The Minister in Siam (Neville) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 2.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s telegram No. 28, of October 16, 1937, 9 p.m., in regard to the new treaty with Siam, and to enclose a draft, prepared in the Legation,16 of the treaty as it stands with the suggested Siamese modifications. The previous numbering of the Articles has been retained, although the deletion of Article 4 would reduce the number of Articles by one, and would require Article 6 to be numbered Article 5, and so on to the end. The Department will [Page 864]note that in the final article the language of the termination article of draft (1) has been incorporated, as well as paragraph 3 of Article 21 of draft (2). In this draft are included a suggested form of protocol and exchange of notes to replace Article 4 of Department’s draft (2).17 I have compared the suggested wording with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have made no effort to draft a land-holding clause, but I am inclined to believe that in their present state of mind and with reference to the Legation’s telegram No. 28, of October 16, the Siamese would be willing to accept almost any wording suggested.
I venture to enclose a suggested form of exchange of notes covering the Presbyterian Mission property.18 It is identical with the exchange of notes of December 16, 1920,19 annexed to the present treaty,20 except for paragraph 3, which is no longer applicable, as the house in Ratburi has been returned to the Siamese Government. I am assured that the Siamese Government is prepared to regularize the land holdings in question whenever evidence of legal possession, as contemplated in paragraph 1 of the exchange of notes, is produced to the proper authorities. I have discussed the matter with the local representative of the Presbyterian Mission.
After discussing the matter with my British colleague I am inclined to think that I have not overstated the anxiety of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to have treaty matters out of the way at an early date. The British Minister informs me that he is urging early action upon his own Government, as there is no question of principle involved in his negotiations, and he feels it extremely desirable to have the new treaty signed when the present one expires on November 5. He seems decidedly of the opinion that the Minister of Foreign Affairs would find himself in an embarrassing position if he had to face the Assembly without having concluded treaties which assure Siamese fiscal and judicial autonomy. I am in accord with this appraisal of the situation and therefore urge the Department to expedite the treaty negotiations as much as possible.