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

No. 2570

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s Instruction No. 1198 of February 13, 1936, (File No. 711.90H/41), with regard to the proposed agreement with Afghanistan. The Department’s views concerning this matter have been carefully noted, and yesterday morning Mr. Marriner, Counselor of the Embassy, conveyed orally to the Afghan Chargé d’Affaires9 the viewpoint of the Department and handed to him an English and unofficial French text of the articles of the proposed treaty. A memorandum covering the pertinent portions of their conversation is transmitted herewith.

In accordance with the Department’s telegraphic Instruction No. 49, February 24, 3 P.M.,10 the Embassy forwarded by air mail on February 25 to the American Ambassador in Moscow copies of the Department’s Instructions, with enclosures, mentioned therein, together with a copy of the memorandum of Mr. Marriner’s conversation with the Afghan Chargé d’Affaires on February 25.

Respectfully yours,

Jesse Isidor Straus

Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in France (Marriner)

The Afghan Chargé d’Affaires called this morning by appointment and I handed to him the text of the “Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Afghanistan in regard to Friendship, Diplomatic and Consular Representation” in accordance with the Department’s Instruction No. 1198 of February 13, 1936.

I told him that my Government had given a most serious study to the questions that the negotiations had thus far raised and had come to the decision that the sole way of bringing about some form of agreement, so desirable for the foundation of good relations between our two countries, seemed to be the omission of all controversial articles where the mention of most-favored-nation treatment had been included in the original drafts.

The Chargé d’Affaires was in thorough agreement and read through the French text as proposed.

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I pointed out to him that there were no textual changes as compared with the articles on the same subjects in the text which had previously been discussed. In other words: the text now before him had been approved, the only changes being in the numbering of the articles, due to the omission of the articles with reference to most-favored-nation treatment.

He said that he would immediately bring the matter before his Government. He said that unfortunately his Minister was on leave in Afghanistan and would not be back before the month of June.

I replied that I regretted that very much as the Senate of the United States would probably be on vacation at that time and due to the activities of the presidential campaign would not in all probability meet until late in the fall and therefore ratification by it, which he realized was a necessary procedure, would have to be put off, and that the matter, which had thus far been of long duration, would be still further delayed, and that I hoped he would put this up to his Government. I added that it might be possible for him to obtain full powers for signature, or if that was impossible, perhaps one of the Afghan Ministers in Europe could come to Paris for that purpose as Mr. Straus was already furnished with full powers. I added that in any case we would like an answer in principle as soon as possible as to whether this text was acceptable.

As he did not raise the question, I did not mention anything whatever with regard to the optional article, (No. III in the Department’s Instruction), but numbered the Articles I to IV in accordance with the attached text.11

When the Chargé d’Affaires left, he thanked me very much for the efforts made to attain an agreement and to get around the difficulties presented by their national point of view, and expressed every hope of success of obtaining consent to the signature of the present Agreement.

Theodore Marriner
  1. Islam-bek-Khoudoiar-Khan.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed; it was the same as the final text of the agreement except for a few minor changes in the last article.