File No. 13619/6–7.

Ambassador White to the Secretary of State.

No. 344.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatch, No. 305, of April 25, transmitting a copy and a translation of the agreement providing for the maintenance of the status quo in the North Sea, which was signed at Berlin April 23, I now have the honor to send you herewith the copy of a Yellow Book just issued by the French Government, containing the official text of this arrangement with the addition of a memorandum signed on the same day explaining its object.

I have, etc.,

Henry White.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]


The British, Danish, French, German, Netherland, and Swedish Governments,

Animated by the desire to strengthen the ties of neighbourly friendship existing between their respective countries, and to contribute thereby to the preservation of universal peace, and recognizing that their policy with respect to the regions bordering on the North Sea is directed to the maintenance of the existing territorial status quo,

Declare that they are firmly resolved to preserve intact, and mutually to respect, the sovereign rights which their countries at present enjoy over their respective territories in those regions.

Should any events occur which, in the opinion of any of the above-mentioned Governments, threaten the existing territorial status quo in the regions bordering upon the North Sea, the Powers Signatory of the present Declaration will [Page 338] communicate with each other in order to concert, by an agreement to be arrived at between them, such measures as they may consider it useful to take in the interest of the maintenance of the status quo as regards their possessions.

The present Declaration shall be ratified with the least possible delay. The ratifications shall be deposited at Berlin as soon as may be, and, at the latest, on the 31st December, 1908. The deposit of each ratification shall be recorded in a Protocol, of which a certified copy shall be forwarded through the diplomatic channel to the Signatory Powers.

In witness whereof the Plenipotentiaries duly authorized thereto have signed, &c.

[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]


At the moment of signing the Declaration of this day’s date, the Undersigned, by order of their respective Governments, consider it necessary to state—

That the principle of the maintenance of the status quo, as laid down by the said Declaration, applies solely to the territorial integrity of all the existing possessions of the High Contracting Parties in the regions bordering upon the North Sea, and that consequently the Declaration can in no case be invoked where the free exercise of the sovereign rights of the High Contracting Parties over their above-mentioned respective possessions is in question;
That, for the purposes of the said Declaration, the North Sea shall be considered to extend eastwards as far as its junction with the waters of the Baltic.