611.4131/726½

Memorandum by Mr. John R. Minter of the Division of European Affairs

It will be noted that the attached list of colonies and dependencies which accompanied the Department’s press release of January 7, 1938,4 concerning the United Kingdom trade agreement, carries a footnote [Page 3]to the effect that this list was supplied by the Government of the United Kingdom.

In the course of preparing the press release we informed the British Embassy that we desired to hand out such a list and requested that we be given suggestions as to which published list we should follow. Mr. Chalkley did not have faith in the accuracy of any of the published lists available to us and agreed to ask London for such a list. The same was received by him by telegraph and transmitted to us by letter, dated January 5 [6], 1938.5

When the question of responsibility for the appearance of the Falkland Islands in this list came up, I telephoned Mr. Chalkley and, without reference to the Falkland Islands, told him that the Department felt obliged to attribute this list to some recognized authority. Without hesitation he said that we could state with a footnote that it could be attributed to the Government of the United Kingdom.

It was felt in the Department that this method of handling the matter would effectively dispose of any suggestion that the Government of the United States thereby actually or tacitly recognized British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, and an understanding was reached by all that any inquiries by the press or otherwise would be met with the statement that this Government assumed no responsibility for the accuracy of this list.

  1. For list of colonies and dependencies and text of public notice of intention to negotiate a trade agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom and with that Government on behalf of Newfoundland and the British Colonial Empire, and for list of products on which the United States agreed to consider granting concessions, see Department of State, Press Releases, January 8, 1938, pp. 45 ff.
  2. Not printed.