Treaty Series No. 785

Treaty Between the United States of America and France, Signed at Washington, February 6, 19287

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

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 justiciable controversies that may arise between them;

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Eager by their example not only to demonstrate their condemnation of war as an instrument of national policy in their mutual relations, but also to hasten the time when the perfection of international arrangements for the pacific settlement of international disputes shall have eliminated forever the possibility of war among any of the Powers of the world;

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

Have decided to conclude a new treaty of arbitration enlarging the scope of the arbitration convention signed at Washington on February 10, 1908, which expires by limitation on February 27, 1928, and promoting the cause of arbitration and for that purpose they have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries:

  • The President of the United States of America:
  • Mr. Robert E. Olds, Acting Secretary of State, and
  • The President of the French Republic:
  • His Excellency Mr. Paul Claudel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the United States, who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

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

Article II

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 it has not been possible to adjust by diplomacy, which have not been adjusted as a result of reference to the above-mentioned Permanent International Commission, and which are justiciable in their nature by reason of being susceptible of decision by the application of the principles of law or equity, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of Arbitration established at The Hague by the Convention of October 18, 1907, or to some other competent tribunal, as shall be decided in each case by special agreement, which special agreement shall provide [Page 818] for the organization of such 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 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.

Article III

The provisions of this 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 concerning American questions, commonly described as the Monroe Doctrine,
depends upon or involves the observance of the obligations of France in accordance with the covenant of the League of Nations.

Article IV

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 laws of the French 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 the ratifications. It shall thereafter remain in force continuously unless and until terminated by one year’s written notice given by either High Contracting Party to the other.

In faith thereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty in duplicate in the English and French languages, both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

Robert E. Olds
  1. In English and French; French text not printed. Ratification advised by the Senate, Mar. 6, 1928; ratified by the President, Mar. 15, 1928; ratified by France, Apr. 6, 1929; ratifications exchanged at Washington, Apr. 22, 1929; proclaimed by the President, Apr. 22, 1929.