The Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

My Dear Mr. President: The British Government has extended invitations to the Governments of the United States, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Norway, and to its own Dominions, to send representatives to a whaling conference to be held in London. The date for convening the conference has been tentatively set for April 26, 1937.2

The object of the conference is to bring about an agreement between all the countries interested in whaling on the measures to be taken beyond the restrictions included in the Whaling Convention of 1931, in order to prevent excessive and wasteful exploitation of whale fisheries in the Antarctic during the season 1937–1938.

According to statistical tabulations made by the Norwegian Committee for Whaling Statistics, the relative toll of immature whales (blue) has increased materially during the past six seasons. During the 1930–1931 season, one out of every six blue whales killed was immature. During the 1935–1936 season, one out of every three killed was immature. Biologists are agreed that the present catch in the Antarctic is more than the stock can sustain.

With the concurrence of the United States Coast Guard, the Commission of Fisheries and the Smithsonian Institution, I should like to appoint the following delegation to represent this Government at the Conference:

  • Delegates:
    • Herschel V. Johnson,
      First Secretary, American Embassy, London.
    • Remington Kellogg, Ph. D.
      Smithsonian Institution.
  • Technical Adviser:
    • Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Q. R. Walsh,3
      United States Coast Guard.

The expenses of Dr. Kellogg’s attendance at the Conference will be met by the Department of State. Lieutenant Walsh will be in Europe at the time as he has been assigned by the Coast Guard as Enforcement Officer to accompany the whaling factory ship Ulysses of American registry to the Antarctic. The Ulysses is now outfitting in Norway.

1 should appreciate if you would inform me whether the appointment of the above named persons would meet with your approval.4

Faithfully yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. The date finally set for the Conference was May 24, 1937.
  2. Lieutenant Walsh was unable to attend the Conference; Lt. Comdr. Martin O’Neill, United States Coast Guard, was appointed in his place.
  3. Marginal notation: “C. H. OK F. D. R.”