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The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Houghton )

No. 601

Sir: The Department refers to its written instruction No. 627 of April 20, 1925,41 reviewing its position regarding the rights of this Government and its nationals in Iraq and directing the Embassy to propose to the British Foreign Office the negotiation of an agreement with respect to such rights similar to that reached regarding American rights in Palestine as set forth in the American-British convention of December 3, 1924.42 Reference is made also to Mr. Atherton’s letter of February 9, 1926, to Mr. Allen W. Dulles, then Chief of the Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs,43 from which it would appear that, in response to the Embassy’s representations, the Foreign Office had expressed itself as not adverse to entering into the proposed negotiations but as preferring, before taking any steps to that end, to await the anticipated settlement of the Mosul boundary question.

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Agreement with respect to this latter question having apparently resulted from the decision of the Council of the League of Nations of March 11, 1926,44 and from the Turkish-British-Iraqi Treaty of June 5, 1926,45 the Department desires you again to take up with the British Foreign Office the question of the negotiation of the proposed convention regarding American rights in Iraq. To facilitate a consideration of this matter and as a basis for discussion, there are enclosed three copies of a “Draft Convention between the United States and Great Britain—Rights in Iraq,” one copy of which should be left at the Foreign Office together with an aide mémoire recapitulating such verbal representations as may be made on the occasion of its presentation.

In explanation of the enclosed draft of convention the Department sets forth the following observations:

An endeavor has been made to follow as closely as possible the form of the preamble of the British-American convention of December 3, 1924, relating to Rights in Palestine (Treaty Series No. 728). Changes (notably the incorporation of the Decision of the Council of the League of Nations of September 27, 192446) have, however, been necessitated by the special situation of Iraq.

Article I of the attached draft differs from Article I of the Palestine Mandate convention in referring to “the Mandate exercised by His Britannic Majesty over Iraq” rather than to “the administration of Iraq”.

Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 correspond with Articles bearing those numbers in the Palestine Mandate convention.

The difference between the wording of Article 7 of the attached draft of convention and that of the Palestine Mandate convention is necessitated by the penultimate paragraph of the above mentioned Decision of September 27, 1924. In composition, this article, as drafted, is a combination of the said penultimate paragraph of, the Decision and of Article 8 of the Palestine Mandate. (See page 3 of Department’s written instruction No. 627 of April 20, 1925).

With respect to Article 8 of the attached draft of convention, reference is made to pages 4–6 of the above mentioned instruction No. 627, as well as to the statements in the draft note set forth commencing on page 8 of that instruction, with reference to economic rights to which the United States is believed to be entitled in territory detached from Turkey and with respect to which the British Government has given specific assurances to which reference is made in that draft note.

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Article 8 will be seen to follow in general the provisions of Article 11 of the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, (see Treaty Series No. 695,47 page 5), and supplements the assurances set forth in Article 11 of the Anglo-Iraq Treaty of Alliance of October 10, 1922.48 The content of the attached draft of Article 8 is considered to be substantially that of Article 11 of the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, the modifications made having been effected in consideration of the special status of Iraq. The Department considers, moreover, that the terms of the attached draft of Article 8 carry out the assurances given by the British Government in the correspondence mentioned in the Department’s instruction No. 627 with respect to economic rights in mandated territory. (See also confidential print of the Department entitled “Mandate for Palestine”, May 12, 1926, page 15, et seq.49) It is also obvious and proper that economic rights of American nationals in Iraq should be assured on a basis similar to the basis embodied in the convention with France in respect to Syria and the Lebanon. Particular attention is called to the exceptional nature of the economic provisions of the Palestine convention, with respect to which the position of the Government of the United States has been fully reserved.

Articles 9 and 10 correspond to Articles 7 and 8 of the convention concerning rights in Palestine.

The Department will be glad to learn the results of the Embassy’s discussion of this question with the Foreign Office.

I am [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
[Enclosure]

Draft Convention Between the United States and Great Britain

Whereas by the Treaty of Peace concluded with the Allied Powers,50 Turkey renounces all her rights and titles over Iraq; and

Whereas Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations51 in the Treaty of Versailles provides that, in the case of certain territories which, as a consequence of the late war, ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them, mandates should be issued, and that the terms of the mandate should be explicitly defined in each case by the Council of the League; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed to entrust the mandate for Iraq to His Britannic Majesty; and

Whereas, with a view to the application to Iraq of the principles of Article 22 of the Covenant, the Council of the League of Nations [Page 784]on September 27, 1924, adopted a Decision defining the terms of the said Mandate, as follows:

(Here quote Decision); and

Whereas, as set forth in the Schedule hereto, the British Government has concluded a new treaty with Iraq dated January 13, 1926, and has submitted the text thereof under covering letter dated March 2, 1926, to the Council of the League of Nations52 which on March 11, 1926, approved the terms of such letter; and

Whereas the United States of America, by participating in the war against Germany, contributed to her defeat and the defeat of her Allies, and to the renunciation of the rights and titles of her Allies in the territory transferred by them but has not ratified the Covenant of the League of Nations embodied in the Treaty of Versailles; and

Whereas the Government of the United States and the Government of His Britannic Majesty desire to reach a definite understanding with respect to the rights of the two Governments and their respective nationals in Iraq:

The President of the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty have decided to conclude a convention to this effect, and have named as their plenipotentiaries:

  • The President of the United States:
    . . . . . . .;
  • His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the seas, Emperor of India:
    . . . . . . .:

who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form have agreed as follows:

Article I

Subject to the provisions of the present Convention, the United States consents to the mandate exercised by His Britannic Majesty over Iraq as set forth in the said Decision of the Council of the League of Nations and extended by the Anglo-Iraq Treaty of January 13, 1926, and Resolution of the Council of March 11, 1926, hereinbefore mentioned.

