890G.01/292: Telegram

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

75. Department’s mail instruction 1045, January 14, 1932.1 After having given further consideration to this matter the Department has reached the conclusion that, though by the terms of Article 6 of the Tripartite Convention of January 9, 1930,2 the United States waived its right with respect to consultation regarding the termination of the “special relations” between Great Britain and Iraq, it retains the right to demand consultation with respect to the conditions under which Iraq is to be administered upon the cessation of the mandatory relationship.

This conclusion is based upon the fact that through correspondence in 1921 with the Council of the League of Nations and with the various mandatory Powers, this Government established the principle that its “approval was essential to the validity of any determination which may be reached with respect to the mandates” and that it concededly had “an equal voice in their disposition”. (For examples of this correspondence see Section 2 of the pamphlet entitled “Mandate for Palestine” originally issued by the Department in 1927). Since the termination of a régime in a mandated territory necessarily involves the “disposition” of the territory and affects the interests of American nationals therein, the right of the United States to be consulted with respect to the conditions under which the territory is subsequently to be administered is on precisely the same basis as its right to be consulted with regard to the establishment of a mandatory régime.

In view of the foregoing it is desired that you make inquiry of the Foreign Office as to whether this Government is correct in assuming that it is to be consulted by the British Government with [Page 673] respect to the conditions under which Iraq is to be administered upon the termination of the “special relations” between that country and Great Britain.

In this connection it is pertinent to add that in a telegram dated January 30, 1932,3 the Consul at Geneva reported that he had learned from confidential sources that the position seemed to be that the Council of the League would not consult the United States in the case of Iraq but would assume that Great Britain as mandatory Power had already done so or would do so and would see that all interests in the mandate whether inherent, expressed or implied were properly considered.

It is considered to be particularly important to establish the principle of the right of this Government to be consulted in this case in order that a precedent may be established which can be invoked when the question of the termination of other mandates, such as Syria, comes up for consideration.