800.01 M 31/105b: Telegram

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

97. Reference your despatch No. 811 December 23, 1921.35 Please communicate the following textually to Lord Curzon at the earliest possible moment.36

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“In your Lordship’s communication of December 22, 1921,37 your Lordship has stated the views of His Majesty’s Government with respect to the British mandates for East Africa, Togoland and the Cameroons. The question of the mandate for Palestine has been discussed in your Lordship’s note of December 29, 192138 and in my note of (here insert reference)39

As I stated in that note, referring to my memorandum of August 24, 192140 the position of my government must necessarily remain unchanged since the views advanced were confined to the purpose of safeguarding the interests of the United States and the fair and equal opportunities which it was believed the United States should enjoy in common with the other Powers.

Your Lordship sets forth that it has never been the intention of His Majesty’s Government to deprive the United States of any of the rights and privileges to which it is entitled as a result of the common victory over Germany. My Government had entertained no doubt that this was the attitude of Great Britain, and welcomes the cordial assurance that His Majesty’s Government is quite willing to meet the wishes of the United States.

In view of this understanding, my Government is convinced that there will be no difficulty or delay in the negotiation of a treaty embodying the assent, upon appropriate conditions, of the United States to the terms of the draft British mandates for East Africa and the British parts of Togoland and the Cameroons. As I have explained in my memorandum of August 24, 1921, the right of the United States in the territories, to which Germany has renounced her title, could not be disposed of without the assent of my Government, and, for the reasons given in my memorandum, the appropriate manner of expressing this assent would be through a treaty. Such a treaty could recite the articles of the mandates setting forth the engagements of the Mandatory and should contain appropriate undertakings on the part of His Majesty’s Government for the suitable protection of the rights and interests of the United States. This arrangement will, it is believed, obviate any objections such as those suggested by His Majesty’s Government by reason of any obligations which the Allied Powers have assumed in the Treaty of Versailles with regard to Germany and with regard to one another.

In this view, taking up the various points to which Your Lordship refers, it may be observed:

(1) Discrimination.—In my memorandum of August 24, 1921, I alluded to the provisions for equal commercial opportunity in Article 7 of the mandate for East Africa and Article 6 of the British mandates for Togoland and the Cameroons,41 and called attention to the fact that these provisions were not extended to the nationals of the United States. My Government does not desire to insist that the [Page 312]terms of the mandates themselves in their reference to the States, members of the League of Nations, and their nationals, should be altered. It will be sufficient to recite the terms of the above-mentioned articles in the proposed treaty, with the further undertaking that His Majesty’s Government will guarantee to the United States and its nationals the same freedom from discrimination that the above-mentioned articles of the mandates give to the States, members of the League of Nations, and their nationals.

The treaty should contain a general provision that the United States and its nationals should have and enjoy the benefit of all the engagements of His Britannic Majesty, defined in the mandates, notwithstanding the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations.

With respect to the matter of monopolistic concessions, my Government is gratified to note that His Majesty’s Government has no intention of granting concessions having the character of a general monopoly in the territories in question, or of reserving such concessions to itself. My Government has carefully noted the considerations advanced in Your Lordship’s note regarding the advisability, however, of reserving to the Mandatory the right (1) to create monopolies for purely fiscal purposes, in the interest of the mandated territories, in order that the Mandatory should provide the territories with the fiscal resources which seem best suited to local requirements, and (2) to develop such natural resources as can be employed in the public interest, as, for example, water-power, which could be utilized for the electrification of a railway or for lighting purposes.

In view of these considerations my Government is prepared to approve the insertion in the mandates, after the third paragraph of Article 7 of the British mandate for East Africa, and Article 6 of the mandates for Togoland and the Cameroons, of the following paragraph, with a few changes for the purpose of clarity, so that it will read as follows:

‘Concessions having the character of a general monopoly shall not be granted. This provision does not affect the right of the Mandatory to create monopolies of a purely fiscal character in the interest of the territory under mandate and in order to provide the territory with fiscal resources which seem best suited to the local requirements; or, in certain cases, to carry out the development of natural resources either directly by the State or by a controlled agency, provided that there shall result therefrom no monopoly of the natural resources for the benefit of the Mandatory or its nationals, directly or indirectly, or any preferential advantage which shall be inconsistent with the economic, commercial and industrial equality hereinbefore guaranteed.’

The changes above suggested are assumed, from the tenor of Your Lordship’s note, to be in accord with the intentions entertained by His Majesty’s Government.

It is to be understood, of course, that the existing legal rights of American citizens or companies in British mandate territories are fully respected and safeguarded and that the treaty will contain a suitable provision to this effect.

(2) Missionaries and religious freedom.—My Government is pleased to note that the intent of the Government of the United States, in its suggestions on this subject, expressly to assure to American missionaries the right freely to exercise their vocation in [Page 313]Togoland and in the Cameroons, is recognized, and that His Majesty’s Government is disposed to give to the Government of the United States a similar guarantee, as to equality of treatment, as is suggested with respect to Article 6 of the mandates for Togoland and the Cameroons, and further that His Majesty’s Government is prepared to provide that in the mandated territories missionaries shall have the right to acquire and possess property, to erect buildings for religious purposes and to open schools. Accordingly, His Majesty’s Government has proposed that the text of Article 7 of the mandates for Togoland and the Cameroons should read as follows:

‘Subject to the provisions of any local law for the maintenance of public order and public morals, the Mandatory shall insure in the territory freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, and shall allow all missionaries, nationals of any State member of the League of Nations, to enter into, travel and reside in the territory for the purpose of prosecuting their calling, to acquire and possess property, to erect buildings for religious purposes, and to open schools, provided that they conform to the local law.’

Upon the assumption that the treaty will contain an appropriate provision by which the engagements of His Britannic Majesty as defined in the mandate will run to the United States and its nationals, notwithstanding the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations, this provision is acceptable to my Government with the following qualification. My Government suggests that the last clause of the proposed provision, ‘provided that they conform to the local law’, may be omitted, as it appears to be superfluous, the entire clause being qualified by the opening clause, ‘Subject to the provisions of any local law for the maintenance of public order and public morals’. If it is intended, by the insertion of the additional clause, to give any broader application of the local law than is the purport of the opening clause, the addition would appear to be objectionable as the local law in this respect should appropriately be limited to the maintenance of public order and public morals.

(3) Administrative unions, etc.—It is noted that His Majesty’s Government has no objection to the suggestion which has been made by my Government that there should be added to Article 9 of the mandates for Togoland and the Cameroons, the following words, corresponding to the provision of Article 10 of the British mandate for East Africa, to-wit: ‘provided always that the measures adopted to that end do not infringe the provisions of this mandate’.

(4) Modification of mandate.—My Government has observed the statement of Your Lordship in your note of December 22, that it would be difficult to insert in the mandate itself a provision that the consent of the United States should be obtained before any alteration is made in the text of the mandate. My Government does not believe such an insertion to be necessary, in view of the fact, to which Your Lordship adverts, that there is nothing to prevent the Mandatory giving a separate undertaking to this effect. Such an undertaking may be embodied in the proposed treaty. It would not, however, be deemed by my Government to be sufficient to provide merely for consultation with the United States.

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(5) Extradition.—It is assumed that His Majesty’s Government will not object to a provision by which the extradition treaties between Great Britain and the United States, pending the making of special extradition agreements, shall apply to the mandated territories in question.

(6) The Japanese Government has agreed to furnish a duplicate, not a copy, of its annual report which is to be submitted to the League of Nations on the administration of mandate territories. A provision to this effect is incorporated in the treaty between the United States and Japan relating to the mandated islands in the Pacific north of the equator,42 and it is desired that a similar provision should be included in the treaty [treaties?] relating to the British mandates for East Africa, Togoland and the Cameroons.

It may be added that the references in this communication, as in my memorandum of August 24, 1921, are to the texts of the draft British mandates for East Africa and the British parts of Togoland and the Cameroons, in the forms in which these drafts were published by His Majesty’s Government.

If His Majesty’s Government is willing to meet the wishes of the United States with reference to the matters upon which concurrence has not already been indicated, the Government of the United States is prepared to enter immediately upon the negotiation of the necessary treaty.

I have the honor, etc.”

Hughes
  1. Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. ii, p. 110.
  2. Several slight typographical errors in the note have been corrected to accord with instructions sent the Ambassador on Apr. 7 (file no. 800.01 M 31/106c).
  3. Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. ii, p. 111.
  4. Ibid., p. 115.
  5. Note of Apr. 5, 1922; see telegram no. 96, Apr. 3, to the Ambassador in Great Britain p. 271.
  6. See telegram no. 448, Aug. 4, 1921, to the Ambassador in Great Britain, Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. ii, p. 106.
  7. For draft mandates discussed in this note, see ibid., vol. i, p. 121.
  8. Post, p. 600.