Position Papers on Territorial Disputes

  • Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Poland

    Topic: Territorial Disputes


    Poland got consequently abused by Austria, Germany (Prussia) and Russia. The nation was wiped out and disappeared from the map of Europe. Between 1772 and 1795 Poland was split by Austria, Germany (Prussia) and Russia three times. As a consequence Poland stopped to exist for more than one century. The Polish fragments were absorbed step by step by its three neighbours.

    The Polish - on top of being shuttered - suffered from the pressure opposed by its new rulers as the people had to adapt culturally, religiously and politically. It was a poignant sarcasm by leading Europe nations as they first declared the Kingdom of Poland in 1815 to hand it over to Russia 15 years later (‘Congress-Poland’). That was the start of the religious discrimination and social oppression by the Tsar which lasted one century.

    In the middle of the Great War (1916) the territory of Congress-Poland fell into the hands of the aggressors Germany and Austria who formed Poland as a puppet state under their control. The Polish population ran from one dictatorship to another. Once again discrimination and suppression of work force took place.

    The point of time has come to finally establish an independent and sustainable Poland as a sovereign state within his legitimate historical borderline. We strongly appreciate being supported by the President of the USA, Woodrow Wilson, and the government of France.


    The Polish delegate and the entire Polish people all over Europe demand the caused injustice to be extinguished. We solely demand our former territories and we do not want to be pictured the aggressor such as the Germany, Austria – Hungary and the former Russian tsardom.

    As a base the Polish delegation refers to Lithuania Poland in 1772 as a mandatory condition since this was the latest state of a sovereign Polish nation. Furthermore we emphasize that the borderline of 1772 would only be a reconstitution of the historical condition. On no account this is a compensation for all the injustice opposed by Russia, Germany (Prussia) and Austria.

    Consequently Congress Poland and Galicia will be the core of Poland with its Polish people, history and culture.

    By integrating Lithuania and Kurland the independence of an ethnic sister nation from Bolshevik Russia can be assured. We, the Polish delegation strongly propose a ballot within the next time to confirm the social affirmation to Poland.

    In addition the future state must have a solid eastern border. As a natural consequence Belarus in the former Polish borderline becomes crucial for a reunified Poland: the disastrous forced religious and cultural injustice requires a complete amendment. We will ensure equal treatment in all respects for all people. New Poland will attach great importance to non-discrimination as we felt the cruelty following from discrimination over such a long period.

    Although West-Ukraine was part of Lithuanian Poland the delegate accepts that the local population in West-Ukraine emotionally, culturally and politically belongs foremost to Russia. A forced integration – even when politically justified – would be a felony.

    We, the Polish delegation demand Poznan due to its Polish population to become part of an independent, strong and free Poland.

    Finally West-Prussia and its harbour city Danzig will be a guarantee for the timely needed economic revival. An upward movement of trade in all respects needs an excellent logistic that Danzig provides. President Wilson strongly affirmed the Polish delegation’s position of affiliation of West-Prussia.

    Once again the Polish delegation emphasizes that merely legitimate regions are claimed since they all belonged to Lithuanian Poland for a long time.

    Dear delegates, this is the only way to ensure a free and independent Poland in the middle of its neighbour states.




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The delegation of Germany

    Topic: Territorial Disputes


    Honorable Chair, Fellow Delegates,

    We, as Germany, come in the expectation that we shall be building a peaceful proposal together. We are prepared to do everything in our power in order to fulfil this grave obligations which we are to undertake, hoping for justice in the peace we have been promised. Germany knows that she must make sacrifices in our quest to attain peace. And to the upmost of her ability, we aim to shape this treaty of peace into the greatest achievement mankind has ever seen. Through the cooperation of all nations, we believe we can build a durable peace. While we are under no delusions in regards to the strength of the hatred and bitterness which this war as resulted in, concerning the issue of Territorial disputes, we hope to settle our disagreements fairly for both the German people and those here today.

    And so, we, in regard to the issues of Territorial disputes in Germany, have this as proposals for the territories of Alsace-Lorraine, Poznan and Danzig, Silesia, the Rhineland, Eupen/Malmedy and finally, Hultschin:


    Germany takes stance firmly behind the programme suggested by Delegate Wilson. She renounces her right to Alsace-Lorraine, with the wish that a closed-plebiscite is to take place for the people there. Germany does this in accordance with the principle of National Self-determination that is being emphasized during these debates, as the people of Alsace-Lorraine, as all other nations, deserve this right as well.


