Reservations to the Treaty of Peace with Germany

Republican Senators

November 1919

1. The United States so understands and construes Article I that in case of notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations, as provided in said Article, the United States shall be the sole judge as to whether all its international obligations and all its obligations under the aid Covenant have been fulfilled, and notice of withdrawal by the United States may be given by a concurrent resolution of the Congress of the United States.

2. The United States assumes no obligation to preserve the territorial integrity or political independence of any other country or to interfere in controversies between nations-whether members of the League or not-under the provisions of Article 10, or to employ the military or naval forces of the United States under any article of the Treaty for any purpose, unless in any particular case the Congress, which, under the Constitution, has the sole power to declare war or authorise the employment of the military or naval forces of the United States, shall by act or joint resolution so provide.

3. No mandate shall be accepted by the United States under Article 22 Part 1, or any other provision of the Treaty of Peace with Germany, except by action of the Congress of the United States.

4. The United States reserves to itself exclusively the right to decide what questions are within its domestic jurisdiction, and declares that all domestic and political questions relating wholly or in part to its internal affairs, including immigration, labour, coast-wise traffic, the tariff, commerce, the suppression of traffic of women and children and in opium and other dangerous drugs, and all other domestic questions are solely within the jurisdiction of the United States and are not under this Treaty to be submitted in any way either to arbitration or to the consideration of the Council or of the Assembly of the League of Nations or any agency thereof, or to the decision or recommendation of any other Power.

5. The United States will not submit to arbitration or to inquiry by the Assembly or by the Council of the League of Nations provided for in said Treaty of Peace any questions which in the judgement of the United States depend upon or relate to its long established policy commonly known as the Monroe doctrine; said doctrine to be interpreted by the United States alone, and is hereby declared to be wholly outside the jurisdiction of said League of Nations and entirely unaffected by any provision contained in the said Treaty of Peace with Germany….

7. The Congress of the United States will provide by law for the appointment of the representatives of the United States in the Assembly and the Council of the League of Nations.

8. … and until such participation and appointment have been so provided for and the powers and duties of such representatives so defined, no person shall represent the United States under either said League of Nations or the Treaty of Peace with Germany or be authorised to perform any act for or on behalf of the United States thereunder….

9. The United States shall not be obligated to contribute to any expenses of the League of Nations, or of the secretariat or of any commission, or committee, or conference, or other agency, organised under the League of Nations or under the Treaty, or for the purpose of carrying out the Treaty provisions, unless and until an appropriation of funds available for such expenses shall have been made by the Congress of the United States.

10. If the United States shall at any time adopt any plan for the limitation of armaments proposed by the Council of the League of Nations under the provisions of Article 8, it reserves the right to increase such armaments without the consent of the Council whenever the United States ’ is threatened with invasion or engaged in war.

11. The United States reserves the right to permit, in its discretion, the nationals of a Covenant-breaking State, as defined in Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, residing within the United States or in countries other than that violating said Article 16, to continue their commercial, financial, and personal relations with the nationals of the United States. . . .

12. The United States withholds its assent to Part XIII (Articles 387-427 inclusive) [ILO provisions] unless Congress by act or joint resolution shall hereafter make provision for representation in the Organisation established by said Part XIII, and in such event participation of the United States will be governed by and conditional on the provisions of such act or joint resolution.

13. The United States assumes no obligation to be bound by any election, decision, report, or finding of the Council or Assembly in which any member of the League and its self-governing dominions, colonies, or parts of the Empire in the aggregate have cast more than one vote, and assumes no obligation to be bound by any decision, report or finding of the Council or Assembly arising out of any dispute between the United States and any member of the League if such member or any self-governing dominion, colony, empire, or part of empire united with it politically has voted.

TeachingAmericanHistory.org is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)

info@TeachingAmericanHistory.org