560.M2/92: Telegram

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

54. Plenary session this morning discussed Rumanian reservation export of crude oil, (see my 50, November 3, 8 p.m.23). Much opposition was expressed to acceptance of the reservation under paragraph 2, article 6, of protocol, without guarantees. Finally, Rumanian delegation made this following declaration:

“The Convention (Conference] declares that, in accepting as regards Rumania and having consideration of its exceptional position de facto and de jure, the exception of crude petroleum under paragraph 2 of article 6, it does not give its approval of measures of prohibition and restriction of this product which it considers very important for international markets. The Conference expresses its confidence that Rumania itself, as soon as circumstances shall permit, will abolish this prohibition in conformity with the spirit of ad article 6, paragraph 2, of the protocol of the convention and that meanwhile it will take into account the interests of neighboring contracting countries. The Rumanian delegation associates itself completely in this declaration of the Conference.”

The President requested the delegations to state in roll call whether they approved the principle of extending the categories of reservations and whether they therefore voted to accept the Rumanian reservation. This gave us excellent opportunity to go on record as opposed to extending categories and I therefore stated that my Government attached great importance to limiting these as far as possible and that I was therefore obliged to vote against. Mine was the only negative vote though there were nine abstentions.

The chairman has now asked me whether the acceptance by the Conference of the Rumanian reservation will prevent my Government from signing. Such signing on our part will now imply acceptance of Rumanian reservation. The reservation in itself appears of no economic importance to the United States and my negative vote was intended, as I explained, only to emphasize our attitude on the principle.

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The American exception as regards helium gas was accepted without opposition under paragraph 2, article 6 (formerly additional article).

It now becomes important to know at once Department’s attitude toward signing. Chairman has called my attention to the fact that unless we can be prepared at final reading Saturday night to affix our signature our reservation on helium must be dropped for the present from the convention and must be submitted again as one of the reservations to be included after signature as provided in protocol [section IV, (d) ad No. 4, (ii) Procedure].24

  1. Not printed.
  2. For text of protocol, see Proceedings of the Conference, p. 21.