    Germany surrenders the greater part of the Poznan province, as an area that is distinctly Polish in population. Germany does too surrender its capital. She is prepared to grant the Polish, under international guarantees, free access to the sea through the port of Danzig, and other areas beside such as Konigsberg and Memel, through the regulated use of the River Vistula and railway connections.


    Germany, furthermore, is aware of the Polish majority in, at least, Upper Silesia, and is prepared to release this territory to the Polish rule, granted a closed-plebiscite shows this to be the will of the people.


    Similarly, Germany relinquishes the Danish-majority district of Schleswig to Denmark if a closed- plebiscite is to be taken.


    Concerning the issue of the Rhineland, and in particular the Saar region, Germany is prepared to provide France with the necessary supply of coal for economic purposes until such a time that French mines are one again in working order.

    However, Germany demands that the right of self-determination is also respected where the interests of the German people lie. The Eupen-Malmedy area consists of a majority German-speaking people. The population consider themselves German, and for almost century now, this is the way they have lived. Nevertheless, if the people are denied this right, Germany requests on their behalf, the right to a closed-plebiscite.

    In the case of Hultschin Region, Germany too, believes that there is important German interest. From 1871, this Region has been a valued part of Prussian, and later German soil. Although there is a majority of Czech-speaking people on these lands, we are of the opinion that this area would, if given the choice, choose to remain with Germany.

    In this strain of debate, we would like to emphasize the importance of fair and equal representation of interests of the present countries. If National self-determination is to be a serious move towards peace and equality, it is only to be expected that those German populations stranded outside of our borders, such as in Austria and Bohemia, be rescued from their separation. The Sudetenland, on the fringe of Bohemia contains over 2.5 million Germans, who are separated from their rightful country. Austria is a German state of 7 million and they too deserve to re-join their majority, under these new aims

    This ideal of unabashed fair-ness is something I hope fellow-delegates will reciprocate with. A lack of bias is the first step to preventing the atrocities we have seen, from ever occurring again.












    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Republic of Austria

    Topic: Territorial disputes

    The territory of the country is a very important issue when it comes to development and cooperation with other countries. Access to the sea as well as deposits of natural sources of stocks play a great role in progress of a country. Trade between countries may create a great opportunity to gain allies and friendships which would last for ages. But to have products to trade, a country needs a territory where factories can be built, mines can be dug and plants can be sowed. Without proper places there is no hope for development.

    Steps we took, were never led by having something wrong on our minds. As you would not trust us, we would like to officially announce that we, Austria, stop conquests of the countries and we would like to live in peace with the others. Since now, we are a neutral country. Because of that we would like to kindly ask for not being strict when it will come to a division of the lands.

    We would be very grateful if still we could have an access to the sea. It would let us develop trade between not only European countries, but also trade between continents. We would also like to ask for regions where we could effectively manage an area of land to give work for people who deal with agriculture. Our last, but not least request is to allow us to hold our homeland as it was in the 17th and 18th centuries. Our plan is to quickly raise money and repay it for all victims. We agree for taking east part of Austria and apportionment of these lands between countries as Triple Entente will decide.







    Committee: Canada

    Going to the war in 1914 was not a decision of The Canadian Parliament. Canada is included in British Empire and when Britain's ultimatum to Germany to withdraw its army from Belgium expired on 4 August 1914, the British Empire, including Canada, was at war. Most of Canadian soldiers were volunteers.

    Canada is just a Britain colony. It has helped in the war as much as it could. Canadian soldiers in CEF were a part of British Army. They were fighting in many battles for example battle of Somme. When Canadians entered the battle on 30 August, their experience helped toward limited gains, though at high cost. While most of Canadians served with the Canadian Corps or with a separate Canadian cavalry brigade on the Western Front, Canadians could be found almost everywhere in the Allied war effort. Young people were learning to become pilots in British flying service. It has been easier science 1917 science the Royal Flying Corps opened schools in Canada. By the end of the war most of pilots in the Royal Air Force were Canadians.

    As you can see Canada has helped Entente especially Great Britain a lot in the war. That is why Canadians do not want to be just a colony. They want to become independent country. Canadians has their own culture, their own history, their own habits. They want to create their own motherland. Canada has helped a lot and now it deserves to get the independency. The countries of Entente should recognize Canada and help it to create its nation.






