It is a striking fact that none of the major Belgian claims at the Paris Peace Conference were settled with any degree of permanence. Virtually all of them returned to complicate European diplomacy throughout the next decade. When the senior dignitaries disbanded at the end of June in 1919, it was evident that key Belgian issues such as revision of the 1839 treaties, the Luxemburg question, and the problem of Belgian security remained to be resolved. Other claims, notably in regard to reparations and Eupen-Malmédy, appeared to be settled. Yet because Belgium was so much weaker than her great-power neighbors, even the "permanent" solutions lacked permanence.
Among the items of unfinished business, the two questions of Luxemburg and Belgian security quickly merged, mainly because France insisted that a Franco-Belgian military accord was its price for a Belgian solution to the Luxemburg problem. As the Belgians equally insisted that the status of Luxemburg must be resolved before a military accord could be discussed, the conjunction between the two issues became absolute. In the contest of wills that ensued, the Belgians held firm despite their lack of military security. Their determination arose from Hymans's doggedness, concern over the Luxemburg railways, and deep reluctance to enter a bilateral military arrangement without the counterbalancing protection of Britain. Belgian leaders considered a British tie necessary not only to protect the kingdom against French domination but also to placate the large Flemish population whose traditional hostility to France remained unabated. All overtures to Britain were unavailing, however, and ultimately Belgium accepted the military agreement in return for unfulfilled French promises concerning the Luxemburg railways.
Early in January 1920, when the Versailles treaty was entering into force and the idea of an interim Anglo-French guarantee had just been abandoned, France renewed its long-standing request for immediate