Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Treaty of Versailles



Versailles, Treaty of, 1919. This was the treaty between Germany and the victorious Allied nations (including Canada ) which brought the World War to a formal close. It was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles on June 28, 1919. The terms of the treaty affected Canada in a direct way only slightly. Canada obtained a small share of the indemnities to be paid by Germany ; but otherwise she asked for, and obtained, no direct benefits from the treaty in land or money. She did benefit from it, however, in the enhancement of her national status. In the Peace Conference in Paris, Sir Robert Borden insisted that Canada should have the same representation as Belgium and other small countries at the Conference; and in the end Canada was given, with the other overseas Dominions, representation on the British Empire delegation to the Conference. She was given two seats in the Conference, and these were occupied alternately by Sir Robert Borden, Sir George Foster, the Hon. A. L. Sifton, and the Hon. C. J. Doherty. When the Treaty of Versailles came to be signed, Borden insisted that it should be signed separately on behalf of Canada. Opposition to this proposal arose in the United States delegation, which maintained that if Canada and the other British Dominions signed separately, the British Empire would have six votes in the proposed League of Nations, whereas the United States would have only one. Eventually, the problem was resolved by having the British Empire delegation sign for Great Britain, and the representatives of the British Dominions sign underneath, the names of their respective countries being indented under that of the British Empire. Canada thus, as a result of the treaty, obtained separate representation in the Assembly of the League of Nations, and even obtained the recognition of her right to have her representative elected to the Council of the League, with the result that the representative of Canada was actually elected to the Council of the League in 1927.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. VI, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 398p., pp. 236-237.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College