The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Straus )
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:
- The inclusion in the Afghan agreement of a new article (Article I) providing for enduring peace and friendship.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,