    Position paper

    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Kingdom of Hejaz

    Topic: Territory Disputes

    The Ottoman Empire had ruled much of the Arab world since Sultan Yavuz Selim conquered the Mamluk Empire in the 1510s. Syria, Iraq, and Egypt had been core provinces of the Ottoman State for centuries, but Ottoman control also extended to distant Arab regions in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. Our Arab uprising against the Ottomans was supported by the British people, because they said it would significantly help their war efforts in the Middle East and help them connect the traffic with their colonies in the east.

    At this conference we would like to propose the unification of all lands on the Arabian Peninsula. That means that the state’s official language would be Arabian and there would be one ruler. The lands we would like to see in our one big country will be Syria, the plains of Mesopotamia, and of course Arabia. The only exception we would like to point out is the case of Palestine. Palestine shall be placed under such political, administrative and economic conditions that will secure the establishment there of the Jewish National Home. Since it has been under the European Mandates the religion that was forced on was Christianity. We would like to propose that within our lands we shall have a faith of our own, and that is Islam. Our demands are simple, independence over European states, unification of the lands on Arabian Peninsula, and religion of our own.





    Book : Margaret MacMillan – Paris six months that changed the world 1919



    Territorial Disputes



    During the last 30 years, the map of our world changed massively. For some of us positively, for many of us negatively.


    Many of us have once been independent and then been supressed by a greater power. Therefore our half-hegemonial state did not work properly. Many countries have been annexed by the German Empire, Austria-Hungary or the Ottoman Empire. Where do they get the right to decide when to supress us, when to attack us, or to rule us at all?


    After the most destructive war in human history, we have found a national self-determined melting pot of three nations. Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. We face an enormous task of unifying different traditions, cultures, legal and economic systems. And to top it all off, this has to be carried out simultaneously with the rebuilding of destroyed infrastructures and of societies deeply scarred by war wounds.


    But what we have to think about most in this hard time is, who did this to us? This whole war was planned and desired by Germany with the aim to break out their isolation. Austria-Hungary wanted this war just as much, and there we have the two aggressors who covered our countries with fear, blood and war. We have to punish these two countries and make sure they can never attack anyone of us the way they could before. The land they took from us, we need to take it back. The families they separated, we need to reunite them. But most importantly we have to get back what was ours.


    Therefore we suggest to take all land from Germany and Austria-Hungary, which they have annexed in the past 20 years, which they have no right to possess.

    We know this is a big decision to make and a hard one as well, but we need to do something. Things like this can never happen again.

    But we also need to be careful about taking all this land. If we insult these countries, they will be held safe for some time, but they will rise up again and then with even greater anger and they will exactly remember who did this to them.


    However, again we need to think about all the deaths, the seperated families, the dead men, women and children.

    We need to react.


    Thank you





    Country: The Japanese Empire

    Topic: Territorial Disputes, Position Paper

    Territorial disputes is believed by the Japanese Empire to most probably be one of the important things to discuss, among all the other issues. In the Treaty of Versailles, this topic is mostly talked about in terms of taking bits of land off German borders, and taking all of Germany’s colonies around the world.

    This is where The Japanese Empire would like to come in; we have had a minimal amount of land for the majority of the lands existence. We believe that all the colonies being taken away from the enemies that neighbour or are within the region of Japan, should be handed over to us, as we delegates and the wise Emperor believe that our war efforts, from when we stopped all the naval fleets and all armies from flanking the allies. In addition, planning to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the outskirts of Russia and Siberia, to assist your efforts, should not go unrewarded without those colonies.

    Even though the Japanese Empire did not join any pacts, or alliances, or sign any treaties with Europe, we still gave a massive amount of help to Europe joining the war, helping them with victories that could simply not have happened without our assistance. Japan believes, that if the Japanese Empire had not helped Europe in their time of stress against the German Empire, the chances of them losing would have been much bigger.

    Even though Japan knew, that in the end, the winner and loser would not affect us, there was still compassion and help in our minds, which came when you needed it, and Japan will not stand for this meeting, unless we receive the colonies in Korea and China, which we were not rightfully given in the outcome of the Versailles Treaty and know we should be.


