Mr. Allen W. Dulles, Foreign Service Officer, to the Secretary of State
Sir: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 119 of July 13, 1926,53 I prolonged my stay in London for a sufficient time to cooperate with the Embassy in presenting to the Foreign Office the proposed draft convention for the regularization of our interests in Iraq. On July 21, immediately after the receipt of the Department’s instructions, Mr. Sterling54 informed the Foreign Office and arranged for an interview with Foreign Office and Colonial Office officials which took place on Monday, July 26. Meanwhile, there was prepared a draft memorandum in explanation of the proposed draft convention on the basis of the Department’s written instruction No. 601 of July 13, 1926, to the Embassy in London. A copy of this memorandum is attached. (Enclosure No. l.53).
It seemed wise in preparing this memorandum to avoid any detailed exposition of the reasons for suggesting the various articles of the proposed draft convention and to restrict our written explanation to an indication of the precedents on which the provisions of the draft were based. The detailed explanation of the Department’s draft was thus reserved for our oral conversations at the Foreign Office.
On July 26, Mr. Sterling and I conferred at the Foreign Office with Mr.
Osborne, Mr. Thomas Spring-Rice, and a representative of the Colonial
Office and presented the draft convention as communicated by the
Department and the draft memorandum in explanation thereof. The
representatives of the Foreign Office said that of course they would not
be in a position to discuss the draft in any detail until they had given
it thorough study. After reading it over, however, they made certain
suggestions which were communicated to the Department [Page 788] in the Embassy’s telegram No. 172 of
July 26.55 These
suggestions as summarized by telegraph were as follows:
We informed the Foreign Office that we would be glad to bring these points to the attention of the Department but we could not of course give any assurance that we would have a reply prior to my departure for the United States on the 31st. We pointed out that in any event it might be useful to discuss our draft convention and any proposals they might wish to make, so that the Department could have the benefit of detailed information on the subject upon my return to Washington. The Foreign Office entirely concurred in the desirability of this procedure. They pointed out that of course they could not finally commit their Government, since it would be necessary to consult with the authorities in Baghdad before any treaty was finally negotiated. They would, however, be glad to give us the benefit of their views and of those of the Colonial Office. I said that as far as I was concerned I of course had no authority whatever to commit the Department of State and that whatever comment or suggestions I might make would be subject to the review of the Department upon my return.
Under date of July 28, Mr. Thomas Spring-Rice sent me, under covering letter, a counter-draft of the convention. (Enclosure No. [Page 789] 256). After studying this draft thoroughly with Mr. Sterling, we made an appointment for a further conference which took place at the Foreign Office on July 30. At this conference there were present Sir John Shuckburgh, Chief of the Middle Eastern Division of the Colonial Office, two other officials of the Colonial Office, Mr. Malkin of the Legal Section of the British Foreign Office, Mr. Thomas Spring-Rice, Mr. Sterling and myself. We immediately proceeded to the consideration, article by article, of the Foreign Office draft. I said that while I had no authority to accept any of the alternative texts suggested by the Foreign Office, the inclusion of both Great Britain and Iraq as Contracting Parties appeared to me to have certain advantages. In fact, as I pointed out, we had suggested the possibility of this procedure in the note addressed by the Embassy to the Foreign Office in accordance with the Department’s instruction No. 627 of April 20, 1925. I said that I should be glad to explain in Washington the point of view of the Foreign Office in suggesting this formula; namely, that it was important to meet the susceptibilities of the Iraq Government, which was very directly concerned; that many of the assurances we desired could not be obtained without the cooperation of the Iraq authorities and, further, that from the American point of view our interests would be better protected if we had the joint assurances of both the British and the Iraq authorities. The British Foreign Office said that they felt that there should be no difficulty in arranging for the negotiation of the convention in London since the Iraq Government was represented there by Jaffar Pasha, who could act as Iraq plenipotentiary.
As the Foreign Office accepted in the main our form of preamble and the idea of a schedule to set forth the important documents which were not to be quoted in the preamble, there was no detailed discussion of this part of the Treaty. One or two slight verbal changes which we suggested were accepted, particularly the change of the word “citizens” to “nationals.”
With respect to Article 1, I pointed out that our other mandate treaties had used the word “consents” rather than the words “agrees to recognize,” et cetera, in describing our attitude towards the mandate or the special regime set up in the mandated territory. I said that there had been some previous correspondence on this point and that the matter was fundamental from our point of view. We maintained the position that our acquiescence was essential to the formulation of the mandatory arrangements in view of our relation to the common victory.
