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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919
(1919)

The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919,   pp. [V]-917 ff. PDF (305.7 MB)


Page 759

THE COUNCIL OF FOUR
the case of Jugo-Slavia the same principle was not applied. The only
way to remove that inconsistency was to adopt the principle of the
plebiscite which he had advocated. For example, in the case of the
Islands, the only way to settle the question of which population pre-
dominated was by a plebiscite since the official statistics were disputed
both by the Italians and the Jugo-Slavs. Whenever the Jugo-Slavs
had been forced to intervene with a plebiscite, the figures had gone
against the Italians. Even in regard to Lissa an inhabitant of that
Island had told him that the population would not vote for the Italians.
He, himself, all along had been willing to say to the Italians you must
evacuate the whole territory which will then be put provisionally
under the League of Nations, Fiume for the time being becoming a free
City giving full access to the district served by the Port.
This access would continue until the construction of a Port of
equivalent usefulness at Buccari. Then he would take the vote of
the population in regard to Fiume.
In regard to the other territories, the League of Nations would
arrange a plebiscite and Italy should be allowed to have any consid-
erable district other than a mere Township that voted for her. This
plan would square with the principles proposed by Mr. Lloyd George
for Anatolia. His idea was the same as Mr. Lloyd George had
suggested in a conversation with him just before the meeting in regard
to Cilicia [Silesia], where Mr. Lloyd George had suggested doubts as
to whether the population was Polish in sentiment. There might be
cases where the preference of the population was stronger than the
nationality. For example, there might be people in Cilicia [Silesia]
who, though Polish in origin, preferred to remain German. The
same principle might apply to the Adriatic. On the coast of Asia
Minor on the Aegean littoral there was a considerable Greek popula-
tion. He was fully in favour of giving the Turks complete access to
the sea but he was apprehensive of extending Turkish sovereignty to
the coast in the neighbourhood of the Dodecanese. If Turkish sover-
eignty extended to these shores, the Turks would always remember
that the Islands had not long since been taken from them.
To illustrate this, President Wilson brought out an ethnographical
map of Turkey pointing out that the population of the coast was
very similar to the population of the Island. There was a close simi-
larity between Mr. Lloyd George's plan and his own proposals. Hem
himself, had suggested that the Turks should retain full sovereignty
in Anatolia but that the Sultan should be allowed to inhabit a reserved
area in Constantinople in the territory of the Mandatory for the
Straits. Nevertheless, he would not be hampered in his administration
of Anatolia by the Mandatory of the Straits though he might some-
times be guided by the Mandatory's advice. If the United States
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