411.57 N 83/155

The Norwegian Minister (Bryn) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Your Excellency’s note of the 11th instant. I have noted with care the statements in your note with reference to the question of treaty violation. My Government already in my note of the 14th February this year agreed not to demand any formal decision regarding the alleged treaty violation, provided the Norwegian claims in question could be definitely disposed of by international arbitration. However, my Government in that note expressly reserved its right to refer to the anti-requisition clause in the treaty as a basis for the adjustment of the compensation.

During the negotiations which have taken place later between the State Department and the Legation however, my Government [Page 594] has gone further and agreed to your desire that the court shall not in any way be invited to examine, discuss or decide upon the treaty violation question.

Since the parties are in agreement upon this point, it will be unnecessary for me to discuss in detail the remarks in Your Excellency’s note in this connection and I therefore give you the formal assurance requested that the question of treaty violation is not to be raised in any way.

As to the other questions suggested in your note, I beg to state that my Government has not meant to insist upon any of the various propositions it has heretofore advanced but the purpose was to submit them to your consideration as a basis for an agreement drawn in a spirit of mutual concessions.

Accepting the conclusions expressed in your letter upon all other points, there are only two questions as to which I beg your further consideration.

One is the form of the statement of the issues to be arbitrated. On a separate memorandum,23 I enclose statements taken from other arbitration agreements where you will see in what form the issues to be arbitrated have been consistently stated. In view of those precedents, I urge that the word “law” in “Article I” be eliminated. I beg to state that the word “law” as a basis for international arbitrations has not been applied in any of the arbitration agreements before the Permanent Court of The Hague, and as far as I can see it is not to be found in any of the other agreements mentioned by Moore in his History and Digest of the International Arbitration to which the United States has been a party.

As the word “law” has thus not in any case where the United States has been a claimant against other countries been used I trust that the United States Government will not insist upon this word being applied in a case when another country is claimant against the United States. If the word “law” should be insisted upon, it ought to be described as “public law”. This stipulation has been used in a few of the previous arbitration cases.

The other subject as to which I request your further consideration relates to evidence to be furnished. The two paragraphs which I suggested in my revision of your draft and which you now propose to eliminate, I believe would be useful additions. In this connection I beg to call your attention to certain provisions of other arbitrations to which the United States has been a party shown on the enclosed memorandum.23

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On both of these points, I am appealing to Your Excellency’s judgement and experience in the drafting of legal documents, rather than insisting upon my own views.

It is not my disposition to insist upon either of these points, but I earnestly hope that your more attentive consideration of the precedents cited and the meritorious character of the suggestions will lead you to modify somewhat the language employed.

Awaiting your decision on the points, I avail myself [etc.]

H. Bryn
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