Position Papers on Reparations

  • Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The delegation of Germany

    Topic: Reparations


    Honorable Chair, Fellow Delegates,

    This conference was summoned to set up the new order after the Great War, to judge who is guilty and who should receive compensation. As one of the Central Powers we understand that we must be punished. You all seem to agree that best punishment is restricting our military as completely as possible. Although Germany accepts this as fair, we do not think it will help us all in building a new, balanced world.

    We support Wilson’s Fourteen Points, and stand here thinking, that the abolition of economic barriers, public diplomacy and internal minimisation of armament are some of the keys needed to avoiding wars in the future. However, it will be, specifically, the League of Nations that we are here to support concerning Demilitarization. And we shall do so by being the first to start demilitarization and to welcome a new age of peace. Germany shall reduce our forces to only 100,000 men, excepting emergency, temporary measures and shall even give up the warships we have under our possession at the moment. We do so to show our goodwill in these issues. But you would be cutting us out of a possible future; by not utilising our forces to the extent they could be used. Through our acceptance into the League of Nations, and through the embrace of your enemy, the world would be benefiting from the power Germany is prepared to lend this great League. It would have at its disposal a power to enforce its will in a strong and firm way, and a shield to protect the frontiers of all its members.

    You want to flatten our military industry. But how, then will be able to protect all our countries in the future? A less complete demobilization will also allow some of the several millions of soldiers, returning now from the front, to not have to undergo the waste of unemployed We as politicians and conscious delegates know that some limitations must be put in place, but the social consequences of immediate mass-unemployment is an issue Germany is not prepared to face. The further issue of reparations is also an issue that should be handled wisely. Who knows, maybe even now there is a one rancorous solider with revenge in his heart? Maybe a plan of revolution is clarifying in his mind in this moment?

    Germany is prepared to make payments in connection with an agreed program of peace of up to 100 billion marks total. By May 1st, 1926 we predict to have 20 billion and the remaining 80 billion as annual payments of no more than 1 billion for the next 10 years, and other amounts following this point, to be decided by our level of economic drive by this point. The German taxpayer, now expected to also support returning unemployed soldiers, should not be too heavily burdened in the approaching times. As we all rebuild ourselves, so does Germany too: and while we accept our responsibility in this war and the animosity aimed towards us, we, too, need time to recover from our suffering.

    We will devote our entire economic strength to the aim of reconstruction our world. Through cooperation, Germany proposes to make up for the devastation of areas in Belgium and Northern France. For the destroyed mines of Northern France, we are willing to give up to 20 million tonnes of coal annually for the next five years. Germany will initiate further coal deliveries to France, Belgium, Italy and Luxemburg. We are prepared to make considerable contributions of benzol, coal tar and sulphate of ammonia, as well as further dyestuffs and medicines.

    We offer to put our merchant tonnage of freight space as a part of payment for reparation. Using German ship yards we will build further tonnage, so that our supply exceeds demand, for a series of years.

    The replacement of river boats destroyed in Belgium and Northern France can be made from Germanys own river craft. In contribution to coal deliveries and further the mentioned monetary reparations, perhaps of even a smaller value, Germany proposes this as reparations.

    Caring about our nation as well as our common international future, we want to ask you to treat us a bit more lightly. We are prepared to put restrictions on our military, as the start of a peaceful future. We are prepared to pay our share of reparations. And we are also prepared to contribute significantly to the League of Nations, if we are given a chance. Because there will never be a real balance if there is nothing to initiate change.

    Thank you for your attention,

    The German Delegation







    Austrian Reparation position paper

    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Republic of Austria

    Topic: Reparations

    Through the horrific period that shall be come to known as one of the grandest wars ever fought. We the Austrians have fought and lost as much as any other. Our towns, our grand structures in which we place our Austrian heritage and pride have crumbled under the war. We have lost men valuable to the survival of our people, the men that make up Austria and who have given their life to the fatherland in hopes of a better tomorrow. In total 175,000 valuable and hard working men of Austria died in this war, and we the delegates of Austria hope to honour those who perished and come to an agreement that is beneficial for both Austria and Europe as a whole.

