The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain ( Atherton )
Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 2256 of November 8, 1927, transmitting a copy of a Foreign Office note dated November 7, 1927, with which was enclosed a redraft (described for convenience as the “revise of November 1st”)69b of the text of the proposed convention relative to Iraq approved by the Department in its instruction No. 848 of March 1, 1927.
You should inform the Foreign Office that the Department has given careful consideration to the revise in question and finds it acceptable except as specified in the following comment:
- Article 4. The Department is of the opinion that it cannot properly accept this article as at present drafted. In the earlier drafts of the proposed treaty the wording of this article was identical with that used in the analogous articles of the American-British Palestine Mandate Convention and the American-French Syrian Mandate Convention. The draft now proposed differs therefrom by the addition of the clause “and to any general educational requirements prescribed by law in Iraq.” It is felt that if this proposed modification were accepted a way would be opened whereby legislation of a nature calculated to defeat the essential purpose of the article might be enacted. The Department does not, of course, mean to imply that such is the intention of the Iraq Government or that in suggesting the addition of this clause it had any such objective in mind. It assumes that the legislation envisaged by the suggested clause would deal with certain curricular requirements which the Iraq Government might wish to see made applicable to all schools, both government and private, established in the country. To any reasonable requirements of this nature this Government would not, of course, wish to object, but the experience of its educational institutions in Near Eastern countries has been such as to warrant serious hesitation if confronted by a general and indeterminate limitation such as that now proposed for Iraq. The admirable records of these institutions and their constant willingness to cooperate with the local government authorities in all matters tending to promote the national and educational welfare of the peoples whom they serve should, it is thought, be a sufficient guarantee for the future in Iraq. In other words, this Government would approve, as it is certain American educational institutions would approve, any general educational requirements not of a restrictive nature such as, for example, requirements as to the teaching of Arabic or of Iraqi or Near Eastern history, but it is definitely of the opinion that, in order to assure to American schools in Iraq a development comparable to that so successfully achieved by similar institutions in neighboring Near Eastern countries, the [Page 807]school authorities should be left free to determine general questions of curricula and administrative policy. The Department desires therefore that the suggested additional clause of the revise of November 1st be omitted, and it suggests in lieu thereof that the Iraq Government accept the above statement of this Government’s willingness to raise no objection to any reasonable curricular requirements which may be made by law generally applicable to all educational institutions in Iraq.
- Article 6. In the revise of November 1st the descriptive phrase “as defined in Article 1,” which in the earlier drafts followed the word “Iraq”, is omitted. It is probable that in redrafting the article, which in its present form is otherwise wholly acceptable to this Government, this phrase was inadvertently omitted. The Department desires, therefore, that you suggest its reinclusion.
- Article 7. Two minor errors of drafting appear to have been
made in the revise of November 1st, i. e.
- A period instead of what apparently should be a comma is placed at the end of the sixteenth line of the second paragraph. The following word should then begin with a lower instead of an upper case letter, and
- In lines 24 and 25 of the same paragraph the words “Panama Zone” have been used in place of the words “Panama Canal Zone” used in the Department’s instruction of March 1, 1927.
- The Embassy should point out these two minor changes to the Foreign Office and suggest that they be corrected in accordance with the foregoing comment.
You will note that the Department accepts the revise of November 1st, provided the modifications in Articles 4, 6 and 7 proposed above are accepted by the British and Iraqi Governments. In so informing the Foreign Office you should add, in reply to paragraph three of its note of November 7, 1927, that the Department accepts its proposal to provide, through a formal exchange of notes, that this Government shall be furnished a duplicate of the annual report on Iraq.
You will, of course, furnish the Department with a copy of any communication which you may address to the Foreign Office in accordance with the foregoing instructions and inform it fully regarding such further discussion of the matter as you may have with the appropriate authorities of the British Government.70
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