The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Dawes)

No. 694

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 1594 dated January 26, 1931, transmitting a note of the Foreign Office dated January 23, 1931, concerning the proposal of this Government that the provisions of the Convention concluded between the United States and Great Britain on March 2, 1899, relative to the disposal of real and personal property in the respective countries, be extended to British colonies and protectorates which have not adhered to the Convention.

With reference to the inquiry in the second paragraph of the Foreign Office note of January 23, 1931, whether this Government would now agree to the Convention being applied to the dependencies mentioned in the Foreign Office note No. A1973/1001/45 of March 24, 1930, you are instructed to advise the Foreign Office that the Government of the United States will agree to the application of the Convention to those dependencies.

This Government will not interpose any objection to a proposal for the insertion of a provision in any supplementary convention which may be concluded as a result of this correspondence giving His Majesty’s Government the right to give notice of the application of the Convention to any British colony or protectorate or to any mandated territory in respect of which the mandate is exercised by [Page 139] His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom without any limitation as to time.

With respect to the request contained in the fourth paragraph of the Foreign Office note for a formal assurance from this Government that the application of the Convention to a territory under His Majesty’s protection or authority ipso facto confers the benefits of the Convention on British protected persons belonging to that territory, you will state that this Government believes it would be advisable to have an express provision in the proposed convention specifically conferring on persons belonging to territories under His Majesty’s, protection who may not be British subjects and on persons belonging to territories under the protection of the United States who are not citizens of the United States the benefits which the Convention confers on British subjects and American citizens belonging to dependencies to which the Convention is applied. As the Convention is subject to interpretation by the courts of the United States, such a definite provision specifically covering this subject would seem to be necessary. It is also desired to have the provision reciprocal so that it would confer the benefits of the Convention upon persons entitled to the protection of the United States who are not American citizens but who belong to territories under its jurisdiction to which the Convention may be applied.

Please submit a report setting forth the action taken by you pursuant to this instruction.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.