711.90 j 2/–

The Secretary of State to the Vice Consul at Aden (Park)

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your despatches Nos. 207 and 209 of March 15 and 23, 1927,1 transmitting and commenting on a proposal of the Imam Yehia of Yemen for the conclusion of a treaty of friendship and commerce between Yemen and the United States. It has given careful consideration to your discussion of the political situation in southwestern Arabia in its bearing on this proposal and has noted with interest and approval the friendly character of the informal relations which you have already established with the Imam in connection with the endeavor of Mr. Conny Houlberg of the Houlberg-Kidde Corporation of New York to negotiate certain commercial contracts with him.

In reply, you are informed that, while the Department approves your recent correspondence with the Imam and desires that your office continue to maintain friendly relations of an informal nature with him, it is not disposed at this time to proceed to the conclusion of formal treaty relations with Yemen.

For your confidential information it may be stated that, although this Government recognizes the renunciation of Turkish sovereignty in the detached Arab provinces of the former Ottoman Empire and has concluded or has under consideration agreements with respect to those portions thereof placed under French and British mandate, it is not yet prepared to accord formal recognition in the manner suggested by the Imam of Yemen to the native states which have been established in the Arabian Peninsula since the World War. The unsettled political situation and the resulting uncertainty as to the permanency of the political entities so far established as well as the unimportance of American interests may be mentioned as amongst the more obvious reasons which have led the Department to this position.

It is desired, therefore, that your reply to the Imam Yehia’s treaty proposal be informal, courteous and, for the present, final. You [Page 827]should state that you have not failed to bring his esteemed communication to the attention of your Government and that, acting under the Department’s instructions, you are most happy to convey its cordial appreciation of his expression of friendship and good-will toward the United States and the American people. You should add that your Government shares the hope which he was good enough to express that the commercial relations between the United States and Yemen and, in particular, the activities of the American merchants at the present time interested in trading in Yemen may increase and prosper. And you should conclude by stating that your Government, while highly appreciating and cordially reciprocating the friendly sentiments which prompted his offer, does not consider the present time as appropriate or opportune for entering into negotiations with a view to the conclusion of formal treaty relations with Yemen.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Joseph C. Grew
  1. No. 209 not printed.