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2. The Commission on the Responsibility for the War
This Commission has to deal with the legal problem of the responsibilities for the war, and for the crimes committed against the law of nations in the war, especially by the enemy Powers. Its personnel is drawn from the specialists in international law.
3. The Commission on Reparation for Damages
This Commission has been studying both the extent and character of the injuries caused by the war upon the Entente Powers and upon neutrals, and the resources of the Central Powers which may be applied in reparation for the injuries committed. It was drawn mainly from the technical experts in economics and finance.
4. The Commission on International Labor Legislation
This Commission deals with the demands of labor that the standards of the different countries shall be brought to a level more consistent with the general needs of the working classes, and has been attempting to bring into existence an organization for international labor legislation in the future by way of a sort of "Labor Parliament" which is to meet under the Constitution of the League of Nations.1
5. The Commission on International Control over Ports,
Waterways, and Railways
This Commission deals with the large questions involved in the securing of free international intercourse and trade, particularly in the case of land-locked nations seeking access to the sea. It deals with problems of riverways and ports, and the possible international control or oversight under the
1 The report of the Commission, including the draft convention creating a permanent organization for the promotion of international regulation of labor conditions, will be published in full in an early number of International Conciliation.
League, of railways essential to the free economic life of countries disadvantageously situated with reference to powerful neighbors.
6. Economic Drafting Commission
An important Committee which will consider the relation of the larger and more permanent economic questions in the Treaty of Peace. Composed of men of ministerial rank.
7. Financial Drafting Commission
A Commission similar in scope to the Economic Drafting Commission, and composed of members of the same rank, to deal with the larger and more permanent questions of finance and to secure their proper settlement in the Treaty of Peace.
8. Inter-Allied Supreme Economic Council
A result of the joint inter-Allied activity in the war. This Council deals with the more pressing needs in the line of economic cooperation among the Allies.
Commissions on Territorial Problems
In addition to the Commissions dealing with such general topics, there were appointed special Commissions to deal with the specific territorial problems which the Conference must settle. These Commissions have been more largely composed of technical experts, mainly geographers and historians, than of Plenipotentiaries, although in some instances the membership includes those of ministerial rank. For instance, there is a Commission dealing with the problems relative to Poland—mainly boundary problems; a special Commission on the control of Teschen; a Commission dealing with Rumania and the boundary questions which affect the Rumanian settlement, such as those in the Banat, the Bulgarian-Serb frontier, etc.; a Commission dealing with the Czecho-Slovak problems; a Commission dealing with the Greek territorial claims; a Commission dealing with the questions of Belgium and Schleswig-Holstein. This last Commission has, naturally, more than boundary problems to consider, and the terms of reference differ according to the problems in the matter to be considered by the different Commissions. There is also a central Coordinating (inter-Allied) Commission to consider the work of the various special Boundary Committees as a whole.
Other Commissions or Committees are at work on various specific problems in more or less formal sessions, and, naturally, much of the preliminary negotiation takes place in more restricted groups.
The secretariat of such a complex organization is naturally an intricate organization in itself. Each of the Commissions must keep its records, and these different secretariats must be in touch with the general secretariat. They must make sure that there shall be an adequate record in both French and English, of the daily sessions—for some of these Commissions work two or three sessions a day, and practically all are in daily session, and the minutes must be available concurrently during the process of negotiation. Moreover, it is necessary that these minutes should not be printed, both in order that they should not receive too wide a distribution and also in order that the negotiations may be at all times sufficiently flexible. Consequently, they are distributed among those directly concerned in the form of mimeographed confidential memoranda.
National (Propaganda) Organizations No account of the constitution of the Peace Conference would be complete without mention of the different national organizations which are, to some extent, modifications of the propaganda organizations of the period of the War, and which furnish the delegates and the Commissions with an unending supply of statements of their various claims. These national committees are no part of the formal organization of the Peace Conference, but they may be recognized by a Commission, or even by the Big Ten, as being the properly authorized representatives of their national claims, and to that degree come within the general scope of the Conference.
In some cases individuals of sufficient distinction have secured recognition on a par with these national delegations. There are few parts of the world which the decisions of the Peace Conference can affect, which lack representation in some form or another in the city of Paris at the present time, and a consistent effort has been made by the Conference to give them a chance to state their demands.
A. Delegations And Commissions
America, United States of France
DELEGATIONS IN PARIS HAVING NO REPRESENTATIVES AT THE CONFERENCE
COMMISSIONS APPOINTED BY THE CONFERENCE
Armistice, Committee charged to impose on Germany methods
of execution of
German Materials of War and Disarmament, Committee on
International Legislation on Labor, Commission for
Sub-Committee No. I—Questions relative to transit
Prinkipo, Commission on
Reparation for Damages, Commission on
Sub-Committee No. 2—Study of financial capacity of enemy states and methods of payment and reparation