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long deliberations and thorough investigation and has endeavored to interpret faithfully and in an equitable spirit the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles with regard to Upper Silesia. "The Council, being convinced that its duty was above all to endeavour to find a solution in conformity with the wishes of the inhabitants, as expressed by the plebiscite, while taking into account the geographical and economic situation of the various districts, has been led to the conclusion that it is necessary to divide the industrial region of Upper Silesia.” But, the Council continued, “owing to the geographical distribution of the population and the mixture of the racial elements, any division of this district must inevitably result in leaving relatively large minorities on both sides of the line and in separating important interests." In order, therefore, to guarantee the continuity of the economic life of the region during the period of readjustment, the Council formulated and recommended draft transitory provisions to be incorporated in a general convention between Germany and Poland relating to railways, water and electric power, monetary system, postal service, customs regime, coal and mine products, employers and workers federations, social insurance, and freedom of movement between the respective zones. It also formulated and recommended draft provisions for the protection of minorities. 6
The plebiscite area embraces only about 4,100 square miles, with a population in 1919 of 2,060,000, but its rich coal and zinc deposits and highly developed iron and steel industries make the region of great economic importance. The decision of the Allies allots to Poland about 1,300 square miles, but this zone comprises 47 per cent. of the population, threefourths of the coal production, all of the zinc mines and works, and half of the capacity of steel works. In this area about 510,000 votes were cast, of which about 285,000 were for Poland and 225,000 for Germany.
According to Commerce Reports, previously cited, from which these figures are taken, in 1913 the mines in Upper Silesia which are now assigned to Poland produced approximately 32,500,000 tons of coal, and those now assigned to Germany approximately 10,500,000 tons, the output for the whole area being valued at $75,000,000 annually. The total production of coal in Germany in the same year, excluding Alsace-Lorraine and the Saar Basin, was 174,000,000 tons, of which the production in the territory now assigned to Poland constituted 19 per cent. The pre-war production of coal in the present territory of Poland, exclusive of Upper Silesia, was about 9,000,000 tons, so that the production of Poland will be multiplied about four times by the decision. Since the pre-war consumption amounted to about 18,000,000 tons, it is evident that Poland will now have a considerable surplus of coal for exportation.
The production of pig iron in Upper Silesia in 1913 was 995,000 tons, 6 Minutes, ibid., p. 16.
valued at about $15,000,000 and representing about 6 per cent. of the aggregate production of Germany in its then existing boundaries. Approximately all of the iron ore mines lie in territory which has been allotted to Poland. Of the total number of blast furnaces in Upper Silesia immediately preceding the war, twenty-two were in territory now assigned to Poland and fourteen in that assigned to Germany. Of the eight principal iron and steel works, five are now in Polish territory. While the iron and steel production of the Upper Silesian territory which has passed to Poland constitute a comparatively small fraction of the total German output, it represents a very great increase in the Polish iron and steel industries, which, in 1913, had a production of 641,000 tons.
The output of raw zinc of Upper Silesia, amounting to nearly $20,000,000 per year, in 1912 was 168,600 tons, which represented about five-eighths of the total production of Germany, more than one-sixth of the world production, and was equal roughly to three-fifths of the production of the United States. The value of Upper Silesian production of lead with its by-products amounted before the war to nearly $3,500,000 per year. Practically the entire zinc and lead industry of Upper Silesia has passed to Poland.
But “while the decision thus allots to Poland decidedly more of the mineral wealth and of the manufacturing industries of Upper Silesia than remain with Germany, the latter retains the great bulk of the agricultural and forest land. Most of the seven-tenths of the plebiscite area allotted to Germany consists of excellent agricultural land or is occupied by valuable forests, which must be considered of great economic importance.” In this territory about 675,000 votes were cast, of which about 480,000 were for Germany and 195,000 for Poland.
The new boundary starts at Oderberg in the south and follows the Oder River northwest to a point a little below the city of Ratibor. Thence it proceeds in an approximately straight line toward the northeast to the city of Beuthen, only a few miles from the former Polish border. Leaving that city to Germany, it turns northwest to a point west from the city of Lublinitz, where it turns again toward the northeast until it intersects the Polish border. It thus gives to Poland the southeastern part of the county of Ratibor, the great bulk of Rybnik, a small southeastern corner of the county of Tost-Gleiwitz, and the whole of the county of Pless. In the Industrial District Poland receives the southeastern half of Zabrze (less important industrially than the other half), the whole of Kattowitz, somewhat over half of the county of Beuthen, and the city-county of Königshütte. To the north of the Industrial Triangle, Poland receives much of the greater part of the county of Tarnowitz, a small corner of TostGleiwitz and approximately two-thirds of Lublinitz, including the city of that name. Germany retains the counties of Leobschütz, Neustadt, Kosel, Oppeln, Kreuzburg, Gross Strehlitz, and Rosenburg, and most of Ratibor and Tost-Gleiwitz. The small northwestern section of Rybnik gives her a direct railroad line from Ratibor to Gleiwitz. She retains the industrial cities of Beuthen and Gleiwitz and the northwestern parts of the counties of Beuthen and Zabrze, all of which are of great economic importance.?
7Commerce Reports, op. cit., p. 796.
The recommendations of the Council of the League of Nations as to the frontier and the general convention between Germany and Poland were approved on October 20 “by the Conference of Ambassadors, acting in the name and by special mandate of the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, signatories together with the United States of America, as Principal Allied and Associated Powers, of the Treaty of Peace of Versailles," and transmitted on the same day by M. Briand as President of the Conference of Ambassadors, to the Ambassador of Germany and the Minister of Poland at Paris, with the statement that the treaty must be observed in its entirety, and in case either Germany or Poland should refuse to accept all or part of it or place obstacles in the way of its loyal execution, the Allied Powers reserve the right to take any measures to give full effect to their decision.
