711.5912 A/12

The Minister in Denmark (Dodge) to the Secretary of State

No. 464

Sir: Referring to my Despatch No. 453 of the 16th instant,6 relative to the proposed Arbitration Treaty between the United States and Denmark, I have the honor to confirm my telegram sent this afternoon6 stating that the Foreign Minister, Dr. Moltesen, had informed me that a telegram was despatched last evening to the Danish Minister in Washington, Mr. Brun, advising him that the Danish Government agreed to sign the Treaty of Arbitration as proposed by the Government of the United States except for a few necessary technical modifications to exclude Iceland from its provisions since it would be necessary to negotiate a separate Treaty with that Government which is now independent. My telegram added that I was also informed that full powers were being mailed to Mr. Brun to sign the proposed Treaty.

In conversation to-day regarding this matter, Dr. Moltesen repeated, what I reported in my Despatch No. 453, above referred to, namely that Denmark would have preferred a Treaty of Arbitration with less limitations like her Treaty with France7 (Despatch No. 131 of April 4, 19276) or with most of the European countries. However he had agreed to sign the proposed Treaty because he understood that the United States was not disposed to introduce modifications in the draft since it was proposed to negotiate similar Treaties with a number of other Governments. Mr. Brun would mention his Government’s preference to the Secretary of State and although he, Dr. Moltesen, knew that in the circumstances this preference could have no effect, he desired to make his Government’s wish known so that he might eventually [Page 720] inform the Rigsdag that everything possible had been done to obtain a less limited Treaty. The Rigsdag would undoubtedly be disappointed that a less limited Treaty could not be agreed upon.

Regarding the technical modifications above mentioned to exclude Iceland from the dispositions of the Treaty, Count Reventlow, Director General of the Foreign Office, subsequently explained to me that owing to Iceland’s independence, the Treaty with Denmark could not include Iceland but a separate Treaty would have to be negotiated through the Danish Foreign Office which would transmit it for the decision of the Government at Reykjavik. This Government was quite differently disposed towards Arbitration and other Treaties than the Danish Government and usually, except for Treaties with the Scandinavian countries, thought it unnecessary to have them. However it was inclined to be more favorably disposed towards Treaties with the United States and he thought that it was quite likely to view favorably a Treaty similar to the proposed one with Denmark. The negotiations however might take some time owing to the distance of Reykjavik from Copenhagen.8 The actual modifications in the text of the Treaty would consist in eliminating the words “two nations”, or other expressions referring to the contracting parties and substituting the words “the United States and Denmark”, so as to eliminate any question of the inclusion of Iceland.

I have [etc.]

H. Percival Dodge
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Treaty of July 5, 1926, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxxi, p. 455.
  4. Not printed.
  5. A treaty of arbitration with Iceland was signed on May 15, 1930 (Department of State Treaty Series No. 828).