    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The United Kingdom

    Topic: Territorial disputes


    Through the past 4 years, the world has suffered from a war like none other seen before. It has brought with it the deaths of many millions of people and caused old alliances and trading between European countries to be destroyed. Disagreements in the Middle East led to serious battles and consequences in Europe, drawing in countries that would suffer irretrievable battle scars from the war.

    The United Kingdom has also endured miseries in this war. Almost one million of our men died on the battlefield, while the double number returned home with significant injuries. Money, ships and much else has also been lost. Britain hopes that we in the future will see this war as the war that ended all wars. However, for this to take place, we need to adjust the world we live in today.

    Many European and Middle Eastern powers have been gaining strength over the years. Because of that, they have been able to start the greatest war ever seen to humanity. Their growing population and large territory have made them nearly invincible, but also dangerous. To guarantee the hindrance of a war such as the one the world has just faced, we must consequently take land from these threatening powers.

    The Great War began primarily in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Therefore, it seems only right that Austria-Hungary surrender part of their land to the Serbs.

    The two straits, Bosphorus and Dardanelles, in the Middle East area, are centrally placed and might possibly result in complications for many countries in the future if not supervised cautiously. In that sense, the United Kingdom suggests both straits be placed under the administration and care of the allied countries, as well as be demilitarized.

    The Ottoman Empire bears a great deal of fault for many of the lives lost during the war, and shall not be bypassed. The United Kingdom proposes that part of the country, Iraq and Palestine, go to Britain as a means of supervising the area and preserving control.

    Past German colonies in China, for instance Tsingtao, should be divided between China and Japan, although be in favor of China if imbalances develop.






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



    Position paper

    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Russia

    Topic: Territorial disputes


    World War I broke out in 1914 and lasted for 4 years until Germany was eventually left with no choice but to surrender on November 11th, 1918. Other than imperialism and militarism, another long-term cause of the First World War was territorial disputes. One of the most significant arguments was the one between France and Germany over Alsace-Lorraine. Furthermore, The Balkan Wars caused the rivalry between Serbia and Austria-Hungary which directly led to the outbreak of the war, since it resulted in the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Serbian terrorist organization Black Hand.

    After the Bolsheviks finally managed to take control over Russia we immediately left the war and signed an armistice with the Central Powers, which stated that Russia had to give Kars, Ardahan and Batum to Turkey, hand Poland and the Baltic States to Germany and Austria-Hungary and recognize the independence of Finland, Georgia and Ukraine. We had no choice but to sign the awfully harsh Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, as taking care of the unfavourable situation in Russia was the priority. As a consequence of this treaty we lost 55 million of our people, areas of extreme economic importance and exceptionally fertile land suitable for farming as well as territories rich with coal and iron.

    Noting that a vast majority of said terrain is inhabited by Russian citizens and rightfully belongs to Russia, the delegation of Russia insists that the new borders shall be drawn taking into account the existence of ethnic groups in certain areas, and asks that the status of independence shall be given specifically and exclusively to nations that have a separate ethnic identity. We demand that all territories lost in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the exception of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Finland shall still be considered Russian territory and thus handed back to Russia.








    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Republic of France

    Topic: Territorial disputes

    Another punishment that Germany will have to bear is its territorial division. We’re not trying to implement anything, we as a French nation want a fair punishment towards German nation, ensuring that they will not want a revenge. We would like to inform that the French people are traumatized and feel endangered because of a previous actions of Germany. We’ve discussed the terms off the issue that have met our standards.

    As stated before, French people feel endangered, due to the atrocities that Germany has done to us. How can we be sure that even if this treaty will be signed by formal Central Powers, our western neighbor won’t be planning war of revenge against us? The best way to ensure it and to maintain the peace will be if the lands of Alsace and Lorraine will be joined to French territory, until all reparation are paid. On top of all, if the German government will not be paying instalments on time, these lands will forever be a part of a French territory. Another recompensation would be the demilitarization of Rhineland as to making sure that the German government will not suddenly start a military preparation. The citizens of Rhineland will surely accept the fact of joining their lands to a French soil, mostly because of our economic structure. We have also discussed a fact of joining the territory of Saarland. This will be used as another recompensation for the war damage. Once again, if the Germany pays all of the war reparation, the lands shall be returned to their rightful owner, only if voted so during the plebiscite. Let the Germany know that we are not attempting to destroy them as they perceive it. We’re just doing our nation’s will.


    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.