711.90H/23

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Straus )

No. 692

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 1282 of October 13, 1934, with reference to the proposal by the Afghan Minister in Paris of a treaty of friendship between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Afghanistan.

Although this Government is not averse in principle to concluding a treaty of friendship and commerce with the Government of Afghanistan, it considers that the purposes which the two Governments have in mind might be accomplished more expeditiously and satisfactorily by the conclusion of a less formal agreement. You are therefore authorized to propose to the Afghan Minister the negotiation of an agreement along the lines of the draft of which two copies are enclosed. The proposed agreement is similar to that between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, signed at London on November 7, 1933,5 two copies of which are also enclosed.

You will observe that the proposed agreement with Afghanistan differs from the Agreement with Saudi Arabia only in the following respects:

(1)
The inclusion in the Afghan agreement of a new article (Article I) providing for enduring peace and friendship.
(2)
The omission from Article II of the Afghan agreement of the phrase “in the places wherein consular representatives are by local laws permitted to reside”. That phrase was included in the Saudi Arabian agreement at the request of the Arabian Government because local laws did not permit foreign consular officers to reside in certain holy places. Presumably no reason exists for the inclusion of a similar provision in the proposed agreement with Afghanistan.
(3)
The omission from Article IV of the Afghan agreement of the provisions relating to “navigation” which appear in Article III of the Arabian agreement. Since Afghanistan is a land-locked country obviously no necessity exists for provisions regarding navigation.
(4)
The inclusion in Article V of the Afghan agreement of a reference to the Reciprocal Trade Agreement of August 24, 1934, with Cuba,6 which has been concluded since the date the Arabian agreement was signed.
(5)
The omission from the Afghan agreement of the final provision of the Arabian agreement regarding the use of English and Arabic. The drafting of the proposed agreement with Afghanistan solely in English would greatly facilitate and expedite its conclusion. In the event that the Afghan Minister is prepared to sign the enclosed draft agreement in its present form you are authorized to sign the agreement, a full power for which is herewith transmitted. A like full power should be presented by the Afghan Minister and the two [Page 557] full powers exchanged. You will observe that the final article of the draft agreement recites that the representatives of the two Governments have been duly authorized.

Should the Afghan Minister desire a French text you are instructed to prepare such a text and forward it to the Department for comparison. In this case, the language of the first paragraph of Article VII would read as follows:

“The English and French texts of the present Agreement shall be of equal validity.”

However, if the Afghan Minister insists that the agreement be in Persian as well as English, you are instructed to point out that the preparation of the Persian text would have to be done by the Legation at Teheran and a considerable amount of time would inevitably be lost. In case, however, it be agreed to have a Persian text, the Department desires to propose the following as a first paragraph of Article VII:

“The English and Persian texts of the present Agreement shall be of equal validity, but in case of divergence the English text shall prevail.”

The Department will be pleased to learn the attitude of the Afghan Minister toward the proposed agreement and it will issue further instructions to you in the event that the Afghan authorities make counter proposals.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
[Enclosure]

Draft Agreement Between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Afghanistan in Regard to Friendship, Diplomatic and Consular Representation, Juridical Protection, and Commercial Relations

Article I

There shall be a firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and its citizens, and His Majesty the King of Afghanistan, his successors and subjects, throughout all their territories and possessions.

Article II

The diplomatic representatives of each country shall enjoy in the territories of the other the privileges and immunities derived from generally recognized international law. The consular representatives of each country, duly provided with exequatur, will be permitted to [Page 558] reside in the territories of the other; they shall enjoy the honorary privileges and the immunities accorded to such officers by general international usage; and they shall not be treated in a manner less favorable than similar officers of any other foreign country.

Article III

Subjects of His Majesty the King of Afghanistan in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, and nationals of the United States of America, its territories and possessions, in the Kingdom of Afghanistan shall be received and treated in accordance with the requirements and practices of generally recognized international law. In respect of their persons, possessions and rights, they shall enjoy the fullest protection of the laws and authorities of the country, and they shall not be treated in regard to their persons, property, rights and interests, in any manner less favorable than the nationals of any other foreign country.

Article IV

In respect of import, export and other duties and charges affecting commerce, as well as in respect of transit, warehousing and other facilities, the United States of America, its territories and possessions, will accord to the Kingdom of Afghanistan, and the Kingdom of Afghanistan will accord to the United States of America, its territories and possessions, unconditional most-favored-nation treatment. Every concession with respect to any duty, charge or regulation affecting commerce now accorded or that may hereafter be accorded by the United States of America, its territories and possessions, or by the Kingdom of Afghanistan to any foreign country will become immediately applicable without request and without compensation to the commerce of the Kingdom of Afghanistan and of the United States of America, its territories and possessions, respectively.

Article V

The stipulations of this Agreement shall not extend to the treatment which is accorded by the United States of America to the commerce of Cuba under the provisions of the Commercial Convention concluded between the United States and Cuba on December 11, 1902,7 or the Reciprocal Trade Agreement concluded August 24, 1934, or the provisions of any other commercial convention which hereafter may be concluded between the United States of America and Cuba. Such stipulations, moreover, shall not extend to the treatment which is accorded to the commerce between the United States of America and the Panama Canal Zone or any of the dependencies of the United [Page 559] States of America or to the commerce of the dependencies of the United States of America with one another under existing or future laws.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as a limitation of the right of either Government to impose, on such terms as it may see fit, prohibitions or restrictions of a sanitary character designed to protect human, animal, or plant life, or regulations for the enforcement of police or revenue laws.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to affect existing statutes of either country in relation to the immigration of aliens or the right of either Government to enact such statutes.

Article VI

The present stipulations shall become operative on the day of signature hereof and shall remain respectively in effect until the entry into force of a definitive treaty of commerce, or until thirty days after notice of their termination shall have been given by the Government of either country, but should the Government of the United States of America be prevented by future action of its legislature from carrying out the terms of these stipulations, the obligations thereof shall thereupon lapse.

Article VII

In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this agreement, in duplicate, at Paris this . . . . . day of . . . . . . . , one thousand nine hundred and . . . . . . .