The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Bingham ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 19—12:55 p.m.]
226. Your 106, March 26, 7 p.m. The following points emerged with some insistence from conversation at the Foreign Office on the line of the Department’s instruction:
- The issue is one between the United States and “His Majesty’s Government in New Zealand”.
- The stand of the New Zealand Government is undoubtedly taken on the ground of tacit abrogation of the treaty provisions.
- London does not admit responsibility for the action of the New Zealand Government.
- The basis for the New Zealand Government’s stand is fully set forth in the note of June 3, 1936, (my despatch No. 2242 June 5, 19368b).
The opening sentence, paragraph 3 of my 153 March 18, 3 p.m., “In the British view the whole question resolves itself to whether or not His Majesty is fulfilling international obligations in Western Samoa” is not to be interpreted as meaning His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain. The reference is to His Majesty as the sovereign represented by Government in New Zealand.
I expect to have an early opportunity for further discussion of this matter with the Foreign Office and have requested that at the next meeting the Legal Adviser who has been handling the matter may be present.