File No. 811.2222/1931

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page)


6054. Your 7954, December 13.1

1. Article 4 as proposed by the British Government is acceptable to this Government. This article as received reads as follows:

Article 4. In the event of a special arrangement relating to military service being made between the United States Government and the Government of Canada this convention will not apply to British subjects in the United States to whom such special arrangement applies.

We will await the concurrence of the Canadian Government. In accepting this article it is understood that any British subjects ordinarily resident in Canada will come within the convention unless they hold certificates issued under article 3 of the convention, and that Canadians will not come within the convention.

2. As to the operation of the convention with regard to declarants, this Government is advised that British subjects who are exempted by exemption boards under the Draft Act for military service on account of their alienage and who subsequently take out their first papers, become immediately thereafter subject to conscription under the Draft Act. As other British declarants within the age limits of the British law fall within the terms of the convention, there would seem to be no class of declarants who would escape military service in the United States. It may clarify the situation, however, if an additional provision were added to the convention as suggested by the British Government, setting forth our understanding on this point. I would therefore suggest the following to be added as a paragraph to article 5:

British subjects in the United States who have declared or shall during the life of this agreement declare their intention to become citizens of the United States and who are or shall become subject to military service under the Selective Service Act of May 18, 1917, are excluded from the operation of this convention.

  1. Not printed.