Peace Treaty of Versailles (Articles 248 - 263: Financial Clauses) (28 June 1919)
Subject to such exceptions as the Reparation Commission may
approve, a first charge upon all the assets and revenues of the
German Empire and its constituent States shall be the cost of
reparation and all other costs arising under the present Treaty or
any treaties or agreements supplementary thereto or under
arrangements concluded between Germany and the Allied and
Associated Powers during the Armistice or its extensions.
Up to May 1, 1921, the German Government shall not export or
dispose of, and shall forbid the export or disposal of, gold
without the previous approval of the Allied and Associated Powers
acting through the Reparation Commission.
There shall be paid by the German Government the total cost of all
armies of the Allied and Associated Governments in occupied German
territory from the date of the signature of the Armistice of
November 11, 1918, including the keep of men and beasts, lodging
and billeting, pay and allowances, salaries and wages, bedding,
heating, lighting, clothing, equipment, harness and saddlery,
armament and rolling-stock, air services, treatment of sick and
wounded, veterinary and remount services, transport service of all
sorts (such as by rail, sea or river, motor lorries),
communications and correspondence, and in general the cost of all
administrative or technical services the working of which is
necessary for the training of troops and for keeping their numbers
up to strength and preserving their military efficiency.
The cost of such liabilities under the above heads so far as they
relate to purchases or requisitions by the Allied and Associated
Governments in the occupied territories shall be paid by the German
Government to the Allied and Associated Governments in marks at the
current or agreed rate of exchange. All other of the above costs
shall be paid in gold marks.
Germany confirms the surrender of all material handed over to the
Allied and Associated Powers in accordance with the Armistice of
November 11, 1918, and subsequent Armistice Agreements, and
recognises the title of the Allied and Associated Powers to such
There shall be credited to the German Government, against the sums
due from it to the Allied and Associated Powers for reparation, the
value, as assessed by the Reparation Commission, referred to in
Article 233 of Part VIII (Reparation) of the present Treaty, of the
material handed over in accordance with Article VII of the
Armistice of November 11, 1918, or Article III of the Armistice
Agreement of January l6, 1919, as well as of any other material
handed over in accordance with the Armistice of November 11, 1918,
and of subsequent Armistice Agreements, for which, as having non-
military value, credit should in the judgment of the Reparation
Commission be allowed to the German Government.
Property belonging to the Allied and Associated Governments or
their nationals restored or surrendered under the Armistice
Agreements in specie shall not be credited to the German
The priority of the charges established by Article 248 shall,
subject to the qualifications made below, be as follows:
(a) The cost of the armies of occupation as defined under Article
249 during the Armistice and its extensions;
(b) The cost of any armies of occupation as defined under Article
249 after the coming into force of the present Treaty;
(c) The cost of reparation arising out of the present Treaty or any
treaties or conventions supplementary thereto;
(d) The cost of all other obligations incumbent on Germany under
the Armistice Conventions or under this Treaty or any treaties or
conventions supplementary thereto.
The payment for such supplies of food and raw material for Germany
and such other payments as may be judged by the Allied and
Associated Powers to be essential to enable Germany to meet her
obligations in respect of reparation will have priority to the
extent and upon the conditions which have been or may be determined
by the Governments of the said Powers.
The right of each of the Allied and Associated Powers to dispose of
enemy assets and property within its jurisdiction at the date of
the coming into force of the present Treaty is not affected by the
Nothing in the foregoing provisions shall prejudice in any manner
charges or mortgages lawfully effected in favour of the Allied or
Associated Powers or their nationals respectively, before the date
at which a state of war existed between Germany and the Allied or
Associated Power concerned, by the German Empire or its constituent
States, or by German nationals, on assets in their ownership at
The Powers to which German territory is ceded shall, subject to the
qualifications made in Article 255, undertake to pay:
(1) A portion of the debt of the German Empire as it stood on
August 1, 1914, calculated on the basis of the ratio between the
average for the three financial years 1911, 1912, 1913, of such
revenues of the ceded territory, and the average for the same years
of such revenues of the whole German Empire as in the judgment of
the Reparation Commission are best calculated to represent the
relative ability of the respective territories to make payment;
A portion of the debt as it stood on August 1, 1914, of the German
State to which the ceded territory belonged, to be determined in
accordance with the principle stated above.
