Treaty Series No. 655
The Acting Secretary of State to the Siamese Minister (Karavongse)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this date referring to the provisions of Article I of the treaty signed by us today and relating to the real property now in possession of American missionary societies in Siam. I note that:
- As to the lands for which the missions now possess papers of any kind or of which the missions are otherwise in legal occupation they should apply to have title papers issued in the regular way.
- As to the lands held under lease from Government, the Siamese Government will not interrupt the possession by the missions as long as they continue to use the land for mission purposes.
- However, in Ratburi the Mission is now occupying a house belonging to the Siamese Government; this must be returned when asked for.
- It is understood that the Siamese Government is not identified with Wat administration; that is to say, the foregoing understanding must not be construed as a promise by the Government to interfere with lands held and claimed by religious authorities, whether Buddhists or of any other faith.
- All Mission Lands are held subject to the exercise by the Siamese Government of the right of eminent domain.
I have the honor to express my satisfaction with this pronouncement.