The British Ambassador ( Halifax ) to the Secretary of State

No. 201
Ref: 1354/6/43

Sir: I have the honour to inform you, on instructions from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom propose to convene, if possible in May next an informal conference under the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to discuss the question of making certain amendments of a technical nature to the provisions of the 1937 Whaling Agreement,2

It is suggested that the following amendments might be discussed:—

An expansion of the period of three months fixed for Antarctic whaling by Article 7 of the 1937 Agreement to six or eight months;
Exemption from the requirements of Article 11 of the Agreement as regards the comparatively unprofitable back-meat;
Relaxation of Article 9 of the Agreement and Articles 3 and 7 of the 1938 Protocol3 so as to permit factory ships that take part in the Antarctic whaling season to operate elsewhere in other seasons, more particularly off the coast of West Australia;
Reduction of the minimum size limit for sperm whales from thirty-five feet to thirty feet;
The resumption of the embargo on the taking of humpback whales in any waters south of latitude 40 degrees south, which was included in the 1938 Protocol and extended for a year in 1939 and has now lapsed.

His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom would be grateful if the United States Government could appoint a delegate to attend this conference.

I have the honour [etc.]

  1. Signed June 8, 1937, Department of State Treaty Series No. 933, or 52 Stat. 1460; see also Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. i, pp. 920 ff.
  2. Signed June 24, 1938, Department of State Treaty Series No. 944, or 53 Stat. (pt. 3) 1794.