Article II

The United States and its nationals shall have and enjoy all the rights and benefits secured under the terms of the mandate to members of the League of Nations and their nationals, notwithstanding the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations.

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Article III

Vested American property rights in the mandated territory shall be respected and in no way impaired.

Article IV

A duplicate of the annual report to be made by the Mandatory under the terms of the mandate shall be furnished to the United States.

Article V

Subject to the provisions of any local laws for the maintenance of public order and public morals, the nationals of the United States will be permitted freely to establish and maintain educational, philanthropic and religious institutions in the mandated territory, to receive voluntary applicants and to teach in the English language.

Article VI

The extradition treaties and conventions which are, or may be, in force between the United States and Great Britain, and the provisions of any treaties which are, or may be, in force between the two countries which relate to extradition or consular rights shall apply to the mandated territory.

Article VII

With reference to the penultimate paragraph of the above mentioned Decision of the Council of the League of Nations wherein it is decided “that the privileges and immunities, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection formerly enjoyed by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, will not be required for the protection of foreigners in Iraq so long as the Treaty of Alliance is in force,” it is agreed between the High Contracting Parties that, unless the United States, whose nationals enjoyed the aforementioned privileges and immunities on the 1st August, 1914, shall have previously renounced the right to their re-establishment or shall have agreed to their non-application for a further specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the said Treaty of Alliance as extended by the Anglo-Iraq Treaty of January 13, 1926, or of the mandate, whichever may first expire, be immediately reestablished in their entirety or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.

Article VIII

The mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Iraq against the nationals of the United States (including societies, associations, and companies incorporated under the laws of the United [Page 786]States) as compared with British nationals or those of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, the granting of concessions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Nor shall there be any discrimination in Iraq against goods originating in or destined for the United States. There shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across Iraq territory. Special customs arrangements, however, may be concluded with an adjoining country on grounds of contiguity.

Concessions in the nature of a general monopoly shall not be granted. This clause shall in no way limit the creating of monopolies of a purely fiscal character in the interest of Iraq, and with a view to assuring to the territory the fiscal resources which would appear best adapted to the local needs, or, in certain cases, with a view to developing the natural resources either directly by the State or through an organization under its control, provided that this does not involve either directly or indirectly the creation of a monopoly of the natural resources in favor of the Mandatory or its nationals, nor involve any preferential treatment which would be incompatible with the economic, commercial and industrial equality guaranteed above.

Article IX

Nothing contained in the present convention shall be affected by any modification which may be made in the terms of the mandate unless such modification shall have been assented to by the United States.

Article X

The present Convention shall be ratified in accordance with the respective constitutional methods of the High Contracting Parties. The ratifications shall be exchanged in London as soon as practicable. The present Convention shall take effect on the date of the exchange of ratifications.

In witness whereof, the undersigned have signed the present Convention, and have hereunto affixed their seals.

Done in duplicate at London this . . . . . day of . . . . . . ., 1926.

(seal) . . . . . . .
(seal) . . . . . . .

Schedule

of Documents referred to in the foregoing Draft Convention and annexed thereto.

1.
Anglo-Iraq Treaty of Alliance of October 10, 1922; Protocol of April 30, 1923; and subsidiary Agreements (British Officials, Military, Judicial, and Financial) of March 25, 1924.
2.
Anglo-Iraq Treaty of January 13, 1926.
3.
Letter from His Britannic Majesty’s Government to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, March 2, 1926 (omitting Enclosure No. 2); and Resolution* adopted on March 11, 1926, by the Council of the League of Nations with respect thereto.
  1. Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. ii, p. 231.
  2. Ibid., 1924, vol. ii, p. 212.
  3. Not printed.
  4. League of Nations, Official Journal, 7th year, No. 4, p. 502.
  5. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxiv, p. 379.
  6. For text of the decision, see League of Nations, Official Journal, 5th year, No. 10, p. 1346.
  7. Treaty with France, signed Apr. 4, 1924, Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 741.
  8. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxxv, p. 13.
  9. See Department of State, Near Eastern Series No. 1, Mandate for Palestine (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1931), p. 27.
  10. Treaty of Peace signed at Lausanne, July 24, 1923; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxviii, p. 11.
  11. Malloy, Treaties, 1910–1923, vol. iii, pp. 3336, 3342.
  12. For texts of treaty and covering letter, see League of Nations, Official Journal, 7th year, No. 4, p. 550, annexes 845b and 845a. The treaty is also printed in Great Britain, Cmd. 2587, ’Iraq, Treaty with King Feisal, etc.
  13. Resolution No. 1, Page 8, Cmd. 2624, Miscellaneous No. 3 (1926). [Footnote in the original.]