The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Howard)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of March 16, 1928,5 informing me that your Government is considering the draft arbitration treaty which I transmitted with my note of December 29, 1927, and that you will be instructed as soon as possible as to the reply to be made to the proposal which I submitted.

As you were informed in my note of December 29, 1927, except for the reservation at the end of Article II, the language of the draft treaty which I submitted for the consideration of your Government was mutatis mutandis identical with that of the draft treaty which I communicated on December 28, 1927, to the French Ambassador for the consideration of his Government.

In connection with the consideration of the Arbitration Treaty with France a question arose as to whether that treaty (which as you are aware was signed February 6, 1928)6 affected the status of the Treaty for the Advancement of Peace signed in 1914,7 a portion of the language of which was incorporated in Article I of the Arbitration Treaty. It was not the intention of either France or the United States that the Treaty of 1914 should be in any way modified by the new Arbitration Treaty, and notes have been exchanged8 recording the understanding of both Governments that the Treaty of 1914 was in no way affected by the later Arbitration Treaty. In order to obviate further questions of this nature, however, I have deemed it desirable not to include in other arbitration treaties any portion of the language of the earlier conciliation treaties, and in the draft treaties recently submitted to other Governments I have, therefore, omitted the language of Article I of the treaty with France and amended Article II accordingly.

In these circumstances I have the honor to suggest that Article I of the draft arbitration treaty enclosed with my note of December 29, 1927, be suppressed, that in Article II (which thereupon becomes Article I) there be substituted for the words “the above-mentioned Permanent International Commission”, the words “the Permanent International Commission constituted pursuant to the treaty signed at Washington, September 15, 1914”,9 and that Articles III and IV be renumbered II and III respectively. In the interest of uniformity I also suggest the addition to Article II of a paragraph (similar to paragraph (d) of Article III of the French treaty) excluding from [Page 947] the scope of the treaty questions the subject matter of which depends upon or involves the observance of the obligations of the British Empire in accordance with the Covenant of the League of Nations. The effect of these changes will be not only to place the negotiations with your Government upon the same basis as the negotiations which are being conducted with other Governments, but also to make it absolutely clear that the new Arbitration Treaty does not in any way modify or affect the Treaty signed September 15, 1914.

Accept [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg