The British Chargé (Chilton) to the Secretary of State

No. 723

Sir: Under instructions from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I have the honour to inform you that His Majesty’s Government have come to the conclusion that it is desirable that the handling of matters at Washington relating to Canada should be confided to an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary accredited to the United States Government. Such a Minister would be accredited by His Majesty the King to the President of the United States and he would be furnished with credentials which would enable him to take charge of all affairs relating to Canada. He would be the ordinary channel of communication with the United States Government on these matters.

Matters which are of Imperial concern or which affect other Dominions in the Commonwealth in common with Canada will continue to be handled as heretofore by this Embassy.

The arrangements proposed by His Majesty’s Government would not denote any departure from the principle of the diplomatic unity of the Empire. The Canadian Minister would be at all times in the closest touch with His Majesty’s Ambassador and any question which may arise as to whether a matter comes within the category of those to be handled by the Canadian Minister or not would be settled by consultation between them. The Canadian Minister being responsible to the Canadian Government would not be subject to the control of His Majesty’s Ambassador nor would His Majesty’s Ambassador be responsible for the Canadian Minister’s actions.

In communicating to you these proposals, which His Majesty’s Government trust will promote the maintenance and development of cordial relations between the British Empire and the United States, I have been instructed to express the hope that the United States Government will concur in the appointment of a Canadian Minister at Washington on the footing I have indicated above. As regards [Page 579] questions such as the precedence to be attributed to the Canadian Minister or any other points which the United States Government may desire to raise in connection with the appointment, His Majesty’s Government will await the views of the United States Government.

I have [etc.]

H. G. Chilton