560.M2/48: Telegram

The Chief of the American Delegation (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

14. Group 2, article 11. In accordance with the intention which I reported in my 5, October 19, 2 p.m., I approached the President of the Conference and explained to him our difficulties regarding this article with a view to achieving its elimination if possible. Colijn stated that he would use every endeavor to find a satisfactory formula but that he considered, and he knew that the Conference agreed with him, that some obligation to report was necessary because of the recalcitrant states in which they could not place confidence. He considered this an essential portion of the convention.

In this afternoon’s session fortunately the Egyptian delegate, also representing a nonmember state, suggested an alternative phraseology for this article, which reads as follows:

“In order to indicate the progress which has been made in regard to the abolition of import and export prohibitions or restrictions, the [Page 277] contracting states will within 12 months of the coming into force in each case of the present agreement communicate to each other through the intermediary of the Secretary General on the subject.”

This is based on article 30, chapter 7, of the Second Opium Convention.18 I then stated that I welcomed this initiative on the part of the Egyptian representative since I also had been troubled about this article; that I would at once report this suggestion to my Government.

From my conversation with Colijn, I am convinced that the convention will carry some article of this nature and after careful consideration and study of similar documents the text quoted above seems as satisfactory from our point of view as can be secured. Short of signing with a reservation excepting this article, which is always to be regretted, I feel that we have no alternative but to support it.

Please instruct.

  1. Signed at Geneva, Feb. 19, 1925; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxxxi, pp. 317, 345.