HISTORICAL DIPLOMATIC PAPERS


During the recess at the Conference of Little Entente in Bled, August 24, 1938 - Archives of Serbia and Montenegro


PACT OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE LITTLE ENTENTE
Geneva, 16 February 1933

His Majesty The King of Yugoslavia,
His Majesty The King of Romania,
and
The President of the Czechoslovak Republic,

In a desire to maintain and organize peace,

Guided by the strong will to strengthen economic ties with all States without distinction, especially with Central European States,

In an endeavour to preserve peace in any circumstances, to enable the evolution towards a definitive stabilisation of conditions in Central Europe and to guarantee the respect for common interests of their three countries,

Resolved to provide, with this objective in mind, a natural and permanent basis for friendly relations of alliance which exist among the three States of the Little Entente, and

Convinced of the need to achieve this stability, by making completely equal their general policy, and by setting up an administrative organ of this common policy of the group of the three States of the Little Entente, forming in this way an advanced international unit, which may be acceded to by other States under conditions to be agreed upon in each particular case,

Decided to confirm the provisions below, and designated their Plenipotentiaries as follows:

His Majesty The King of Yugoslavia:
His Excellency Mr. Bogoljub D. JevtiŠ, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

His Majesty The King of Romania:
His Excellency Mr. Nicola Titulescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

The President of the Czechoslovak Republic:
His Excellency Mr. Eduard Benes, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Who, after submitting their Full Powers, agreed about the following provisions:

Article 1

A Permanent Council of the States of the Little Entente shall be set up as the administrative organ of the common policy of the group of the three States, composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three respective countries or of the special delegates appointed for that purpose. The decisions of the Permanent Council shall be brought unanimously.

Article 2

The Permanent Council, in addition to its regular relations maintained through the diplomatic channels, shall meet obligatorily at least three times annually. One of the obligatory annual meetings shall be held alternately in each of the three States, while the second shall be held in Geneva during the session of the League of Nations.

Article 3

The President of the Permanent Council shall be the minister of foreign affairs of the State in which the obligatory annual meeting is held. The initiative to set the date and venue of the meeting belongs to him. He shall also determine the agenda and prepare the decisions to be adopted by the meeting. Until the first obligatory meeting the following year the minister shall act as the President of the Permanent Council.

Article 4

In all the questions to be considered as well as in the decisions to be brought, regardless of whether they concern the mutual relations among the States of the Little Entente or their relations with third States, the principle of full equality of the three States of the Little Entente shall be strictly respected.

Article 5

The Permanent Council may decide, if the situation so requires, to entrust the representation or the defence of the positions of the States of the Little Entente in respect of a particular question to a single delegate or to the Delegation of a single State.

Article 6

The unanimous consent of the Council of the Little Entente shall be required in the future as well for any political treaty of each State of the Little Entente, for any unilateral act by which the present political situation of one of the States of the Little Entente is changed with regard to some third State, as well as for any economic agreement which entails major political consequences.

The existing political treaties of each State of the Little Entente with third States shall, gradually and as far as possible, be equalized.

Article 7

An Economic Council of the States of the Little Entente shall be set up with a view to the gradual coordination of economic interests of the three States, either among themselves or in their relations with third States. It shall consist of economic, trade and financial experts and specialists and shall function as an auxiliary advisory organ of the Permanent Council in the conduct of its general policy.

Article 8

The Permanent Council may set up other permanent or provisional organs, commissions or committees, for a particular question or for a series of identified questions, with a view to their study and preparation of their solutions for the presentation to the Permanent Council.

Article 9

A Secretariat of the Permanent Council shall be set up. Its seat for one year shall always be in the capital city of the President of the Permanent Council for that year. A Section of the Secretariat shall function permanently in the seat of the League of Nations in Geneva.

Article 10

The common policy of the Permanent Council shall be imbued with the general principles contained in all major international acts of the post-war policy, such as the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Paris Pact, the General Arbitration Act, possible conventions on disarmament and the Locarno Pact. The present Pact may not contain anything that would run counter to the principles and purposes of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Article 11

The Convention on the alliance between Romania and Czechoslovakia of 23 April 1921, between Romania and Yugoslavia of 7 June 1921, and between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia of 31 August 1922, which were renewed on 21 May 1929 and amended by the provisions of the present Pact, as well as by the General Act on Conciliation, Arbitration and Judicial Consideration signed by the three States of the Little Entente in Belgrade on 21 May 1929, are hereby renewed for an indefinite period of time.

Article 12

The present Pact shall be ratified and the exchange of the instruments of ratification shall be made in Prague during the first obligatory meeting at the latest. The Pact shall come into force on the date of the exchange of the instruments of ratification.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the afore-mentioned Plenipotentiaries have signed this Pact.

DONE in Geneva on 16 February 1933, in three identical copies.

L.S. (signed) B.D. JevtiŠ
L.S. (signed) N. Titulescu
L.S. (signed) E. Benes


Sources: Slu×bene novine (Official Gazette), 1933, No. 75-XXIV.
FMOFA Collection, 1933, p. 47.
Recueil des traites SDN, v. CXXXIX, p. 233.
Martens, NRG, 3-eme serie, v. XXVIII, p. 223.

Note: - The Pact was enacted on 29 March 1933 and the instruments of ratification were exchanged on 30 May 1933. At their session in Belgrade in December 1932, the three ministers decided to emphasise the need to strengthen the defence system of the Little Entente. The reasons for this were many: the general developments in the Danubian region, Italy's activities and influence in the region, the surge of revanchism and the change of the regime in Hungary with cooperation geared more to Rome and Berlin, as well as intensified demands for the revision of borders, the demands for a Danubian federation and the gaining of the right to armament by Germany. The coming of Hitler to power demanded that the organization be called the "new" Little Entente (Benes). Thay is why the Permanent Council of the Little Entente, at its session in Geneva, adopted this Pact in keeping with the spirit of the League of Nations and the past treaties which were renewed for an indefinite period of time. The ties and relations between the three States were being strengthened at the time and they could no longer conclude treaties without the mutual consent. The Governments of the States of the Little Entente issued an official statement in Geneva on 1 March 1933 to the effect that the new Pact did not contain any secret provisions of a military nature, as misrepresented by the propaganda of the "other side". They asked the Secretary General of the League of Nations to inform the other member cuntries of the League that there do not exist secret agreements, that reports about this (in the press) were incorrect and that their mutual obligations are in compliance with the treaties registered with the League of Nations.