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The Secretary of State to the Minister of Switzerland.s
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
November 5, 1918.
I have the honor to request you to transmit the following communication to the German Government:
In my note of October 23, 1918, I advised you that the President had transmitted his correspondence with the German authorities to the governments with which the Government of the United States is associated as a belligerent, with the suggestion that, if those governments were disposed to effect peace upon the terms and principles indicated, their military advisers and the military advisers of the United States be asked to submit to the governments associated against Germany the necessary terms of such an armistice as would fully protect the interests of the peoples involved and ensure to the associated governments the unrestricted power to safeguard and enforce the details of the peace to which the German Government had agreed, provided they deemed such an armistice possible from the military point of view.
The President is now in receipt of a memorandum of observations by the Allied Governments on this correspondence, which is as follows:
"The Allied Governments have given careful consideration to the correspondence which has passed between the President of the United States and the German Government. Subject to the qualifications which follow they declare their willingness to make peace with the Government of Germany on the terms of peace laid down in the President's address to Congress of January, 1918, and the principles of settlement enunciated in his subsequent addresses. They must point out, however, that clause two relating to what is usually described as the freedom of the seas, is open to various interpretations, some of which they could not accept. They must, therefore, reserve to themselves complete freedom on this subject when they enter the peace conference.
"Further, in the conditions of peace, laid down in his address to Congress of January 8, 1918, the President declared that invaded territories must be restored as well as evacuated and freed. The Allied Governments feel that no doubt ought to be allowed to exist as to what this provision implies. By it they understand that compensation will be made by Germany for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allies and their property by the aggression of Germany by land, by sea, and from the air."
I am instructed by the President to say that he is in agreement with the interpretation set forth in the last paragraph of the memorandum above quoted.
8 Official U. S. Bulletin, November 6, 1918.
I am further instructed by the President to request you to notify the German Government that Marshal Foch has been authorized by the Government of the United States and the Allied Governments to receive properly accredited representatives of the German Government, and to communicate to them terms of an armistice.
Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration. (Signed) ROBERT LANSING.
MR. HANS SULZER,
Minister of Switzerland,
In charge of German interests in the United States.
CONDITIONS OF AN ARMISTICE WITH GERMANY.1
Signed November 11, 1918.
BETWEEN Marshal Foch, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, acting on behalf of the Allied and Associated Powers, in conjunction with Admiral Wemyss, First Sea Lord, of the one part; and Secretary of State Erzberger, President of the German Delegation, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary Count von Oberndorff, Major-General von Winterfeldt, Captain Vanselow (German Navy), furnished with full powers in due form and acting with the approval of the German Chancellor, of the other part;
An Armistice has been concluded on the following conditions:
CONDITIONS OF THE ARMISTICE CONCLUDED WITH GERMANY.
(A.) On the Western Front.
1. Cessation of hostilities on land and in the air six hours after the signature of the Armistice.
2. Immediate evacuation of the invaded countries:- Belgium, France, Luxemburg, as well as Alsace-Lorraine, so ordered as to be completed within fifteen days from the signature of the Armistice. German troops which have not evacuated the above-mentioned territories within the period fixed will be made prisoners of war. Joint occupation by the Allied and United States forces shall keep pace with evacuation in these areas. All movements of evacuation or occupation shall be regulated in accordance with a Note (Annexe No. 1), drawn up at the time of signature of the Armistice.
3. Repatriation, beginning at once, to be completed within fifteen days, of all inhabitants of the countries above enumerated (including hostages, persons under trial, or convicted).
1 Miscellaneous Parliamentary Publications, No. 25 (1918).
4. Surrender in good condition by the German armies of the following war material:
5,000 guns (2,500 heavy, 2,500 field).
3,000 trench mortars.
1,700 fighting and bombing aeroplanes in the first place, all D 7's and all night-bombing aeroplanes.
The above to be delivered in situ to the Allied and United States troops in accordance with the detailed conditions laid down in Annexe 1, drawn up at the time of signature of the Armistice.
5. Evacuation by the German armies of the territories on the left bank of the Rhine. These territories on the left bank of the Rhine shall be administered by the local authorities under the control of the Allied and United States armies of occupation. The occupation of these territories shall be carried out by Allied and United States garrisons holding the principal crossings of the Rhine (Mainz, Coblenz, Cologne), together with bridgeheads, at these points, of a 30 kilometre radius on the right bank, and by garrisons similarly holding the strategic points of each area. A neutral zone shall be reserved on the right bank of the Rhine between the river and a line drawn parallel to the bridgeheads and to the river, and at a distance of 10 kilometres from the Dutch to the Swiss frontier. Evacuation by the enemy of the Rhineland (left and right banks), shall be so ordered as to be completed within a further period of sixteen days— thirty-one days in all after the signature of the Armistice. All movements of evacuation and occupation shall be regulated according to Annexe 1, drawn up at the time of signature of the Armistice.
6. In all the territories evacuated by the enemy there shall be no evacuation of inhabitants; no damage or detriment shall be done to the persons or property of the inhabitants. No person shall be prosecuted for participation in military measures prior to the signature of the Armistice. No destruction of any kind to be committed. Military establishments of all kinds shall be handed over intact, as well as military stores, food, munitions and equipment not removed during the periods fixed for evacuation. Stores of food of all kinds for the civil population, cattle, &c., shall be left in situ. No measure of a general or official character shall be adopted which may result in a depreciation of industrial establishments or in a reduction of their personnel.
7. Roads and means of communication of every kind, railroads, waterways, main roads, bridges, telegraphs and telephones shall be in no way damaged. All civil and military personnel at present employed on them shall be maintained. 5,000 locomotives and 150,000 wagons in good running order, and provided with all necessary spare parts and fittings, shall be delivered to the Associated Powers within the period fixed by Annexe No. 2, which shall not exceed thirty-one days. 5,000 motor lorries in good running order shall also be handed over within thirty-six days.
The railways of Alsace-Lorraine shall be handed over within thirty-one days, together with all personnel and material belonging directly to these lines. Further, material necessary for the working of railways in the territories on the left bank of the Rhine shall be left in situ. All stores of coal and material for upkeep of permanent way, signals, and repair-shops, shall be left in situ and maintained by Germany as far as the working of these lines on the left bank of the Rhine is concerned. All barges taken from the Allies shall be restored to them. The note appended as Annexe No. 1 regulates all details under this head.
8. The German Command shall be bound to disclose, within 48 hours after the signature of the Armistice, all mines or delay action apparatus disposed on the territory evacuated by the German troops, and shall assist in their discovery and destruction. The German Command shall also disclose all harmful measures that may have been taken (such as poisoning or pollution of springs, wells, &c.). All the foregoing under penalty of reprisals.
9. The right of requisition shall be exercised by the Allied and United States Armies in all occupied territories, settlement of accounts with the persons concerned being provided for. The maintenance of the troops of occupation in the Rhineland (excluding AlsaceLorraine) shall be defrayed by the German Government.
10. Immediate repatriation, without reciprocity, of all Allied and United States prisoners of war (including those under trial or convicted), according to detailed conditions which shall be fixed. The Allied Powers and the United States shall dispose of these prisoners as they think fit. This condition cancels previous agreements on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war, including the agreement of July, 1918, in course of ratification. The repatriation of German prisoners interned in Holland and in Switzerland shall, however,