504.418A2/225: Telegram

The Minister in the Netherlands (Diekema) to the Acting Secretary of State


42. From Miller. Conference No. 10.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There is not the slightest possibility that the Conference will adopt the proposal of the National Woman’s Party as a clause of a convention.2 A very large majority of the delegations are opposed to it, [Page 211] as Miss Stevens3 herself has stated. Under the circumstances the obvious course, which the women have in mind, is for them to seek a resolution or recommendation of the Conference which would be favorable to the proposal; our attitude on such a resolution, of course, would be one of great importance. In talking with Miss Stevens I reserved any answer on the point. I think that the Chilean delegation, which has brought forward the proposal, would be disposed to accept any suggestion which we may make in the matter.

I suggest following as form of such a resolution:4

“The Conference recommends to the study of the Governments the principle that in their law and practice relating to nationality there shall be no distinction based on sex with particular consideration of the interests of children involved in the application of that principle.”

In support of such a proposal a statement might be made to the effect that the Government of the United States had gone very far in its nationality laws in removal of discrimination based on sex, but that it is our feeling that questions relating to children and their interests are closely bound up with the complete application of the principle and therefore should be considered in connection therewith.

Subject to the day-to-day developments here which are impossible to forecast in detail, I recommend that we favor a resolution in the form given above and support it along lines of statement indicated. I await instructions.5

  1. The clause which it was desired to insert in the proposed convention of nationality provided that on the part of the contracting parties there should be no distinction based on sex in their law or practice relating to nationality.
  2. Doris Stevens, chairman of the Inter-American Commission of Women. The Commission was created pursuant to a resolution of the Sixth International Conference of American States, Habana, 1928.
  3. Quoted passage not paraphrased.
  4. By telegram No. 23, April 1, 1 p.m., the Department approved the suggested form of resolution.