No. 268.
Mr. Roustan to Mr. Bayard .

[Translation.]

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor herewith to transmit to you a copy of a dispatch, with in closures, which has just been addressed to me by my Government in relation to the convention for the protection, of submarine cables.

I should be very grateful to you if you could enable me, at no distant date, to reply to the inquiry of the minister of foreign affairs.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

Th. Roustan.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Flourens to Mr. Roustan .

[Translation.]

Sir: By a circular bearing date of January 14, I requested you to transmit to the Government to which you are accredited the reports of the sessions which the delegates of the signatory powers of the convention of March 14, 1884, for the protection of submarine cables, held at Paris from the 1st to the 8th of December last, with a view to having that international instrument put into execution.

[Page 365]

As I stated at that time, it appeared from those reports that the delegates had adjourned their labors until July 1, 1887, and that the date at which the convention in question was to be put into execution was then to be finally determined.

Referring to that communication, and to the statements made by the presiding officer of the conference during the session of November 1, I will thank you to inform the minister of foreign affairs of the United States that the German Government has just signed the declaration which serves to explain Articles 2 and 4 of the convention of March 14, 1884. The signatures of the representatives of the twenty-five powers that ratified the convention have thus been affixed to this declaration.

The time has consequently now arrived for the various Governments to agree, in accordance with the provisions of Article 16, as to the final appointment of a day on which the convention of March 14, 1884, is to become operative. It is proposed that an agreement on this subject be adopted at the projected meeting, which is to take place on the 1st of July next, and that two other points be likewise settled there, viz:

(1)
The determination (the case arising) as to what is to be the situation of such of the signatory powers of the convention as may not yet have adopted the measures provided for by Article 12 of that diplomatic instrument.
(2)
The determination how the various contracting states are to ascertain that those powers that have not signed the convention, and that avail themselves of the privilege of accession, have taken, as regards themselves, the measures stipulated for in the convention in order to secure its observance.

With a view to practically facilitating an understanding on these different points, inasmuch as the attainment of such understanding is hampered by the number of the contracting parties, it would be well for the delegate of the United States at the conference which is to be held in July next to be invested with the character of a plenipotentiary, and furnished with the necessary power or authority:

1.
To accept, not in his own individual name but in that of his Government, as regards the taking effect of the convention, the date that shall be approved by the different Governments, which, if we may judge from the views exchanged during the last conference, will probably be the 1st of October next.
2.
To determine, as regards their co-signers, the situation of those contracting powers that may not be able to put the convention into execution at the time fixed upon.
3.
Finally, to decide upon the method to be adopted in order to ascertain whether such states as desire to accede to the convention have laws that permit them to guaranty the enforcement of its stipulations.

In the opinion of the Government of the Republic, the agreement reached on these different points should be placed on record in a final protocol (protocole de clĂ´ture), which might be drawn up in the form of either of the accompanying drafts, the first of which has been prepared on the more probable hypothesis, viz, that all the signatory states will be able to show that article 12 of the convention has been put into execution; and the second in case that one of those states may be unable fully to execute the stipulations of the convention of March 14, 1884.

The signing and putting into execution of the provisions of this draft of a final protocol do not seem likely to require any new constitutional formalities in the different contracting countries.

The convention, before the exchange of the ratifications was submitted to the legislative bodies in those states in which their sanction was necessary, and as article 15 of the convention stipulated that it should be put into execution on the day on which the high contracting parties should agree, the directing powers have been authorized to decide among themselves upon the measures designed to secure the execution of this international instrument.

I will thank you, sir, to transmit a copy of this dispatch to the Government to which you are accredited, requesting it to be pleased to inform you, with as little delay as possible, before the meeting of the delegates, whether, as we hope, the inclosed draft of a final protocol of the conference for putting into execution the convention of March 14, 1884, calls for no observation in principle on its part.

You will be pleased at the same time to represent to the Washington Cabinet, which has not yet adopted the measures provided for in the twelfth article of the convention, how important it is that these measures should be definitively decided upon by the competent authorities before the 1st of July next, so that the conference may be informed thereof at its first meeting.

Accept, etc.,

Flourens.
[Inclosure 2.]

Draft of a final protocol.

The undersigned, plenipotentiaries of the signatory Governments of the convention of March 14, 1884, for the protection of submarine cables, having met in conference at Paris, for the purpose of deciding, in pursuance of Article 16 of that international [Page 366] instrument, upon a day for putting the said convention into execution, bare agreed upon the following:

I.
The convention of March 14, 1884, for the protection of submarine cables, shall take effect on the _____ ________, 1887.
II.
The Government of the French Republic is charged with the examination of the legislative or reglementary provisions to be adopted in their respective countries, in order to meet the requirements of Article 12 of the convention, by such states as have not become parties to the said convention, and as may desire to avail themselves of the privilege of accession provided for in Article 14.

In testimony whereof, the undersigned plenipotentiaries have adopted this final protocol, which shall be considered as forming an integral part of the international convention of March 14, 1884.

Paris, _____ _______, 1887.

[Inclosure 3.]

Draft of a final protocol.

The undersigned, plenipotentiaries of the signatory Governments of the convention of March 14, 1884, for the protection of submarine cables, having met at Paris for the purpose, of deciding, in pursuance of Article 16 of that international instrument, upon a day for putting the said convention into execution, have agreed upon the following:

I.
The international convention of March 14, 1884, for the protection of submarine cables, shall take effect on the ______ _____, 1887.
II.
In case that at the time above fixed for the convention to take effect, the Governments of ____ ______ which have not yet adopted the measures provided for in Article 12 of that international instrument, shall not have acted in conformity with that stipulation, it is understood that the effects of the convention of March 14, 1884, shall be suspended, as regards each of those states, until the time when notice of the measures adopted by them, in execution of the said Article 12, shall have been given to the other contracting powers, through the French Government, which is charged with the examination of such measures.
III.
The Government of the French Republic is likewise charged with examination of the legislative or reglementary measures that are to be adopted, in their respective countries in pursuance of Article 12, by such states as have not yet become parties to the convention, and as may desire to avail themselves of the privilege of accession provided for in Article 14.

In testimony whereof, the undersigned plenipotentiaries have adopted this final protocol, which shall be considered as forming an integral part of the international convention of March 14, 1887.

Paris,______ _____, 1887.