    We, the people of Austria have suffered as much as the great powers here today. We were among the first two participants in this grand war and thus we have taken a huge hit to our population and infrastructure. While we saw it necessary for us to go to war after the assassination of our heir Franz Ferdinand in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo by the Serbian terrorist group known infamously as the Black Hand. And then the Serbian declination of our ultimatum. We, like many others fought long and hard, we thought it would bring glory and riches to our country yet it brought only devastation to our fatherland. Yet when the war ended in 1918 we saw only the destruction of towns and our infrastructure. We did not see the repercussions, yet now we do and we realise that we need help economically.

    We, the delegation of Austria believe that we are incapable of paying reparations to any party, this is due to the fact that paying any reparations would lay waste to the stability of our economy. While we understand the need for the other powers to sanction us for the losses they have acquired over the war, we kindly ask the other powers to see that we are in the same boat. We have all suffered greatly from this war, and the damage will add up to millions of dollars. But the Austrians are the same, we have taken damage to our land just like any other. So we ask the powers to see that we cannot pay reparations without our country falling into economic turmoil.


    https://books.google.dk/books?id=EUijAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA103&dq=austrian+reparations+treaty+of+st+germian&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfofqh0ZzKAhUq83IKHXgPCZEQ6AEIKDAB#v=onepage&q&f=true –Page 104




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Kingdom of Belgium

    Topic: Reparations


    We, as the delegation of the Kingdom of Belgium, feel honored to be in this conference which aim it is to settle the utterly damaged peace in not only Europe but also the world. The war we have been through was indeed a disastrous war. Every of European decent and innocent countries suffered it and its outcome. A definition for peace should be determined now, and also, some certain solutions are needed to prevent the war.


    Belgium suffered the war from the very beginning; the declaration of neutrality, which we made in July 1914, was easily ignored. We saw things we should not have. Our motherland is totally destroyed by the massive amount of bombing and artilleries. Over 95 % of the country was occupied by the Germans whilst only a small area around Ypres remained under our control. Regardless of our strong resistance, a large proportion of the occupied area turned out to be the one of bloodiest battle areas in the war. It is undisputable that we are the victim of the war, but at the same time, we reckon we are not the only one.


    Reparations should be made by all the Central powers, but not equally. Germany is obliged to pay most due to its action during the war. Austria-Hungary would be the next responsible for it, followed by Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. The reparations should be in cash so that it will be able to restore and expand economies of countries quickly. Most importantly, the amount of it is expected to be understandable and unquestionable for every of us in this conference. At last, Belgium hopes for a constructive and meaningful debate on this topic.



    "German Request for Free Passage through Belgium, and the Belgian Response, 2–3 August 1914". www.firstworldwar.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012.



    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Republic of France

    Topic: War reparations

    It’s has come to our attention that something needs to be done about the damage that’s been caused to Europe. The most obvious solution would be that each individual country would tax its citizens. This however would only cause an increase of the debts and an economic stagnation. We ourselves as a French nation are dealing with massive debts due to this long-lasting conflict. Our lands have been the major place where the war took place and our people right now are suffering the most due to lack of funding. That is why we have come up with the solution that will surely be accepted.

    As we have stated before, it is Germany that should be held responsible for all the suffering they have caused during the war and the first step for them would be paying the war reparation to France, as we have suffered one of the largest casualties and since the Great War took place on the French lands. Normally, we would have paid for all the damage, destroyed country sides and insurance for the families of the fallen troopers and the veterans who survived this hell. However, as stated before, we arecurrently dealing with massive debts and we are not thinking about taxing our citizens, just as America and the United Kingdom did it. Instead, we have decided that it is Germany that will pay the reparation. It should not be any problem to them, considering that the ex-Emperor used to spend large amounts of German Marks for his own personal cravings. It is the country with a massive hinterland of natural resources, including coal, steel, copper. Considering the fact that the German nation is two times more populated than the French one, the speed of productiveness shouldn’t be long. We will also accept the payment in vehicles such as trucks, cars, tractors. The amount of reparation that the French delegation has decided to be paid will be around 132 billion Reichmarks, paid out in gold. We consider this amount very just for the German nation and we hope that the first installment will be received in no-time.


