The Ambassador in Germany (Schurman) to the Secretary of State

No. 760

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 319, dated January 16, 1926, relating to the adherence of Germany to the Washington Treaty Relating to Principles and Policies Concerning China, I have the honor to report that, in an informal conversation with Mr. Trautmann, Chief of the Asiatic Division in the Foreign Office, on the third instant, I called his attention to the fact that the notice of Germany’s adherence, contained in the communication from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, dated December 17, 1925, read as follows:

“On the strength of a full power given to me by the President of the Reich, I hereby declare that Germany, subject to ratifications, adheres to the said Treaty”.

I remarked to him that this did not constitute a complete adherence as would justify the Government of the United States in giving formal notification to the other signatory Governments that Germany had adhered. Mr. Trautmann said at once that he understood our position. He then stated that the political officers in the Foreign Office had held that the “Ratifikation” referred to was a mere formality and that, indeed, he himself, in the case of this Treaty which dealt merely with political subjects, thought such ratification unnecessary as, in their view, “the Government had already ratified the Treaty”. The legal advisers of the Foreign Office, however, had “taken a different view” and it had therefore been decided to send the Treaty to the Reichstag for formal ratification.

Mr. Trautmann stated that the time for such action was a little uncertain. At the beginning, and before the German Government had taken any action, the Chinese Minister in Berlin saw no objection to Germany’s adherence to the Treaty. Later, however, he changed his position. …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mr. Trautmann promised to let me hear from him when the Government approaches the Reichstag on the subject.

I have [etc.]

Jacob Gould Schurman