The Acting Secretary of State to the Siamese Minister (Karavongse)

My Dear Mr. Minister: With reference to conversations with the Solicitor for the Department in regard to the surrender of our jurisdictional privileges in Siam and in response to your oral request for a statement as to the position of the United States in regard to the termination of extraterritorial rights in Siam upon a definite date, it gives me pleasure to advise you that my Government is prepared, in connection with the negotiations for a new treaty of Commerce and Navigation to propose in effect the surrender of existing consular jurisdiction over citizens of the United States in Siam upon the date of the exchange of ratifications of the new treaty, and thereafter American citizens shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Siamese Courts, provided that until the expiration of five years after the promulgation and putting in force of all of the Siamese [Page 861] codes and the law for the organization of courts, the United States through its diplomatic and consular officers shall have the right to evoke any case pending in any Siamese court, except the Dika Court, and involving an American citizen, or person, corporation, company or association entitled to the protection of the United States as defendant or accused; it being understood, however, that if my Government perceives objections to the codes or laws mentioned, the Government of Siam will endeavor to take steps to meet such objections.

I am making this proposal in principle rather than in terms, as the details and the language have not been especially considered. If your Government is prepared to accept this proposal in principle, the Department will proceed to the negotiations of a treaty embodying the principle of this proposal and such provisions relating to commerce and navigation as may be mutually agreed upon.

I am [etc.]

Frank L. Polk