867n.01/217: Telegram

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

199. Department’s no. 96, April 3, 4 p.m. Foreign Office note14 expressing appreciation of the “very kindly manner in which the Government of the United States has dealt with this question” states as follows:

“2. The proposals now made by the Government of the United States are acceptable to His Majesty’s Government who will be prepared to enter without delay into negotiations for the conclusion of a treaty on the lines proposed.

3. I gather from Your Excellency’s note that the Government of the United States do not now desire to suggest any alterations in the text of the draft mandate, with the possible exception of article 8 dealing with the capitulations. His Majesty’s Government agree that, in so far as the United States are concerned, the capitulations should only be suspended during the period of the British mandate, it being left to the United States on the termination of the mandate to deal with the matter by negotiation with the authorities concerned. His Majesty’s Government are at present disposed to consider that the most convenient means of providing for this would be to leave the text of article 8 unaltered, but to provide in the treaty that the United States do not accept the definite abrogation of their capitulatory rights, but consent to their suspension during the continuance of the mandate. I should, however, be glad to know the views of the Government of the United States in this point.

4. I desire to inform Department that a suggestion has been made that article 28 should be modified so as to ensure that, on the termination of the mandate, adequate provision should be made to safeguard the interests in judicial matters of foreigners whose capitulatory rights are abrogated by article 8 as at present drafted. If this suggestion were adopted the article would read as follows:

‘In the event of the termination of the mandate conferred upon the mandatory by this declaration, the Council of the League of Nations shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for protecting the interests [Page 276] of foreigners in judicial matters, and also for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by articles 13 and 14 and for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honor the financial obligations, legitimately incurred by the administration of Palestine during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants to pensions or gratuities.’

This alteration would not, if the course suggested in paragraph 3 is adopted, affect in any way the interest of the United States, who would be free to make their own arrangements on the termination of the mandate and the consequent revival of their capitulatory rights, but I should be glad to learn that Your Excellency’s Government would raise no objection to this amendment.

5. Inasmuch as the terms of the Palestine mandate are to be recited in the treaty it is necessary that those terms should be definitely settled before the treaty can be negotiated and signed. His Majesty’s Government are therefore extremely anxious to obtain the approval of the Council of League of Nations to the terms of the mandate at their meeting on May 11th, even if the mandate cannot be actually issued at present, and for this purpose they desire with the consent of the United States Government, to lay the correspondence between Your Excellency and myself before the Council of the League as showing that agreement between the two Governments has now been reached. I have therefore the honor to request the assent of the Government of the United States to this course being adopted, in which case the negotiations for the treaty will be entered into as soon as the terms of the mandate have been approved by the Council of the League.”

In view of short time remaining before meeting of League of Nations’ Council on May 11th, Foreign Office requests to be informed as to the Department’s views on above mentioned proposals at earliest possible date.

  1. Dated Apr. 29, 1922.