No dissent was expressed to our position in this matter. The only question which was raised was as to the form in which this position could be set forth without irritating the sensibilities of the Iraq [Page 790] authorities. The two alternative formulae which were discussed are set forth in the second British counter-draft which was sent me by Mr. Spring-Rice under date of July 30 (Enclosure No. 357). Of the two texts of Article 1, I personally prefer that quoted in the righthand column. Further, this draft is rather more satisfactory to the Foreign Office, particularly to their Legal Section. The draft on the left-hand side of the page seemed to be more pleasing to one of the Colonial Office officials, who expressed apprehension of the attitude of the Iraqi in this matter. Sir John Shuckburgh, however, did not seem concerned and was agreeable to either draft.
In Article 2 only minor textual changes were made. No changes were suggested with respect to Articles 3, 4 and 5.
With respect to Article 6, the British authorities pointed out that they were not legally in a position to extend their extradition treaties to Iraq and that the best they could do would be to arrange for the negotiation of a treaty between the United States and Iraq. I raised no particular objection to this, as the point seemed to me to be really a minor one, as the escape of extraditable persons to Iraq seems very unlikely. Further, as they explained to me, the laws published in Iraq would probably permit of extradition from Iraq without a treaty provision to this effect, and they left with me a copy of the Iraq extradition law. (Enclosure No. 458).
Article 7, which relates to the suspension of the Capitulations, was the subject of a detailed discussion. It finally seemed best to follow as closely as possible the provisions in the corresponding articles of the Palestine and Syrian Mandate and to state that during the continuance of the special relations between Great Britain and Iraq the benefits of the Capitulations should not be applicable in Iraq. With regard to the second paragraph of Article 7, and in commenting upon the corresponding paragraph of the American draft, it was pointed out to us that the question of the revival of the Capitulations would be like a red flag to a bull as far as Iraq were concerned; they were particularly susceptible on this point, and we would only prejudice our own interests in trying to force them to accept a provision of the character suggested in the American draft. Further, as they pointed out, an undertaking of this character on the part of the British Government alone would not be of any great value, since the suggested reestablishment of the Capitulations applied to a period after the termination of the special relations between Great Britain and Iraq when Great Britain would not be in control of the situation in Iraq. Further, the British Government could not undertake the obligation not to withdraw from Iraq until the Iraqi had promised to give back the Capitulations to the United States. They felt, however, [Page 791] that the provision suggested in their draft treaty would assure us the benefit of most-favored-nation treatment in judicial matters and would satisfactorily protect our position. Thus, if any State in the future secured capitulations in Iraq we would have them also.
We called the attention of the Foreign and Colonial Office officials to the fact that their draft omitted any mention of our Article 8, which related to equality in the granting of concessions, et cetera, and contained a provision against the granting of monopolistic concessions. They explained this omission in the following manner. In so far as equality of treatment was concerned there was no difficulty whatever. Their agreements with the Iraqi and with the League of Nations assured equality of treatment to all members of the League in commercial and economic matters. Under our treaty we would have the benefit of this equality without a special article, and they felt that to single out this one subject from the annexed documents and incorporate it in the treaty was neither logical nor necessary. They stated that they had always considered that their undertaking to grant full equality of treatment in matters of taxation, commerce and navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, et cetera, (see Article 11 of the Anglo-Iraq Treaty of Alliance) related to the granting of concessions, which was the exercise of an industry. I suggested that while I was in no sense authorized to discuss the omission of Article 8 as proposed in the American draft, I should be glad to know whether they would be inclined to give us the assurances contained in this proposed article by an exchange of notes in the event that the Department would deem such a method satisfactory. In reply they indicated that in so far as the assurance of absolute equality of treatment with any other Power was concerned there would probably be no objection to putting this in an exchange of notes. They felt some hesitation, however, about the agreement as to monopolies. Monopolies, they pointed out, were very difficult to define; no one could say quite what a monopoly was; and they felt that any statement on this subject would be more or less meaningless, particularly as their notes would not bind the Iraqi in any respect. I undertook to report the British views on this point.
It should be noted that throughout the entire British counterdraft the word “mandate” has been replaced by the phrase “special relations existing between His Britannic Majesty and His Majesty the King of Iraq.”
Subsequent to this conference with the Foreign Office, I received on July 31, just before leaving London for the United States, the revised British draft which incorporated the changes which had been discussed the previous afternoon as indicated above. As pointed out in Mr. Thomas Spring-Rice’s letter to me of July 30,58a it was [Page 792] understood that the draft was purely tentative on both sides; that in the case of the British it would have to be submitted to higher authority in the Foreign Office and the consent of the Iraq Government would have to be secured. I of course made it clear throughout that only the Department could decide as to the definite proposals which we would make.
During the course of the discussions I referred to our deep interest in the question of archaeological research in Mesopotamia, and in order to assure me that the conditions accorded to foreign scholars are adequate they left with me the text of the Antiquities Law of 1924, which is appended. (Enclosure No. 559).
I have [etc.]