File No. 811.2222/13528e

The Secretary of State to President Wilson

The President: On March 20, you requested the Senate to return to you for reconsideration the two conventions between the United States and Great Britain signed on the 19th day of February, 1918, in respect to military service of British subjects in the United States and citizens of the United States in Great Britain and Canada, which conventions had been transmitted by you to the Senate on February 20, to receive the advice and consent of the Senate to their ratification. On March 21, the Senate returned to you these conventions, and since that date negotiations with the British Government have been pressed with a view to making certain changes in their phraseology. These negotiations having been concluded, the undersigned, the Secretary of State, has the honor to resubmit to you the amended conventions1 with a view to their transmission to the Senate, unless you perceive objection thereto, for the advice and consent of that body to their ratification. I also enclose an exchange of notes2 relative to article 1 of the convention relating to citizens of the United States in Great Britain, which notes are self-explanatory.

In the renewed negotiations it was sought to modify the earlier conventions, if possible, by having inserted the American age limits for compulsory military service in the United States; by making the conventions inapplicable to subjects of Great Britain who were not liable to compulsory military service at home; by amending or omitting the article in respect to the determination of questions of “dual nationality,” and by modifying the clause providing for the termination of the convention. In all these points the negotiations have proceeded satisfactorily, except as to the first, in respect to which it has again been necessary to make an exchange of notes setting forth the reasons for the omission in the British convention of the age limits within which American citizens in Great Britain would be subject to compulsory military service. The conventions have also been modified in order to make them applicable to subjects of Great Britain in the United States from parts of the British Dominions which have adopted or may hereafter adopt compulsory military service, and also to citizens of the United States in Great Britain or Canada within the age limits which might hereafter be adopted for compulsory military service in the United States.

[Page 701]

A few minor verbal changes which it is not necessary to mention specifically have also been made in the interest of precision and clearness of expression.

Respectfully submitted.

Robert Lansing
  1. Post, pp. 708, 714.
  2. Post, p. 712.