Such portions shall be determined by the Reparation Commission.
The method of discharging the obligation, both in respect of
capital and of interest, so assumed shall be fixed by the
Reparation Commission. Such method may take the form, inter alia,
of the assumption by the Power to which the territory is ceded of
Germany's liability for the German debt held by her nationals. But
in the event of the method adopted involving any payments to the
German Government, such payments shall be transferred to the
Reparation Commission on account of the sums due for reparation so
long as any balance in respect of such sums remains unpaid.
(1) As an exception to the above provision and inasmuch as in 1871
Germany refused to undertake any portion of the burden of the
French debt, France shall be, in respect of Alsace-Lorraine, exempt
from any payment under Article 254.
(2) In the case of Poland that portion of the debt which, in the
opinion of the Reparation Commission, is attributable to the
measures taken by the German and Prussian Governments for the
German colonisation of Poland shall be excluded from the
apportionment to be made under Article 254.
(3) In the case of all ceded territories other than Alsace-
Lorraine, that portion of the debt of the German Empire or German
States which, in the opinion of the Reparation Commission,
represents expenditure by the Governments of the German Empire or
States upon the Government properties referred to in Article 256
shall be excluded from the apportionment to be made under Article
Powers to which German territory is ceded shall acquire all
property and possessions situated therein belonging to the German
Empire or to the German States, and the value of such acquisitions
shall be fixed by the Reparation Commission, and paid by the State
acquiring the territory to the Reparation Commission for the credit
of the German Government on account of the sums due for reparation.
For the purposes of this Article the property and possessions of
the German Empire and States shall be deemed to include all the
property of the Crown, the Empire or the States, and the private
property of the former German Emperor and other Royal personages.
In view of the terms on which Alsace-Lorraine was ceded to Germany
in 1871, France shall be exempt in respect thereof from making any
payment or credit under this Article for any property or
possessions of the German Empire or States situated therein.
Belgium also shall be exempt from making any payment or any credit
under this Article for any property or possessions of the German
Empire or States situated in German territory ceded to Belgium
under the present Treaty.
In the case of the former German territories, including colonies,
protectorates or dependencies, administered by a Mandatory under
Article 22 of Part I (League of Nations) of the present Treaty,
neither the territory nor the Mandatory Power shall be charged with
any portion of the debt of the German Empire or States.
All property and possessions belonging to the German Empire or to
the German States situated in such territories shall be transferred
with the territories to the Mandatory Power in its capacity as such
and no payment shall be made nor any credit given to those
Governments in consideration of this transfer.
For the purposes of this Article the property and possessions of
the German Empire and of the German States shall be deemed to
include all the property of the Crown, the Empire or the States and
the private property of the former German Emperor and other Royal
Germany renounces all rights accorded to her or her nationals by
treaties, conventions or agreements, of whatsoever kind, to
representation upon or participation in the control or
administration of commissions, state banks, agencies or other
financial or economic organisations of an international character,
exercising powers of control or administration, and operating in
any of the Allied or Associated States, or in Austria, Hungary,
Bulgaria or Turkey, or in the dependencies of these States, or in
the former Russian Empire.
(1) Germany agrees to deliver within one month from the date of the
coming into force of the present Treaty, to such authority as the
Principal Allied and Associated Powers may designate, the sum in
gold which was to be deposited in the Reichsbank in the name of the
Council of the Administration of the Ottoman Public Debt as
security for the first issue of Turkish Government currency notes.
(2) Germany recognises her obligation to make annually for the
period of twelve years the payments in gold for which provision is
made in the German Treasury Bonds deposited by her from time to
time in the name of the Council of the Administration of the
Ottoman Public Debt as security for the second and subsequent
issues of Turkish Government currency notes.
