504.418A2/239: Telegram

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

50. [From Miller.] Conference No. 18. I think the general result of this Conference will be a set-back to the whole idea of the codification of international law; this opinion is subject to revision but it expresses my views at the moment.

In nationality, the agreement reached will be very limited and if you agree with our views it will be one which the United States will never sign.

In responsibility, any agreement will be quite limited in any case and even such a limited agreement is not now definitely in sight. This is the only one of the three subjects which presents primarily questions of existing international law for codification.

In territorial waters, there appears no possibility of agreement with views more openly divergent than they were when discussions commenced.

There is this much to be said on the other side.

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The difficulties on all three questions have been explored and have been found to have been more real than was supposed when the Governments agreed on this Conference. The study of the three questions and the interchange of views will be valuable regardless of the present result and may perhaps lead gradually to some result later on some points although more probably in the near future along the lines of particular conventions than by general agreement. Miller.