500.A14/264: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American Delegation (Burton)

36. Your 42, May 21, 1 P.M.

Department does not consider it necessary to procure modification of Article 31 in sense suggested. Questions to be arbitrated under the Convention are of a character which can so clearly be foreseen, the Department is of the opinion that to require a provision like that in the Convention with Sweden concerning arbitration of broad classes of disputes might detract from the effectiveness of this agreement and quite likely would be seriously objected to by other countries. You are authorized, therefore, subject to final instructions, to sign the agreement without reservations but, of course, it must be distinctly understood that when it is submitted to the Senate for approval, the Senate may make some reservation on this point.
In reference to written instructions of April 16, 1924 [1925], regarding Article 31, Department prefers to leave the last clause of Article 31 as it is, reading “either to the Permanent Court of International Justice or to a court of arbitration.” This would include the Hague Court of Arbitration or any other arbitral tribunal we should agree to.