Memorandum by Mr. James C. H. Bonbright of the Division of Western European Affairs

In the absence of Mr. Hickerson I telephoned our Minister at Ottawa on Saturday morning, November 14, and discussed with him the halibut fishery question referred to in TD’s36 memorandum of November 16. In order to save Mr. Bell the trouble of going up to see Mr. Found in Ottawa, or vice versa, I suggested that the Canadians might be willing to prepare a background memorandum to form the basis of our joint representations to the British Government, This they did and the text of their memorandum37 was telephoned to me at 1:15 P.M., November 14.

A further meeting was held in Room 388 on Monday morning, November 16. Mr. Turner of FE38 attended in the absence of Mr. Dooman. Mr. Hickerson was also absent, so the meeting consisted of Messrs. Bell, Gardner, Keating, Turner and Bonbright. At that meeting the Canadian memorandum was discussed and found acceptable. It was therefore used as a basis for the Department’s telegram to London, No. 406 of November 16, 4 p.m. The only change made in the Canadian memorandum was the elimination in paragraph seven of the direct reference to Japanese fishermen. This change was approved by the Canadian Government and presumably on the same afternoon they telegraphed similar instructions to their High Commissioner in London.

[In paragraph (1) of his telegram No. 552, November 20, 1936, 8 p.m., the Ambassador in the United Kingdom stated: “I presented [Page 188] the Foreign Secretary today with a copy of the memorandum contained in your 406, November 16, 4 p.m., and at the same time made the suggested plea. All arrangements had been made to comply with the Department’s instruction ‘in company with’ the Canadian High Commissioner; at the last moment his office telephoned the Embassy that ‘a question had arisen on a matter of procedure which made it impossible for Mr. Vincent Massey to keep the appointment’.” For full text of telegram No. 552, see Foreign Relations, 1936, volume I, p. 700.]

  1. Treaty Division.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Division of Far Eastern Affairs.