740.00111 A.R.N.C./192a

The Under Secretary of State ( Welles ) to the American Member of the Inter-American Neutrality Committee ( Fenwick ), Then at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

My Dear Dr. Fenwick: Upon my return to Washington I found your letter of August 22, 1941, summarizing the progress of the discussions of the Neutrality Committee relative to the problem of the extension of territorial waters. I have also received your letter of September 22 regarding the work of the committee in the preparation of the proposed General Convention Rights and Duties.

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I am in full agreement with the point of view which you so ably sustained in your discussions with the Committee on territorial waters, and have no doubt that the logical basis for the views expressed will appeal to many of our good friends and colleagues in the other American republics, as well as to the international legal fraternity.

I have consulted with Mr. Hackworth regarding the various points contained in your letter of August 22, and he is likewise in agreement with the position you have felt it necessary to take. While of course we all regret that it was not possible for the Neutrality Committee to reach unanimous agreement on its recommendations, we cannot see that you had any satisfactory alternative other than to submit the dissenting opinion which it is understood will appear in the published report of your meetings.20

I perceive no objection to the action of the Committee in forwarding to the Pan American Union the articles of the proposed neutrality code which have already been approved in tentative form by the Committee. This procedure should facilitate mature consideration of the problem by the governments of all the American republics.

I hope that you will continue to remain in close touch with the Department in order that we may benefit by your wise counsel. It does not seem to me to be too early for us to commence our preparations for the Ninth International Conference of American States, which is scheduled to be held in 1943.21 At the same time, the same efforts would be extremely useful in preparation for any international conference which might be held at the close of the present war to deal with questions of international law.

With appreciation for your able assistance and cooperation, and with warm personal regards, believe me,

Sincerely yours,

Sumner Welles
  1. See bracketed note, p. 1.
  2. See footnote 17, p. 9.