Paris Treaties of 1947

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paris Treaties of (1947)


treaties signed in Paris on February 10 by the victors in World War II (1939–45) and the former allies of fascist Germany in Europe—Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, and Finland. In accordance with the decisions of the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the draft treaties were prepared at the first session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (London, September-October 1945); the conference of the foreign ministers of the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain (Moscow, December 1945); the conference of deputy foreign ministers (London, February-April 1946); and the second session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (Paris, April-July 1946). The draft treaties were discussed at the Paris Peace Conference of 1946. On Sept. 15, 1947, the treaties went into effect. Treaties were drawn up for each of the five former allies of fascist Germany in Europe. Each was signed by the states that had won the war against the former enemy named in the treaty.

The Treaties of Paris (1947) have the same structure. Each consists of a preamble; territorial, political, military, and economic provisions; and provisions on reparations and restitution. The concluding provisions deal with the implementation and interpretation of the treaty, its ratification, and the conditions for its going into effect. Each treaty has annexes clarifying various important questions raised by certain articles and elucidating special provisions relating to industrial, literary, and artistic property; contracts concluded before the war; and statutes of limitation. In addition, the treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania contain special provisions regarding the Danube, the status of which was finally settled at a conference in Belgrade (July-August 1948). With the exception of the treaty with Finland, which had not been occupied, all the Paris treaties of 1947 contain timetables for the withdrawal of allied troops.

Italy. The treaty of peace with Italy was signed by the USSR, Great Britain, the USA, China, France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, the Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Greece, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, the Ukrainian SSR, the Union of South Africa (since 1961, the Republic of South Africa), and Yugoslavia. The treaty changed the frontiers between Italy and Yugoslavia in favor of the latter, which gained the Istrian Peninsula and part of Julian Carniola, the city of Fiume (Rijeka), the commune of Zara (Zadar) with the surrounding islands, and the Pelagosa (Palagruža) Islands. Trieste was made a “free territory.” (Under an agreement signed by Italy and Yugoslavia on Oct. 5, 1954, Trieste and a zone with a population of about 290,000 were placed under Italian administration. A zone with a population of about 70,000 came under Yugoslav administration.) The Dodecanese Islands passed to Greece. The frontier between Italy and France was changed in favor of France at four points: the Little St. Bernard Pass; the Mont Cenis Plateau; Mont Thabor-Chaberton; and small areas in the upper valleys of the Tinée, Vésubie, and Roya rivers. Italy gave up Somalia, Eritrea, and Libya and recognized the independence and sovereignty of Albania and Ethiopia.

Under the treaty, Italy was obliged to grant fundamental freedoms to all its citizens (free speech and press, freedom of religion, freedom of political opinion, and freedom of expression). It was to ensure the arrest and surrender for trial of war criminals, as well as citizens of the Allied and Associated Powers who had collaborated with the enemy during the war.

Under the provisions on the armed forces, the Italian Navy was to be reduced to 25,000 personnel. Italy retained two battleships, four cruisers, four destroyers, 16 torpedo boats, and 20 corvettes. It was not allowed to have aircraft carriers, submarines, or motor torpedo boats. The Italian Army was reduced to 250,000 personnel. Moreover, Italy was not permitted to have more than 200 heavy and medium tanks. The air force was cut to 25,000 personnel and was limited to 200 fighter and reconnaissance aircraft and 150 transport and other aircraft. Italy promised not to manufacture or test any types of atomic weapons, self-propelled or guided missiles (except torpedoes), weapons with a range of more than 30 km, or sea mines or torpedoes of noncontact types actuated by influence mechanisms.

The treaty set the reparations to be paid by Italy to the Soviet Union ($100 million), Albania ($5 million), Ethiopia ($25 million), Greece ($105 million), and Yugoslavia ($125 million). The claims of the other countries were satisfied out of the Italian assets subject to their jurisdiction.

After the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1947), Italy joined NATO (1949). The strength and armament of the Italian Army greatly exceeded the figures stipulated in the treaty, and American missile bases were established on Italian territory. Many war criminals were not punished. Thus, several provisions of the treaty were violated by the Italian government. Moreover, the Italian government did not implement the provisions on the payment of reparations to the Soviet Union.

Finland. The peace treaty with Finland was signed by the USSR, Great Britain, Australia, the Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Czechoslovakia, India, New Zealand, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Union of South Africa. The treaty reestablished the Jan. 1, 1941, frontiers of Finland and reaffirmed the return to the Soviet Union of the Petsamo (Pečenga) region, which the Soviet government had ceded to Finland in the treaties of Oct. 14, 1920, and Mar. 12, 1940. In addition, the treaty approved Finland’s grant of a territory around Porkkala to the Soviet Union for a 50-year period, for the construction of a naval base. The Soviet Union was to pay 5 million markkaa per year for the use of this territory. (In 1955 the USSR renounced its rights to Porkkala, before the expiration of the lease.) The demilitarization of the Aland Islands was reaffirmed.

The treaty limited Finland’s armed forces and armaments. The army was reduced to 34,400 personnel, and the navy to 4,500. The total tonnage of the navy was limited to 10,000 tons. The air force was to have 60 airplanes and 3,000 personnel. Finland promised to pay US $300 million in compensation for damages to the Soviet Union and to return the valuables removed from Soviet territory.

Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. The treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania were signed by the USSR, Great Britain, the USA, Australia, the Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, India, New Zealand, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Union of South Africa. In addition, the treaties with Rumania and Hungary were signed by Canada; the treaty with Bulgaria, by Greece; and the treaties with Bulgaria and Hungary, by Yugoslavia. The treaties reestablished the Jan. 1, 1941, frontiers of Bulgaria and the Jan. 1, 1938, frontiers of Hungary with Austria, Yugoslavia, and Rumania. (The decisions of the Vienna Arbitrations of 1938 and 1940 were declared null and void.) The frontier between Hungary and Czechoslovakia was slightly changed in Czechoslovakia’s favor in the area around Bratislava. The Jan. 1, 1941, frontiers of Rumania were restored, with the exception of the frontier with Hungary, which was restored to its Jan. 1, 1938, status, which had been changed by the Vienna Arbitration of 1940.

The political provisions of the treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania were essentially identical to those of the treaty with Italy. For example, fascist organizations were to be disbanded, and democratic freedoms restored. The military provisions of the treaties regulated the composition of the armed forces of the three states. The reparations to be paid by them were established. Bulgaria promised to pay reparations to Yugoslavia and Greece; Hungary, to the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia; and Rumania, to the Soviet Union. The treaties recognized that the countries that had been victims of aggression were entitled to the restitution of property that had been removed from their territory. The Soviet Union’s right to all German assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania was also recognized. (Hoping to promote the economic development of these countries, the Soviet Union later renounced its right to a considerable part of the compensation for the damages it had suffered.)

The Treaties of Paris (1947), which had been prepared with the participation of the Soviet Union, preserved the independence of the liberated states. They promoted the free development of the states of Central and Southeastern Europe, where the peoples carried out socialist revolutions, seized power, and embarked on socialist construction.


Mirnyi dogovor s Bolgariei. [Moscow] 1947.
Mirnyi dogovor s Vengriei. [Moscow] 1947.
Mirnyi dogovor s Italiei. [Moscow] 1947.
Mirnyi dogovor s Rumyniei. [Moscow] 1947.
Mirnyi dogovor s Finliandiei. [Moscow] 1947.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.