The Secretary of State to the Russian Ambassador.
Washington, December 20, 1906.
The Secretary of State has given careful consideration to the memorandum which was handed to him by the Russian ambassador on the 12th of November in regard to the wish of the Government of the United States, as expressed in the note of the Secretary of State dated June 7 last, regarding its reservation of the right to propose two additional questions at the Second Hague Conference.
The purpose of the Government of the United States in putting forward that reservation was solely to make it possible to propose to the peace conference the two questions referred to, with the understanding that it will depend upon the conference itself to determine whether or not those questions shall be considered and discussed. This Government had no intention to make certain in advance that the two questions should be accepted as subjects of deliberation; neither had it any desire to bring about an international determination in advance by which the conference should be committed to a rejection of the proposed questions because of their not being specifically included in the programme. This being so, the Government of the United States has no desire that the participating powers shall now be asked for an expression as to the inclusion of the two questions in the programme, for that would be tantamount to inviting a decision beforehand as to the deliberative powers of the conference. What is desirable is, not that the questions shall be put in the programme in advance, but that the conference shall be at liberty to give them consideration if it deem them germane to the purpose for which it is convoked.
[To be continued in Foreign Relations, 1907.]