The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Houghton)
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.[Page 782]
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.[Page 783]
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.]
- Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. ii, p. 231.↩
- Ibid., 1924, vol. ii, p. 212.↩
- Not printed.↩
- League of Nations, Official Journal, 7th year, No. 4, p. 502.↩
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxiv, p. 379.↩
- For text of the decision, see League of Nations, Official Journal, 5th year, No. 10, p. 1346.↩
- Treaty with France, signed Apr. 4, 1924, Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 741.↩
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxxv, p. 13.↩
- See Department of State, Near Eastern Series No. 1, Mandate for Palestine (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1931), p. 27.↩
- Treaty of Peace signed at Lausanne, July 24, 1923; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxviii, p. 11.↩
- Malloy, Treaties, 1910–1923, vol. iii, pp. 3336, 3342.↩
- 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.↩
- Resolution No. 1, Page 8, Cmd. 2624, Miscellaneous No. 3 (1926). [Footnote in the original.]↩