The Secretary of State to Mr. John E. Caldwell33

Sir: You are instructed to attend, in the capacity of observer, the Conference which is to convene in Bangkok, Siam on November 9, 1931 to discuss, on the basis of the Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Control of Opium Smoking in the Far East, the position in regard to the application of Chapter II of the Hague Convention and the application of the Geneva Agreement. There is attached a copy of the note of the Secretary General of the League of Nations, dated June 18, 1931 (with its enclosures),26 inviting the Government of the United States to participate in this Conference.

In addition to the report which you will make, upon the conclusion of the Conference,34 you should inform the Department by telegraph of any important developments which may occur during the Conference.

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By prohibiting opium smoking, in discharge of what it considered to be its obligations under the Hague Convention, the United States Government has gone further than the measures provided for in the Geneva Agreement, to which this Government is not a party. This Government is not prepared to recede from the position which it has taken in regard to this matter35 and, since it does not appear from the agenda that the Conference in Bangkok will consider steps as drastic as this Government has already taken, it is unlikely that the United States Government could sign any agreement resulting from that Conference.

Nevertheless, on account of the interest which this Government has and its realization of the necessity for joint international action in regard to the subject to be considered by the Conference, it desires to follow closely its discussions and to cooperate with other Governments to the fullest possible extent. You should take advantage of any opportunity that may be afforded during the Conference, either by formal or informal discussions, to promote closer governmental cooperation in the suppression of both opium smoking and the illicit traffic in manufactured narcotic drugs, with particular reference to the Philippine Islands.

You will leave Washington in time to reach Bangkok before the opening of the Conference, and will return to the Department upon the conclusion of the Conference.

Your actual and necessary expenses of transportation will be payable in accordance with the provisions of the Standardized Government Travel Regulations. You will be allowed a per diem of $20.00 in lieu of subsistence expenses from the date of your departure from Washington until your return to Washington, except while on steamer, when you will be allowed a per diem of $5.00.

You may expend not to exceed $200.00 for official entertainment in connection with the Conference.

You will draw drafts on the Secretary of State for such funds as are required to cover your per diem, travel and any entertainment expenses incurred, not to exceed in total the sum of $2,500.00, citing authorization No. 9–1932. All disbursements should be covered by vouchers, so far as practicable, and upon your return to the Department you will render an account in the usual manner for all disbursements and for any unexpended balance of drafts which you may have drawn. You should indicate clearly upon your drafts the purpose for which they are drawn.

Very truly yours,

Henry L. Stimson
  1. Consul General on duty in the Department.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Dated January 27, 1982, at Washington (511.4R1/81); not printed.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 125, and ibid., 1926, vol. i, p. 250.