The Norwegian Minister (Bachke) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary of State: Having brought to the attention of the Norwegian Government the contents of Your Excellency’s note of November 26, 1928, relating to the draft treaty of arbitration between Norway and the United States of America, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency, that I have been instructed to point out that, in the opinion of my Government, the words in the beginning of article I of the draft, viz: “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” are quite sufficiently clear as a definition of “differences of a legal nature”. The addition further on in the same article: “and which are justiciable in their nature by reason of being susceptible of decision by the application of the principles of law and equity” would, consequently, seem to be superfluous. However, the Norwegian Government considers that it can accept the said addition, and declares itself in agreement with the Government of the United States of America that the addition shall not be construed as affording a further opportunity to the Governments of declaring any concrete dispute to be outside the scope of the treaty.

My Government does not either insist upon striking from article I of the proposed treaty the sentence “which have not been adjusted as a result of reference to the Permanent International Commission constituted pursuant to the treaty signed at Washington June 24, 1914.” On the other hand the Norwegian Government finds it necessary to propose, in order to give the clearest possible expression of the intention of the Parties, that the words quoted be redrafted to [Page 711] read as follows: “which if they have been referred to the Permanent International Commission constituted pursuant to the treaty signed at Washington, June 24, 1914, have not been adjusted as a result of this procedure.” It is hoped that this rewording, which, it is thought, meets the meaning of Your Excellency, as explained in the note of November 26, 1928, may be found acceptable.

Please accept [etc.]

H. H. Bachke