800.01 M 31/132

The British Chargé (Chilton) to the Secretary of State

No. 554

His Britannic Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and has the honour to inform him that he did not fail to communicate to His Majesty’s Government the contents of the memorandum from the Secretary of State of the 8th instant respecting the mandates for certain former German territory in Africa.

Mr. Chilton is instructed to inform the Secretary of State that His Majesty’s Government find it somewhat difficult to accept the American wording of the preamble of the treaty but Lord Balfour forsees no difficulty in finding ultimately a mutually satisfactory wording. The preamble is not, however, of immediate importance and can be left until the mandates have been issued by the Council of the League of Nations.

As regards the operative clauses of the treaty, His Majesty’s Government accept the American texts for Article I and Article II with the addition at the end of Article I of the words “hereinafter called the mandated territory”.

As regards the amendment of Article VIII of the mandate, His Majesty’s Government are of opinion that their text has been misunderstood by the United States Government but in order to avoid a prolonged discussion have proposed to follow the text based on Article II (1) of the Yap Treaty:48 [Page 328]

“The Mandatory shall ensure in the territory complete freedom of conscience and free exercise of all forms of worship which are consonant with public order and morality.

“Missionaries who are nationals of States members of [the] League of Nations shall be free to enter the territory and to travel and reside therein, to acquire and possess property, to erect religious buildings and49 shall have the right to exercise such control as may be necessary for the maintenance of public order and good government and to take all measures required for such control”.

As this text has been accepted by the United States Government in the Yap Treaty there could presumably be no reasonable ground for refusing to accept it in the “B” mandates.

His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires is instructed to add that Lord Balfour hopes to be able to inform other members of the Council of the League of Nations, which meets today, that Great Britain is at one with the United States of America upon all questions of importance affecting the administration of mandated territory in Africa and that there can, therefore, be no reason against the immediate issue of the mandate.

His Majesty’s Acting Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is informing the French and Belgian Governments of the above.

  1. Post, p. 600.
  2. For phrase omitted in transmission, see paragraph 3 of British note of Sept. 30, post, p. 330.