462.00 R 296/842: Telegram

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

33. L–198 for Herrick, Kellogg and Logan. Your L–309.22

(1) If there is nothing in the agreement constituting a modification of our treaty rights Department believes agreement can be given effect merely by Executive approval. But if agreement is drawn in same form as Finance Ministers’ agreement of March 1922 we would not (repeat not) presumably be precluded by the terms of the agreement from seeking Senate approval, if necessary. If other signatories desire usual clause respecting ratification, wording of Wadsworth Agreement should be used.

(2) Department has just received your L–312.23 See answer in Department’s L–195.24 Limitation of maximum amount of our claims for damages to figure of 350 million dollars might well constitute a modification of our treaty rights. If limitation can not be eliminated, Department would probably find that agreement should be submitted to the Senate.

(3) [Paraphrase.] The Department believes that it is preferable to have one agreement, not only for reasons you outline in your paragraph 3, but also because our particpation would be assured when major agreement in which the Allies are interested becomes effective. [End paraphrase.] Since, however, many of the subjects discussed do not directly concern the United States, you should on signing make the following declaration to be recorded in the agreement:

“In signing the present agreement the representatives of the United States declare that the United States is not to be understood as assuming thereby any obligations for the United States nor as passing upon questions that do not concern American participation in the sums distributed pursuant to the agreement.”

[Page 144]

The Department deems the foregoing preferable to the suggestion contained in your L–311 just received.26

(4) Department will be glad to have you all three sign. However, in view of Kellogg’s January 13, 11 a.m., this question left to your discretion.

  1. Ante, p. 139.
  2. Ante, p. 140.
  3. Ante, p. 142.
  4. Not printed.