The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Harvey)63

No. 454

Sir: Referring to my telegram of March 31, you are informed that the Senate has advised ratification of the Treaty signed on December 13, 1921, between the United States, the British Empire, France and Japan, relating to their insular possessions and insular dominions in the Pacific Ocean, the treaty supplementary thereto, signed February 6, 1922, and the four treaties signed at the Washington Conference on February 6, 1922, namely the Treaty to Limit Naval Armament, the Treaty relating to Submarines and Noxious Gases, the Treaty relating to the Revision of the Chinese Customs Tariff and the Treaty of policy towards China, without amendment or reservation except with respect to the Four-Power Treaty and supplementary treaty, to wit below:

The Senate made the following reservation and understanding a part and condition of the resolution of ratification of the Four-Power Treaty:

“The United States understands that under the statement in the preamble or under the terms of this Treaty there is no commitment to armed force, no alliance, no obligation to join in any defense.”

In giving its advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty supplementary to the Four-Power Treaty, the Senate made the following reservation and understanding a part and condition of its resolution:

“That the Four-Power Treaty relating to Pacific Possessions shall apply to the Mandated Islands in the Pacific Ocean; provided, however, that the making of the Treaty shall not be deemed to be an assent on the part of the United States of America to the mandates and shall not preclude agreements between the United States of America and the Mandatory Powers respectively in relation to the mandated islands.

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“That the controversies to which the second paragraph of Article 1 of the Four-Power Treaty relating to Pacific Possessions refers shall not be taken to embrace questions which according to principles of international law lie exclusively within the domestic jurisdiction of the respective Powers.”

It will be observed by the British Government that this reservation and understanding merely embody the Declaration of intent and understanding signed by the representatives of the four Powers at the time of the signature by them on December 13, 1921, of the Four-Power Treaty.

In your note you will please add the statement that the Government of the United States is ready to ratify and to deposit its ratifications of the two treaties mentioned, subject to the above reservations and understandings, and that upon learning of the readiness of the three other signatory Governments to deposit their ratifications, the Government of the United States will be pleased to fix a date for the deposit of the instruments with it, as stipulated in the treaties.

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, to France, as no. 241, and Japan, as no. 58 (file nos. 500.A4a/50a, 50c).