1. Treaty of mutual guaranty between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Italy, done at Locarno, October 16, 19251
Done at Locarno, October 16, 1925; in force in accordance with article 10 September 14, 1926; the German Government notified signatory states that it regarded the treaty as no longer binding and introduced troops into the demilitarized zone, March 7, 1936; violation by Germany found by resolution of Council of League of Nations, March 19, 1936, and notified to signatories; negotiations for a fresh and wider understanding failed; France and the United Kingdom by exchange of notes with Belgium inter alia released Belgium from obligations toward them April 24, 1937; Germany by exchange of notes with Belgium affirmed Belgium’s inviolability and integrity, October 13, 1937; Germany invaded Belgium and France, May 10, 1940.
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The President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy;
Anxious to satisfy the desire for security and protection which animates the peoples upon whom fell the scourge of the war of 1914–18;
Taking note of the abrogation of the treaties for the neutralisation of Belgium, and conscious of the necessity of ensuring peace in the area which has so frequently been the scene of European conflicts;
Animated also with the sincere desire of giving to all the signatory Powers concerned supplementary guarantees within the framework of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the treaties in force between them;[Page 842]
Have determined to conclude a treaty with these objects, and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:
The President of the German Empire:
- Dr. Hans Luther, Chancellor of the Empire;
- Dr. Gustav Stresemann, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
His Majesty the King of the Belgians:
- M. Emile Vandervelde, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
The President of the French Republic:
- M. Aristide Briand, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs;
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India:
- The Right Honourable Stanley Baldwin, M.P., First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister;
- The Right Honourable Joseph Austen Chamberlain, M.P., Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;
His Majesty the King of Italy:
- The Honourable Vittorio Scialoja, Senator of the Kingdom;
Who, having communicated their full powers, found in good and due form have agreed as follows:
Article 1. The High Contracting Parties collectively and severally guarantee, in the manner provided in the following Articles, the maintenance of the territorial status quo resulting from the frontiers between Germany and Belgium and between Germany and France, and the inviolability of the said frontiers as fixed by or in pursuance of the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, and also the observance of the stipulations of Articles 42 and 43 of the said Treaty concerning the demilitarised zone.
Article 2. Germany and Belgium, and also Germany and France, mutually undertake that they will in no case attack or invade each other or resort to war against each other.
This stipulation shall not, however, apply in the case of:
- The exercise of the right of legitimate defence, that is to say, resistance to a violation of the undertaking contained in the previous paragraph or to a flagrant breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the said Treaty of Versailles, if such breach constitutes an unprovoked act of aggression and by reason of the assembly of armed forces in the demilitarised zone, immediate action is necessary;
- Action in pursuance of Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations;
- Action as the result of a decision taken by the Assembly or by the Council of the League of Nations or in pursuance of Article 15, paragraph 7, of the Covenant of the League of Nations, provided that in this last event the action is directed against a State which was the first to attack.
Article 3. In view of the undertakings entered into in Article 2 of the present Treaty, Germany and Belgium, and Germany and France, undertake to settle by peaceful means and in the manner laid down herein all questions of every kind which may arise between them and which it may not be possible to settle by the normal methods of diplomacy:
Any question with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights shall be submitted to judicial decision, and the Parties undertake to comply with such decision.
All other questions shall be submitted to a conciliation commission. If the proposals of this commission are not accepted by the two Parties, the question shall be brought before the Council of the League of Nations, which will deal with it in accordance with Article 15 of the Covenant of the League.
The detailed arrangements for effecting such peaceful settlement are the subject of special Agreements signed this day.
Article 4. (1) If one of the High Contracting Parties alleges that a violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or a breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles has been or is being committed, it shall bring the question at once before the Council of the League of Nations.
(2) As soon as the Council of the League of Nations is satisfied that such violation or breach has been committed, it will notify its finding without delay to the Powers signatory of the present Treaty, who severally agree that in such case they will each of them come immediately to the assistance of the Power against whom the act complained of is directed.
(3) In case of a flagrant violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or of a flagrant breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles by one of the High Contracting Parties, each of the other Contracting Parties hereby undertakes immediately to come to the help of the Party against whom such a violation or breach has been directed as soon as the said Power has been able to satisfy itself that this violation constitutes an unprovoked act of aggression and that by reason either of the crossing of the frontier or of the outbreak of hostilities or of the assembly of armed forces in the demilitarised zone immediate action is necessary. Nevertheless, the Council of [Page 844] the League of Nations, which will be seized of the question in accordance with the first paragraph of this Article, will issue its findings, and the High Contracting Parties undertake to act in accordance with the recommendations of the Council, provided that they are concurred in by all the Members other than the representatives of the Parties which have engaged in hostilities.
Article 5. The provisions of Article 3 of the present Treaty are placed under the guarantee of the High Contracting Parties as provided by the following stipulations:
If one of the Powers referred to in Article 3 refuses to submit a dispute to peaceful settlement or to comply with an arbitral or judicial decision and commits a violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or a breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, the provisions of Article 4 of the present Treaty shall apply.
Where one of the Powers referred to in Article 3, without committing a violation of Article 2 of the present Treaty or a breach of Articles 42 or 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, refuses to submit a dispute to peaceful settlement or to comply with an arbitral or judicial decision, the other Party shall bring the matter before the Council of the League of Nations, and the Council shall propose what steps shall be taken; the High Contracting Parties shall comply with these proposals.
Article 6. The provisions of the present Treaty do not affect the rights and obligations of the High Contracting Parties under the Treaty of Versailles or under arrangements supplementary thereto, including the Agreements signed in London on August 30, 1924.1
Article 7. The present Treaty, which is designed to ensure the maintenance of peace, and is in conformity with the Covenant of the League of Nations, shall not be interpreted as restricting the duty of the League to take whatever action may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of the world.
Article 8. The present Treaty shall be registered at the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League. It shall remain in force until the Council, acting on a request of one or other of the High Contracting Parties notified to the other signatory Powers three months in advance, and voting at least by a two-thirds’ majority, decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the High Contracting Parties; the Treaty shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of one year from such decision.[Page 845]
Article 9. The present Treaty shall impose no obligation upon any of the British dominions, or upon India, unless the Government of such dominion, or of India, signifies its acceptance thereof.
Article 10. The present Treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be deposited at Geneva in the archives of the League of Nations as soon as possible.
It shall enter into force as soon as all the ratifications have been deposited and Germany has become a Member of the League of Nations.
The present Treaty, done in a single copy, will be deposited in the archives of the League of Nations, and the Secretary-General will be requested to transmit certified copies to each of the High Contracting Parties.
In faith whereof the above-mentioned Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty.
Done at Locarno, October 16, 1925.
- (l.s.) Hans Luther.
- (l.s.) Gustav Stresemann.
- (l.s.) Emile Vandervelde.
- (l.s.) Aristide Briand.
- (l.s.) Stanley Baldwin.
- (l.s.) Austen Chamberlain.
- (l.s.) Vittorio Scialoja.