711.5112 U.S./7

The French Ambassador (Claudel) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: By note of the 28th of December last your Excellency was good enough to transmit the text of a draft of a treaty of arbitration between France and the United States to replace the convention which expires at the end of next month.

M. Briand, to whom I have not failed to telegraph the text, has suggested certain modifications of which I told you verbally yesterday. [Page 813] He sent me a draft containing these modifications. I have the honor to transmit these attached hereto to your Excellency.

Accept [etc.]


French Draft Treaty of Arbitration

The President of the French Republic and the President of the United States of America,

Determined to prevent, so far as in their power lies, any interruption in the peaceful relations that have happily existed between the two nations for more than a century,

Desirous of reaffirming their adherence to the policy of submitting to impartial decision all judiciable controversies that may arise between them;

Eager by their example, not only to demonstrate that in their reciprocal relations they condemn war, but also to hasten the time when the conclusion of international arrangements for the pacific settlement of disputes between states shall have eliminated forever the possibilities of war among the nations of the world;

Considering the treaty signed in Washington on September 15th 1914, to facilitate the settlement of disputes between France and the United States of America;

Considering that the arbitration convention signed at Washington on February 10th, 1908 expires on February 27th, 1928, and that it is necessary to replace it by provisions enlarging the scope of the said convention, which shall, according to international law of to-day, develop its obligatory principles,

Have decided to conclude a treaty to these ends and have appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries:

  • The President of the French Republic . . . . . . . .
  • The President of the United States of America . . . . . . . .

Who, having communicated to one another their full powers, found in due and proper form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article 1. Any disputes which might arise between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the United States of America, of whatever nature they may be, shall, when ordinary diplomatic proceedings have failed and the High Contracting parties have not had recourse to adjudication by a competent tribunal, be submitted for investigation and report, as prescribed in the treaty signed at Washington September 15th, 1914, to the Permanent International Commission constituted pursuant thereto.

Article 2. All differences relating to international matters in which the High Contracting Parties are concerned by virtue of a claim of right made by one against the other, under treaty or otherwise, which have not been adjusted as a result of reference to the Permanent [Page 814] International Commission mentioned in Article 1st, and which are justiciable in their nature by reason of being susceptible of decision by the application of the principles of law and equity, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of Arbitration established at the Hague by the Convention of October 18th, 1907, or to some other competent tribunal as shall be decided in each case by special agreement; such a special agreement shall provide for the organization of the said tribunal if necessary, define its powers, state the question or questions at issue, and settle the terms of reference.

The special agreement in each case shall be made on the part of the Government of the United States of America, by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and on the part of France, in accordance with the constitutional laws of France.

In case an understanding could not be reached on the special above mentioned agreement, the procedure to be applied will be that provided for in articles 53 and 54 of the Convention of the Hague of October 18th, 1907.

Article 3. The provisions of the present treaty shall not be invoked in respect of any dispute, the subject matter of which is:

within the domestic jurisdiction of either of the High Contracting Parties,
involves the interests of third parties,
depends upon or involves the maintenance of the traditional attitude of the United States of America concerning American conditions commonly described as the Monroe Doctrine,
depends upon or involves the observation of the obligations of France in accordance with the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Article 4. The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof and by the President of the French Republic in accordance with the constitutional law of the Republic.

The ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible and the treaty shall take effect on the date of the exchange of ratifications. It shall thereafter remain in force continuously. However, it may be terminated by one or the other of the Contracting Parties and in this case its effects will cease at the expiration of a delay of one year beginning on the date of the denunciation.

In faith thereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty in duplicate, both in French and in English, both texts prevailing, and hereunto affixed their seals.