the peace, but I had the other Treasury7 work besides.

Senator Moses. Were there two financial delegates there from each of the allied and associated powers?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. And you all got together?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Mopes. To the number of fifty-odd?

Mr. Davis. Oh, no; just

Senator Moses. Of the principal allied and associated powers?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. Namelv, 10?

Mr. Davis. Yes; but the others had representatives. But they met only occasionally, because the work was divided among suitcommittees and, as a rule, the principal allied and associated [towers acted practically as the executive committee, and then would call in the other delegates and go over matters after they had been settled or agreed upon among themselves.

Senator Moses. Was any record kept of the meetings of the commission?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. Of each session?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. Were they reported stenographically?

Mr. Davis. Yes; well, not always stenographically, because we kept the minutes in French and English, and they would have to be revised because there were a lot of discussions sometimes that were not necessary to put in the minutes; but the substance of the agreements arrived at was put down in the minutes and agreed upon.

Senator Moses. Those were made up in substance and were initialed at the close of each session?

Mr. Davis. No; they were not initialed at the close of each session. They were written up and presented to the members, and at the next meeting they Mere approved or disapproved—approved with whatever alterations were necessary.

Senator Moses. Did those minutes go to our plenipotentiaries for their guidance?

Mr. Davis. Oh, ves.

Senator Moses. Were copies kept by each of our financial commissioners?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. You have your copies?

Mr. Davis. J have not got them yet. They were in w-th all my files, which arc being sent over, but they have not arriv ed yet. 1 kept the complete minutes.

Senator Moses. Then they will be available for the use of this committee?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. I assume that the peace financial commissioners for the countries other than the principal allied and associated powers sat with the 10 when the matters connected with their own countries were under consideration?

Mr. Davis. Yes; after we had come to some tentative decision on something that did concern them we called them in.

Senator Moses. After having decided you called them in and communicated to them vour decision?

Mr. Davis. No: we did not do that. It would have been impossible to cam- on the work if you had had all the delegates sitting there all the time.

Senator Moses. Yes; I understand that.

Mr. Davis. Oh, no; that was not the spirit of it, at all.

Senator Moses. Did these 10 frame the articles in the treaty contained in Part VIIl, which you will find on page 249 of the print you have before you of the treaty?

Mr. Davis. No; that is reparation.

Senator Moses. Who framed those sections?

Mr. Davis. The reparation sections were framed by the reparation commission.

Senator Moses. Who were they?

Mr. Davis. Mr. Baruch, Mr. McCormick, and myself.

Senator Moses. You were a member of the reparation commission, and of what other?

Mr. Davis. Of the financial commission.

Senator Moses. Then v«u are familiar with these articles in Part Villi

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. Did the Belgian finance commissioners sit with you in reaching the determination contained in article 232?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. Just why was it left to the reparation commission to determine the amount of money that Belgium had borrowed from the allied and associated Governments which Germany should repay?

Mr. Davis. I do not recall specifically why the reparation commission was to do that. They had to name some one to do it, because so far as the advances made by the Government of the United States were concerned, we have obligations of the Belgian Government. There is no discretion about that. But as to the advances made by England and France to Belgium, they were on open account, and there were questions about which there may be considerable discussion, and they had to designate some one who would finally arrive at those figures in case there was any discussion over it.

Senator Moses. What was the reason why the bonds to be issued by the German Government in payment of that item of reparation were to be handed to the reparation commission rather than to the Belgian Government? That provision is on the top of page 251:

Such bonds shall Vie handed over to the reparation commission, which has authority to lake and acknowledge receipt thereof on behalf of Belgium.

Mr. Davis. Well, that was because cvervthing is to be handed to the reparation commission—everything that Germany pays.

Senator Moses. I understand that.

Mr. Davis. And this was just following the general rule.

Senator Moses. And just what will the reparation commission do with those bonds?

Mr. Davis. If England, France, and the United States agree to accept these German bonds in payment of the Belgian indebtedness to them prior to the armistice, they will be turned over to them

Sroportionately. That is one other reason why they were to be elivered to the reparation commission.

Senator Moses. Was not that proposal advanced, that we should take the German bonds in settlement of the obligations of our loans to the Allies? Was not that a definite proposal?

Mr. Davis. From the Allies?

Senator Moses. Was it not definitely proposed that the Allies should accept, in lieu of the obligations which we now have from certain of the allied Governments in Europe—that in lieu of those obligations we should accept German bonds?

Mr. Davis. No; that was only specifically made in the case of Belgium.

Senator Moses. And was that proposal declined?

Mr. Davis. Do you mean in the case of Belgium?

Senator Moses. Yes.

Mr. Davis. No; it was not declined. We simply told them that we had no authority to act on that.

Senator Moses. And it was left open?

Mr. Davis. It was left open for Congress to decide.

Senator Moses. For legislation?

Mr. Davis. Yes; in fact, the President said that he would pro

f>ose to Congress that we accept German obligations in respect of the oans to Belgium up until the armistice—that he could simply recommend that to Congress.

Senator Knox. How much had we loaned to Belgium up to that time?

Mr. Davis. We had loaned them, as I recall, between $300,000,000 and $400,000,000. It was about $300,000,000. I can get that exactly.

Senator Knox. I do not care for that.

Senator Moses. The reparation commission will fix the total sum of reparation due from Germany?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. They will do that sometime prior to May, 1921?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Moses. And notify the German Government?

Mr. Davis. Yes.

Senator Pomerene. May I interrupt the examination for a moment?

Senator Moses. Certainly.

Senator Pomerene. As 1 understand you, the offer on our part was an agreement to make that recommendation to the Congress?

Mr. Davis. That is all.

Senator Pomerene. But it was left to the Congress to determine whether or not that shall be done?

Mr. Davis. Absolutely. We told them specifically that neither the President nor any of us had any authority whatever to agree otherwise.

Senator Moses. Was it well understood in Paris that the United States would keep no portion of this reparation payment?

Mr. Davis. No.

Senator Moses. What was the understanding?

Mr. Davis. I do not know what the general opinion of different, people was, but the United States Government representatives did not say they would not keep any of the reparation, and we did not say they would. That was another matter that we felt we had no right to determine.

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