Minister Beaupré to the Secretary of State.
The Hague , May 3, 1910 .
Sir: Yesterday morning the representatives of the Governments of Germany, Great Britain, and France called upon me at the legation and acquainted me with the fact that they had each received instructions from their respective Governments to approve the proposal of the United States that the Government of the Netherlands be requested, as the intermediary of the Hague signatories, to transmit [Page 623] to the powers signatory to the prize court convention a circular note embodying the additional protocol. The French minister, however, added that he had very definite instructions from his Government to divide his communication to the Netherlands Government into four heads, as follows: (1) To express the approval of the Government of France of the additional protocol; (2) to express the approval of the Government of France of the request that the Netherlands Government act as intermediary in presenting the additional protocol to the powers signatory of the prize court convention; (3) to declare that it is not the intention of the Government of France to avail itself of the provisions of the additional protocol; and (4) to declare the intention of the Government of France to refer both the convention of London and the matter of the additional protocol to the Third International Peace Conference. The German minister stated that his instructions were to convey to the minister for foreign affairs of the Netherlands the approval of his Government verbally (mündlich). The British minister also stated that he could not communicate the approval of his Government otherwise than verbally, save upon receipt of special instructions to that effect. It was, therefore, decided that the three ministers would wait upon the minister for foreign affairs at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon and express verbally their approval of the protocol and the suggested procedure.
This was done. The minister for foreign affairs thereupon replied to my note of the 23d ultimo, a copy of which was forwarded to the department in my No. 350, in the note of which I inclose copy and translation. I thereupon immediately presented him with the note of which I append a copy, making the formal request that the Government of the Netherlands, as intermediary of the Hague signatories, communicate the additional protocol in a circular note addressed to the powers signatory to the prize court convention. On consideration of this note, the minister for foreign affairs has verbally asked to be informed whether it is the opinion of the Government of the United States that the remarks of the French Government as to its intentions not to avail itself of the provisions of the additional protocol and to refer both the convention of London and the additional protocol later to the third peace conference may be embodied in the circular note to be addressed to the powers signatory of the prize court convention. To this I stated that I would not venture to reply without instructions from my Government, which instructions I should immediately request by cable. I have just done this.
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