The Assistant Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Richardson) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Harrison)
Mr. Harrison: The following comments may be of interest to you and the Secretary in regard to the recent Conference of States Signatories of the Protocol of Signature of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice.
The following states attended the Conference and signed the Draft Protocol of Execution,33a although they had previously accepted the Senate reservations in direct communication addressed to this Government:
The Greek Government accepted the reservations by a note dated April 8 , but subsequently by a note dated June 28, advised this Government that it would attend the Geneva Conference.
The Dominican Government in a note dated August 30 appears to have attempted to accept the Senate reservations. It attended [Page 27] the Conference at Geneva and signed the Draft Protocol of Execution with the reservation noted in your Memorandum.34
Liberia accepted the Senate reservations in a note dated May 11. Presumably this explains the failure of its delegate to sign the Protocol of Execution at Geneva.
Uruguay indicated through a statement made by the Uruguayan Chargé d’Affaires on August 5 [4?] to the Secretary that its government accepted the Senate reservations in principle but that formal acceptance could not be given pending ratification by the Uruguayan legislature. This perhaps explains Uruguay’s abstention from sign ing the Protocol of Execution.
The following states which are signatories of the Protocol of Signature of the Statute of the Permanent Court did not attend the Geneva Conference:
- Costa Rica
Of the above states, Cuba alone has accepted the Senate reservations.
Since the passage of the Senate resolution Abyssinia and the Irish Free State have ratified the Protocol of Signature of the Statute of the Permanent Court.
The Abyssinian ratification was deposited July 16.
Notification was given of the Irish Free State ratification August 21, 1926.
It is curious to note that a representative of the Irish Free State attended the Geneva Conference and signed the Draft Protocol of Execution, although no note has been addressed by this Government to the British Government on behalf of the Irish Free State or to the Legation of the Irish Free State in Washington.
Abyssinia did not attend the Geneva Conference. We have addressed no note to Abyssinia.
It would seem that, in order to carry out the terms of the Senate resolution of January 27, 1926, an exchange of notes should be attempted with both the Irish Free State and Abyssinia. The phraseology of the resolution is “The signature of the United States to the said Protocol shall not be affixed until the powers signatory to such Protocol shall have indicated through an exchange of notes their acceptance of the foregoing reservations, etc.”
As the signature of the United States will take place some time in the future, if ever, it seems to me that “the powers signatory” would [Page 28] be those powers which are signatories at the time of signature or adherence by the United States.
An interesting consideration is that Chile apparently has never ratified the signature of its government to the Protocol of Signature of the Statute of the Permanent Court. The Senate resolution contemplates acceptance of the senate reservations by “signatories”. The position may well be taken by Chile that, not actually being a party to the Permanent Court Protocol, it cannot properly accept or decline to accept our reservations.
While some of the above considerations are academic, the situation which they outline appears to me to be somewhat hopeless quite aside from the replies which will presumably be given by the powers that recently conferred at Geneva. I should be glad to have an opportunity to talk this matter over with you shortly and especially to ascertain your views as to whether we should not, for the sake of making the record complete, address notes to the governments of Abyssinia and the Irish Free State.
A despatch from Tuck35 states that:
- The South African delegate had to leave Geneva before he could sign the draft Protocol of Execution.
- The Chinese delegate had no authority from his government to sign.