The Belgian Minister to the Secretary of State.

No. 567.]

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to inform your excellency that the several States concerned, except Bulgaria, Roumania, and Sweden, have notified my Government that they are ready to proceed with the signature of the projet of arrangement for the unification of the formula of heroic medicines under the reservations lastly formulated. The replies of the Bulgarian and Swedish Governments will undoubtedly reach the Government of the King at an early date. As for Roumania it greatly regrets that, on grounds of procedure, it has found it impossible to adhere to the said arrangement.

The department of foreign affairs has ordered a reprint of the text of the pro jet of arrangement and procès verbal of signature with the modifications I brought to your excellency’s notice in my previous communications. Your excellency will please find four copies of that document herewith.a

The procès verbal of signature previously communicated to the several countries contained a declaration formulated by the United States in the following words:

The Pharmacopœia of the United States being subject to periodical revision by a commission over which the American Government has no control, that Government is not in position to enforce the present arrangement, but being disposed, in principle, to adhere thereto, it engages to exert its influence to have the Pharmacopœia of the United States agree with the said arrangement in all its essential points. The Minister of the United States of America proceeds with the signature of the instrument, subject to this declaration and under that reservation.

The wording, as your excellency will see, has been changed in accordance with the text transmitted on your official note of the 1st of August last. The second reservation made by your excellency in your communication dated on the same day has also been compiled with. Indeed your excellency will notice that at the end of the procès verbal it is expressly declared that the signatory powers declare they agree to admit that the right adverted to in the first reservation formulated by the Government of His Britannic Majesty appertains to all the signatory governments.

The reservation of Austria concerning opii pulvis, provisionally mentioned in the schedule I had the honor to transmit to your excellency under date of May 8, 1904, was inserted in the procès verbal of signature at the request of the Austrian Government.

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On the other hand, the Russian Government, in forwarding its adhesion, expressed a desire that it be understood that the contracting States which may avail themselves of the right of making in the provisions of the arrangement such minor changes as may from time to time be required by the advancement of medical and pharmaceutical science, shall reciprocally acquaint one another with such changes.

It seemed that this wish could meet with no objection on the part of the contracting countries and a clause in that sense has therefore been added to the procès verbal of signature.

I further have to point out that, at the request of Austria-Hungary, the words “Governments” or “contracting parties” have been substituted in articles 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 for the words “States” or “countries” which appeared in the original text.

Lastly, instead of fixing a date for the enforcement of the arrangement, it seemed preferable to stipulate that it shall go into effect one month after the date of signature. It is thus provided in the new article 5.

My Government hopes to be shortly in position to submit to the several powers propositions in regard to the date of the signature of the diplomatic instrument under consideration. In its communication to the Governments of Bulgaria and Sweden urging an early final reply, the Government of the King advised them that the date would probably be selected in the second half of the coming month of November.

Accept, etc.,

Bn. Moncheur.
  1. Not printed.