(3) Germany undertakes to deliver, within one month from the coming
into force of the present Treaty, to such authority as the
Principal Allied and Associated Powers may designate, the gold
deposit constituted in the Reichsbank or elsewhere, representing
the residue of the advance in gold agreed to on May 5, 1915, by the
Council of the Administration of the Ottoman Public Debt to the
Imperial Ottoman Government.
(4) Germany agrees to transfer to the Principal Allied and
Associated Powers any title that she may have to the sum in gold
and silver transmitted by her to the Turkish Ministry of Finance in
November, 1918, in anticipation of the payment to be made in May,
1919, for the service of the Turkish Internal Loan.
(5) Germany undertakes to transfer to the Principal Allied and
Associated Powers, within a period of one month from the coming
into force of the present Treaty, any sums in gold transferred as
pledge or as collateral security to the German Government or its
nationals in connection with loans made by them to the Austro-
(6) Without prejudice to Article 292 of Part X (Economic Clauses)
of the present Treaty, Germany confirms the renunciation provided
for in Article XV of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, of any
benefit disclosed by the Treaties of Bucharest and of Brest-Litovsk
and by the treaties supplementary thereto.
Germany undertakes to transfer, either to Roumania or to the
Principal Allied and Associated Powers as the case may be, all
monetary instruments, specie, securities and negotiable
instruments, or goods, which she has received under the aforesaid
(7) The sums of money and all securities, instruments and goods of
whatsoever nature, to be delivered, paid and transferred under the
provisions of this Article, shall be disposed of by the Principal
Allied and Associated Powers in a manner hereafter to be determined
by those Powers.
Without prejudice to the renunciation of any rights by Germany on
behalf of herself or of her nationals in the other provisions of
the present Treaty, the Reparation Commission may within one year
from the coming into force of the present Treaty demand that the
German Government become possessed of any rights and interests of
German nationals in any public utility undertaking or in any
concession operating in Russia, China, Turkey, Austria, Hungary and
Bulgaria, or in the possessions or dependencies of these States or
in any territory formerly belonging to Germany or her allies, to be
ceded by Germany or her allies to any Power or to be administered
by a Mandatory under the present Treaty, and may require that the
German Government transfer, within six months of the date of
demand, all such rights and interests and any similar rights and
interests the German Government may itself possess to the
Germany shall be responsible for indemnifying her nationals so
dispossessed, and the Reparation Commission shall credit Germany,
on account of sums due for reparation, with such sums in respect of
the value of the transferred rights and interests as may be
assessed by the Reparation Commission, and the German Government
shall, within six months from the coming into force of the present
Treaty, communicate to the Reparation Commission all such rights
and interests, whether already granted, contingent or not yet
exercised, and shall renounce on behalf of itself and its nationals
in favour of the Allied and Associated Powers all such rights and
interests which have not been so communicated.
Germany undertakes to transfer to the Allied and Associated Powers
any claims she may have to payment or repayment by the Governments
of Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria or Turkey, and, in particular, any
claims which may arise, now or hereafter, from the fulfilment of
undertakings made by Germany during the war to those Governments.
Any monetary obligation due by Germany arising out of the present
Treaty and expressed in terms of gold marks shall be payable at the
option of the creditors in pounds sterling payable in London; gold
dollars of the United States of America payable in New York; gold
francs payable in Paris; or gold lire payable in Rome.
For the purpose of this Article the gold coins mentioned above
shall be defined as being of the weight and fineness of gold as
enacted by law on January 1, 1914.
Germany gives a guarantee to the Brazilian Government that all sums
representing the sale of coffee belonging to the State of Sao Paolo
in the ports of Hamburg, Bremen, Antwerp and Trieste, which were
deposited with the Bank of Bleichroder at Berlin, shall be
reimbursed together with interest at the rate or rates agreed upon.
Germany having prevented the transfer of the sums in question to
the State of Sao Paolo at the proper time, guarantees also that the
reimbursement shall be effected at the rate of exchange of the day
of the deposit.