„The annual payment [of German reparations] will very likely spread over some thirty years at least. It would therefore be fair and logical for the military occupation of the left bank of the Rhine and the bridgeheads to last for the same length of time…There is, moreover, something quite unusual in the idea of renouncing a security before the amount secured has been completely paid…After the war of 1870, the Germans occupied various French provinces until they received the last centime of the indemnity imposed on France…It is argued that even when the occupation ceased, it could be resumed in the event of non-payment. This option to renew occupation may look tempting to-day on paper. But its bristling with drawbacks and risk. Let us imagine ourselves sixteen or seventeen years ahead. Germany has paid regularly for fifteen years. We have evacuated the whole left bank of the Rhine. We have returned to our side of the political frontiers which afford no military security. Imagine Germany again prey to Imperialism or imagine that she simply breaks faith. She suspends payment and we are obliged to reoccupy. We give the necessary orders, but who will vouch for our being able to carry them out without difficulty?“
— Raymond Poincaré
Memorandum to Clemenceau (28 April 1919), quoted in David Lloyd George, The Truth about the Peace Treaties. Volume I (London: Victor Gollancz, 1938), p. 428.