The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Siam (Chapman)

No. 194

Sir: The Department transmits herewith for the confidential information and study of the Legation a copy of a note which was handed to the Siamese Minister at Washington on September 14, 1937, together with a copy each of two counter-drafts of a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between the United States and Siam.14 There are enclosed for your information copies of telegrams to and from the American Embassy at London, a memorandum handed to an officer of the Japanese Embassy, and notes exchanged between the Department and the Siamese Minister as well as two memoranda.15

You will observe in the note of September 14 to the Siamese Minister that this Government agrees to conduct the negotiations at Bangkok.

The Department believes that at the time of the signature of the treaty there should be an exchange of notes providing that the Siamese Government will not interfere with the holding by missions of lands under lease from the Siamese Government pursuant to paragraph numbered 2 of the exchange of notes signed December 16, 1920.

In the same exchange of notes it is believed that there should be laid down principles for the settlement of all land titles now in dispute. The Department invites your comment on this point.

In both of the Department’s drafts, a provision has been incorporated accepting the proposition made in Article 19 of the Siamese draft excepting favors relating to agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and mutual protection of revenue. It is believed that the Siamese Government intends that the most-favored-nation clause should not be invoked to obtain the benefits of an agreement for relief from double income taxes or similar agreements. Further elucidation of point 3 in Article 19 of the Siamese draft would be desirable.

It is probable that the Siamese Government will prefer to negotiate on the basis of draft (2) rather than draft (1). If it should so prefer, it would be well to bear in mind that in the opinion of the Department the termination article of draft (1) is more carefully drafted than the corresponding article of draft (2).

These drafts may be susceptible to some refining of phraseology, which it may be possible to effect at later stages in the negotiations when and as opportunity arises.

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The Department will welcome any comment the Legation has to offer on any of the points raised by the note and drafts.

It is desired that the Legation report developments by telegraph when to do so promises to save substantial amount of time without considerable increase in the Legation’s normal expenditure for tolls.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis B. Sayre
  1. Ante, p. 827.
  2. For those printed, see memorandum of May 27, p. 825; memorandum of November 5, 1936, Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. iv, p. 998; note from the Siamese Minister, November 5, 1936, ibid., p. 999; note to the Siamese Minister, November 17, 1936, Treaty Information, Bulletin No. 86, November 1936, p. 19.