The Chargé in the United Kingdom ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 16—7:58 a.m.]
519. From Delegates to Whaling Conference:
Our letter of instructions directs us to endeavor to obtain some tangible measure of conservation, particularly a cessation of whaling [Page 956] operations after a fixed limit has been reached on number of whales taken or on number of barrels of oil produced. A proposal for an Antarctic world quota along this line has been made and is receiving considerable support. The British and German delegations are most actively supporting a proposal to prohibit killing of humpback whales in all waters during period 1st October 1938 to 30th September 1939. Evidence indicates humpbacks may need additional protection but 1 year prohibition against killing humpbacks will affect some American interests. It appears, however, to be a desirable conservation measure and if American proposal for Antarctic quota is supported by British and German delegations there would seem to be no good reason why we should not support their proposal. These proposals will be taken up on Friday and unless we receive instructions to the contrary we will support the humpback proposal provided our proposal for an Antarctic quota is accepted.