    E.J. Dillon, Konferencja Pokojowa w Paryżu 1919, Księgarnia i Skład Nut Perzyński, Niklewicz i S-KA, Warszawa, 1921.

    D.L. George, Prawda o Traktacie Wersalskim, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze „Rój” sp. z.o.o, Warszawa, 1938.




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Germany

    Topic: Demilitarization

    Honourable Delegates!

    This conference was summoned to appoint the new order after the Great War. To judge who is guilty and who should receive compensation. As one of the Central Powers we understand that we must be punished. You all seem to agree that best punishment is restricting our military to the maximum. Although it appears to be fair, we do not think it will help us all in building a new, balanced world.

    We support Wilson’s Fourteen Points and we think that the abolition of economic barriers, public diplomacy and internal minimisation of armament are the key to avoid wars in the future. But you want to cut us off from that future. You want to flatten our military industry. Without tanks, aviation, a navy, chemical warfare and heavy artillery we are nothing and you know it. And it will cause a lot of people to lose work in factories. And then, another millions of soldiers will come back from the front and most of them will be unemployed because now our entire army must be limited to 100 thousands. Other problem set reparations. It’s 130 billion marks! We will be discharging that in another 80 years! That extremely retard German economy and you know it! We as politics and conscious delegates know that some limitations must be done. However our soldiers, our citizens are simple people. We’re afraid that they’ll start to hate you. Because you want to take their jobs, humble their homeland and their taxes will go to you and not to their country. And in this hatred they will be raising their children. Who knows, maybe even now there is a one rancorous solider with revenge in his heart? Maybe a plan of revolution is clarifying in his mind in this moment?

    Caring about our nation as well our common international future we want to ask you to treat us a bit more lightly. Because there will never be a real balance if some countries are disqualified on really beginning of creating it.

    Thank you for your attention,

    German Delegation






    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Kingdom of Hejaz

    Topic: Reparations

    Over the past 4 years the Great World has left Europe in ruins. The Great Powers of this world were fighting between themselves for influence and dominion over European lands. Everyone cared only about his own business and usually forgot about his allies. We, the kingdom of Hejaz are a strong and proud nation what we proved many times in the Great War. We were supporting Allied powers in their war with the Ottoman Empire. We have expected satisfaction for our involvement, but after victory our allies divided profits of war between themselves and has forgotten about us. We want to be rewarded for our blood and sweat.

    We engaged in war, raised rebellion against the Ottomans and helped to defeat them. For this merit, we should have profited from this war. We demand that the Great powers will accept Arabian sovereignty, because this will encourage Arabs to unite, create their own independent country and let us develop. An Independent Arabian world in alliance with western nations will secure the stability of the region. For our involvement we also demand, that our allies will give us back our lands. We demand control over Syria, Iraq and the whole Arabian peninsula because this lands always was Arabian and it will let us rise to power and the league of nations will have a strong ally in this region. We also demand respect for our independence and guarantee that Hejaz will stay independent Arabian State.

    Dear delegates, think about our postulates, but if you give us what we demand you will gain a powerful ally, who will secure stability in the region and will watch your businesses in the Middle East. If we rise in power we will be a good counterbalance for Turkey and we will be able to control and if it is needed stop their imperial ambitions.





    H.P Willmott World War I, Wydawnictwo DK


    Resolution Paper


    Comittee: PPC

    Country: Empire of Japan

    Topic: Reparations



    More than four years ago a Serbian assassin murdered the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, which was only the last of several events to the terrifying, spoiled by weapons for mass destruction and incredibly brutal war that destroyed the peace on almost all of the Eurasian territory. Over the recent years especially europe had to encounter great losses of soldiers and civilian lives on all sides, also the infrastructure has been completely demolished on either side of the fighting parties.


