The Minister in Canada (Armour) to the Secretary of State

No. 1637

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 950 of August 23, 1937, enclosing for the information and use of the Legation two copies of the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling signed at London on June 8, 1937, and informing me that the ratification of this Agreement by the United States has been forwarded to London for deposit with the British Foreign Office, as required by Article 19 of the Agreement.

Under date of August 26th last I called on Dr. Skelton, Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, and discussed the matter informally with him along the lines of the Department’s instruction. At the same time I left with Dr. Skelton a memorandum, a copy of which is enclosed herewith,10 setting forth the principal points covered in the instruction.

In particular, I expressed the hope to Dr. Skelton that the Canadian Government might give consideration to adhering to the agreement.

Dr. Skelton told me that he had never really understood why Canada had not been a party to the original agreement instead of being represented only by an observer. However, it was too late for that but his Government would certainly be glad to give the matter, as presented by our Government, its earnest consideration. Dr. Skelton told me that the matter would be turned over to Mr. Loring Christie of his Department to take up with the competent Departments of the Canadian Government.

On September 23rd last I called by appointment on Mr. Loring Christie who handed me a memorandum dated September 21st, copy of which is enclosed herewith.10 From this memorandum the Department will note that the Canadian Government has decided to accede to the Agreement and that the necessary instructions have been issued in order that the notice of accession, pursuant to Article 22 of the Agreement, may be given to the Government of the United Kingdom at such time as may be found appropriate.

Mr. Christie explained the wording of this paragraph of his Government’s memorandum as meaning that under Article 22 of the Agreement “any Government which has not signed the present Agreement may accede there at any time after it has come into force”. (The underscoring is my own.) Mr. Christie said that the Canadian Government’s information indicated that the Agreement had not yet [Page 930] been ratified by a sufficient number of signatories as provided in Article 19 of the Agreement but that, under the instructions given, the Canadian Government, presumably through the High Commissioner at London, would be able to accede to the Agreement as soon as it came into force.

I presume that the Canadian Government is correct in its assumption that now that a decision has been reached for that Government to accede to the Agreement12 the arrangement suggested in the last sentence of the Department’s instruction regarding notification in the event of transfer of ships from American to Canadian registry, need not now be regarded as necessary.

Respectfully yours,

Norman Armour
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Canada acceded to the International Whaling Agreement on June 14, 1938.