Pursuant to the recommendations of the Council, the Allied Powers directed the formation of a mixed commission of two Germans and two Poles, natives of Upper Silesia, with a president of some other nationality to be designated by the Council of the League of Nations, to supervise the execution of the transitory economic provisions to be incorporated in the treaty recommended by the Council, and the appointment of an arbitral tribunal to adjust differences of a private nature growing out of the settlement, this tribunal to be composed of three judges, one designated by Germany and one by Poland, and the president by the Council of the League of Nations. The Conference of Ambassadors further decreed that the aforementioned convention be negotiated by a German and Polish plenipotentiary under the presidency of a person to be designated by the Council of the League of Nations, who shall cast the deciding vote in case of disagreement between the parties, and the two governments were required to name their plenipotentiaries within eight days. The decree of the Allies further directed that the mixed commission above provided for be immediately constituted, to cooperate with the inter-Allied commission now administering the territory under the Treaty of Versailles, in the adoption of preparatory measures for the transition from the present state to the new régime.
The decision of the Allied Powers finally provided that as soon as they shall decide that the boundary commission provided for in the recommendation of the Council has sufficiently delimited the frontier on the spot and the general convention has been negotiated, the plebiscite commission shall give to the German and Polish Governments notification that they are free to take over the administration of the territories respectively allotted to them in accordance with Section 6 of the annex to Article 88 of the Treaty of Versailles.
GEORGE A. FINCH.
8L'Europe Nouvelle, Oct. 29, 1921, pp. 1404-1408; and Monthly Summary of the League of Nations, Nov. 1921, p. 157.
AN ARBITRATION WITH NORWAY
A return to normalcy in the international world means a return to the judicial settlement of international disputes. Many events since the war testify to the fact that the trend of the times is in this direction, and it has been gratifying to observe that the United States, true to tradition, has been no disinterested bystander in the work of re-establishing the machinery of international law. It is quite proper that we should note with pride that the first president elected since the war to preside over an international tribunal constituted under the Hague Conventions was Mr. Elihu Root, and especially that the plan for the Permanent Court of International Justice finally adopted by the League of Nations was very largely the work of this same distinguished American. But in rendering such services Mr. Root has been acting in a purely personal capacity, and while reflecting undoubted credit upon our country it is nevertheless a fact that his acts have not borne the stamp of official government sanction. Meanwhile abroad, and not a little at home, America's rejection of the League of Nations' Covenant has been the source of a certain scepticism or misunderstanding over the real position of America toward the world problem of reconciliation. To such criticisms our most valid appeal must be to the facts, and under this test events are again occurring which should convey to the world the assurance that the United States, both by word and in action, continues to look to the way of international arbitration as affording the surest road toward international understanding. Highly significant in this connection has been the recent reopening of the sessions of the British-American Claims Commission which, in pursuance of the treaty with Great Britain of August 18, 1910, had only commenced its work when the war suddenly interrupted its activities. And to this there may now be added an act carrying with it an even broader significance. An agreement between the United States and Norway? was signed on June 30, 1921, ratifications being exchanged at Washington on August 22, 1921, whereby the two countries have agreed to arbitrate certain important claims arising from the war.
According to the preamble to this agreement with Norway the purpose of the arbitration is "to settle amicably certain claims of Norwegian
1 Case of the Expropriated Religious Properties in Portugal, Awards of Sept. 2-4, 1920.
2 The trea will be found printed in the Supplement to this JOURNAL, p. 16.
subjects against the United States arising, according to contentions of the Government of Norway, out of certain requisitions by the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation.” The outstanding facts in the case may be briefly summarized; in a general way they are largely familiar to the public, in view of the many similar claims on the part of American citizens which have been referred to the Shipping Board and which are also being prosecuted before the Court of Claims. On August 3, 1917, the Shipping Board, pursuant to powers delegated under Act of Congress approved June 15, 1917, issued sweeping requisition orders to all shipbuilding yards of the country commandeering in the name of the Government all ships under construction having a capacity of over 2500 tons deadweight, and all materials pertaining thereto. American shipbuilders at that time were engaged in building many ships for foreign account, and the Norwegian claims which are the subject of the present arbitration grow out of contracts for the construction of fifteen ships, which by virtue of various assignments, some before and some after August 3, the date of the Government requisition, came eventually into the hands of Norwegian subjects. Nine of the fifteen vessels concerned were to be built in the yards of American companies whose stock was principally, if not entirely, owned by a Norwegian subject largely interested at the time in promoting shipbuilding construction in the United States, and these vessels were originally contracted for by other American companies which were also controlled by the same Norwegian subject. When the requisition became effective the keels of only two of these fifteen contracted ships had actually been laid in the yards, and a portion of the material delivered on one other. The Government took possession of the ships under construction, as well as of all material delivered on the contracts, and, the shipyards being henceforth held exclusively to government work by virtue of the war necessities of the United States, it became impossible for them to execute the contracts in which the Norwegian subjects were concerned.
The Act of June 15, 1917 had provided that the United States should pay “just compensation" in return for the requisitions made in pursuance thereof, and the Shipping Board became charged with the settlement of such claims. The Board was generally successful in concluding settlements but the case of the “Christiania Group of Norwegian Ship Owners” (the fifteen claimants in the present arbitration had combined under this title) proved an exception. This group sought to recover before the Board a total sum of $14,157,977.58, allegedly calculated upon the basis of original cost to the ultimate contract owners, plus additional expenses, plus interest. Such a method of calculation was entirely unacceptable to the Shipping Board. $2,381,635.00 had been paid to the builders as progress payments on these contracts, and, of course, to this sum a just claim might be established, but on the other hand the actual