The Luxemburg Question at the Paris Peace Conference and after.

The Luxemburg Question At The Paris Peace Conference And After: Historians have closely studied most aspects of the west European settlement in 1919 but have overlooked one piece of the puzzle. The question of Luxemburg was closely related to those of the Rhineland and the Saar Basin, as the diplomats were well aware, but was dealt with quite separately and thus it has escaped historical attention. The British and American delegations fully supported the Belgian desire for an economic union with Luxemburg and consistently opposed French policy and propaganda in the Grand Duchy. The British in particular had a unique opportunity to make the essential British support of French claims to the Saar Basin conditional upon a Belgian solution of the Luxemburg problem, thereby assuring full Belgian indépendance and gaining Belgian gratitude. The Foreign Office urged this policy but failed, thanks to poor coordination in the British delegation, Lloyd George's dislike of Belgium and disinclination to read memoranda, and the probable refusal of his secretary to submit key papers to him. Thus, the question of Luxemburg was not settled at the Paris peace conference and, after further British rebuffs in a variety of areas, Belgium reluctantly supported the French occupation of Frankfurt in 1920 and signed a limited military accord with France in order to gain the desired customs union with Luxemburg. These decisions, which constituted the first Belgian move toward the French orbit and the Ruhr occupation of 1923, were a direct consequence of the British inaction at Paris in 1919.