File No. 811.2222/4169a

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


6565. Your 8623.

Article 2. I accept the changes desired by the British Government in respect to periods mentioned, that is 60 days after the date of the exchange of ratifications and 30 days at each of the other points in this article where 60 days is used. My suggestion as to 60 days throughout was made merely for uniformity.

Article 3. The reinsertion of the clause omitted by me is agreed to so as to read as follows:

British subjects in the United States, respectively, upon application or otherwise, within 60 days from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this convention or within 30 days from the date when such citizens or subjects become liable to military service in accordance with article 1.

It will be observed that the words “attained military age,” have been changed to “become liable to military service,” so as to conform to the clause “subject to military service,” in article 1. I trust that His Majesty’s Government will raise no objection to this slight verbal change.

Article 4. The wording of article 4 desired by the British Government is accepted. Article 4 will read as follows:

This convention shall not apply to British subjects in the United States (a) who were born or naturalized in Canada, and who, before proceeding to the United States were ordinarily resident in Great Britain or Canada or elsewhere, outside the British Dominions, or (b) who were [not1] born or naturalized in Canada, but who, before proceeding to the United States were ordinarily resident in Canada.

The omission of the remainder of article 4 is accepted on the understanding, as indicated in my telegram of January 30,2 that the question of how far Irishmen shall be subjected to military service in the United States will be left to the discretion of the United States.

[Page 677]

I trust that it will be possible to make the changes suggested above for articles 2, 3, and 4 in the corresponding articles of the Canadian convention, in order that the two may be as nearly identical as possible. The War Department finds it impossible to execute the two conventions unless, in respect to these points, the conventions are identical, inasmuch as the two conventions apply to two classes of British subjects.

As the two Governments now appear to be in entire agreement, I would propose that His Majesty’s Government telegraph full powers to the British Ambassador here to sign both conventions in Washington Monday next, at which time the exchange of notes in regard to article 1 will be made.

Please bring this to the immediate attention of the Foreign Office, as it is of the utmost importance for political reasons to have the conventions signed on Monday next.

For your information. Succeeded in postponing drastic legislation on assurance that these conventions would be signed immediately.

  1. See telegram No. 8720, from the Ambassador in Great Britain, Feb. 18, 1918, post, p. 681.
  2. Ante, p. 665.