    As Japan had the luck to not be included directly into these horrific events, the delegation of the Empire of Japan sees itself in an observing role in the questions for war guilt and reparations. As the Empire of Japan is a peaceloving Empire that wishes nothing more than peace and wealth all over the World, the delegation of the Empire of Japan is completely aware of the consequences all of Europe has to encounter after these losses, and thinks, that reparations in gold or money is not the right thing to do in a time of reconstruction and redevelopment.


    The delegation of Japan highly recommends the european states to pay the reparations in another, in one hand way less harmful, on the other hand much stronger currencies than money: Territory. The delegation of Japan thinks that all colonies in the Pacific should be given back to their origin, the Empire of Japan, and not be handeled by fighting and powergaining european Empires.

    This ensures a stable life in the pacific region and last, but not least, keeps the European Powers far from gaining more confidence in territorial disputes.


    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The United Kingdom

    Topic: Reparations


    The world has just faced one of the greatest wars of all time. It involved no less than 44 different countries, not counting the various colonies. More than 17 million people including innocent civilians have passed away as a result of the battles, and 20 million are left wounded. The war even had a price; approximately 186 billion US dollars.

    The Great War did not pass the United Kingdom. After Belgium was invaded in 1914, and the Treaty of London violated, we lent support to Belgium by declaring war alongside our allies, France and Russia. The following years brought sacrifices we could not have imagined. The British Empire has suffered the loss of more than 900,000, and more than two million returned home wounded. Many of our ships have been sunk along with valuable cargoes. The war has caused horrendous losses to the United Kingdom. Left in its wake, the war produced hundreds of thousands of widows along with fatherless children and orphans. Many of the soldiers who fought their way through returned home with injuries so severe, that they at present are unable to work.

    The world shall hope to never see a war equal to this. Only through security measures taken against the guilty countries, can we ensure peace. The countries responsible for the birth of the war shall be obligated to compensate for the damages following its defeat. The German Empire must replace the destruction it has caused through reasonable reparations addressed to the victorious countries. Still, it should not be ruined to the point where it cannot again rise.

    The Austro-Hungarian Empire too participated in this, the war of all wars. No longer than five years ago, the United Kingdom offered a conference with aforementioned country. It refused, and we stand here today, commemorating the lives that might have been saved, had the answer been another. Therefore, the Austro-Hungarian Empire is also obliged to refund some of the capital the war on their hands cost us.

    Even as part of the Allies, Russia played a central part in the initiation of the war. Therefore, it seems only fair that this nation likewise pay their part in reparations to the countries who have suffered greatly throughout the past four years.








    Macmillan, M. (2004). Paris 1919. Borgen.




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The United States of America

    Topic: War reparations


    The Great War was an enormous effort for all countries engaged in the conflict. Sons of our nations bravely fought on the frontline. Yet, many of them never came back. Moreover, economies of our states were pulled on the edge of collapse. Natural resources were used. Agriculture was neglected. Only military industry performed well. 


    Before the war, the United States had a peaceful foreign policy. We had not engaged in any conflict in Europe. However, it changed because of direct attack on our citizens. The war enforced the United Sates to increase military production and to send our sons to Europe. 


    From this position the delegation of the United States of America wants to stress the losses incurred by the state. In the Great War over one hundred thousand of US soldiers were killed. Twice as many were wounded. Economic losses are not possible to be estimated. 

    In this situation it is obvious that the United States of America should be included in the war reparations paid by the defeated country. The reparations should be appropriate to the losses to the United States. 


    Nevertheless, the delegation of the United States of America is aware of the fact that excessive reparations required from defeated state can lead to social unrest, economic crisis and even revolution. These possible consequences can destabilize the peace that we reached. For this reason, the US delegation recommends to estimate reparations on rational level. They cannot drastically slow down the economic development of defeated country.



    1. John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

    2. Norman Lowe. Modern World History

    3. http://alittletchs.weebly.com/uploads/5/2/6/5/52653133/l2.8_- _aims_at_paris_peace_oxford.pdf