890h.927/1a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Herrick)

No. 573

Sir: The Department desires to bring to your attention the following passage from the Pioneer Mail (India) of November 17, 1922, reporting a news item from Peshawar dated November 10, 1922:

“It is reliably reported that a convention has been signed between Afghanistan and the French Archaeological Exploration Mission, a monopoly in this respect being secured to the Mission, together with certain preferential treatment in regard to any metals they may discover in the course of their work.”

The Department also learns from reliable private sources that there appears reasonable ground for the belief that the above report may [Page 19]be substantially correct, at least in so far as it relates to the desire of the French to obtain exclusive privileges for archaeological exploration in Afghanistan, and that Professor Auguste Foucher, of the Sorbonne, is now at Kabul on behalf of the French Foreign Office.

You are instructed to make discreet and informal inquiries on this subject and to report fully as to the attitude of the French Government.

The Department may add, for your confidential information, that the French are already understood to possess exclusive rights to carry on archaeological excavations in Persia, and are now endeavoring to secure similar privileges in Albania.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips