The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Lindsay)

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s note No. 200 of June 14, 1932, informing this Government that all of the other principal maritime powers have notified His Majesty’s Government of their willingness to put into force on January 1, 1933, the collision regulations, as shown in Annex II of the Convention on Safety of Life at Sea.

In reply I regret to inform your Excellency that the United States Government is not prepared at this time to set a date as to when it will be ready to adopt the revised collision regulations.

This Government is in entire accord with the views of your Government that the regulations may be adopted independently of the ratification of the convention for the safety of life at sea. The regulations, however, as now in force, were adopted in the United States by act of Congress and under the constitutional system of this country changes may be made therein only by treaty or by act of Congress. Inasmuch as the present session of Congress is nearing adjournment and the next regular session will not convene until December next, I regret that it may not be expected that the revised regulations could be brought into force in the United States before January 1, 1933.

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With reference to the proposed amendment to be added to Article 2 of the Revised Text of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (Annex II of the Convention), also discussed in the Embassy’s note of June 14, 1932, I am glad to inform you that it is acceptable to this Government, as follows:

“and naval vessels in which it is not practicable to carry the second white light referred to in subdivision (b) of this article shall not be required to carry it.”

Accept [etc.]

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