The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 20—5:42 p.m.]
552. From Delegation to Whaling Conference. The Conference reconvened yesterday and agreed upon a revised draft final act to be submitted to the various governments with a view to the delegates receiving authority to sign it at a meeting tentatively set for January 31st. It is believed that the revised draft which is given below in full meets the points raised in Department’s 415, January 16th. It consists of an introductory statement and four resolutions embodying recommendations to the governments concerned, the first of which has as an annex a draft protocol covering the points which amend or modify the 1937 Agreement, and which it is desired should be signed possibly within a week after signature of the final act.
The persons designated to sign the protocol could be either conference delegates or some one especially appointed. In this connection Doctor Kellogg would appreciate being informed at an early date as to whether or not it is desired he remain in London for the signing of the protocol. If this is desired it might be necessary to increase the budget of expenses under authorization 86. He also requests that should the Department desire him to remain in London the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution be so informed.
The Department will note that Resolution 1 provides for signature of or accession to protocol by countries not parties to previous agreements. This was done mainly out of consideration for Australia and South Africa who are participating in this Conference and whose collaboration is desired. As a result Argentina must also be invited to accede. However paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the protocol provides that such accession shall not become effective until such government becomes a party to the 1937 Agreement by ratification.
Text of Final Act follows:
International Whaling Conference, London, 1944.
An International Whaling Conference was opened in London on the 4th January, 1944, and continued on the 13th and 19th January, 1944. The governments of the countries mentioned below were represented as follows (alphabetical list of countries and representatives). Mr. A. T. A. Dobson was invited to preside over the Conference and Mr. A. M. Lowe acted as Secretary.
The object of the Conference was to consider whether it is desirable that any special measures should be put in force by agreement to operate when pelagic whaling is resumed in the southern hemisphere, such whaling having, owing to hostilities, not taken place for 2 or 3 [Page 945] years. All the governments represented at the Conference were parties or signatories to the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling signed at London on the 8th June, 1937, and the Protocol signed at London on the 24th day of June, 1938.
The Conference having heard a statement on behalf of the Minister of Food of the Government of the United Kingdom on the present position and future prospects of world stocks of oils and fats, recognised that the position of world supplies of oils and fats was a critical one and agreed that all possible measures should be taken so far as whaling is concerned to alleviate the situation during the present emergency and the immediate postwar period. On the other hand the Conference also recognised that it was a matter of vital importance to further the conservation of existing whale stocks, which prior to the war were showing signs of depletion, and that any relaxation of the Agreement of 1937 and the Protocol of 1938, designed to meet the present critical position of oils and fats, should be for a limited period only and should provide adequate safeguards to ensure that existing stocks of whales shall not be decimated by unexpected developments in whaling operations.
The Conference adopted at its last meeting the following 4 resolutions:
- That it is desirable that a protocol in the terms of the annex to this resolution should be signed and brought into force as soon as possible; that the Government of the United Kingdom is requested to make early arrangements for the signature of this protocol by duly accredited representatives; that as this protocol makes certain temporary amendments to the Agreement of 1937 all governments who are parties to that instrument (other than governments with whom diplomatic relations are suspended by reason of hostilities) should be invited either to sign the present protocol or to accede thereto; that governments who are signatories to the Agreement of 1937 but have not become parties thereto by ratification should also be invited to sign the annexed protocol or to accede thereto; and that copies of this Final Act should be communicated to all such governments who are not represented at the present Conference.
- That it is recommended that all the governments represented at the Conference should, pending the coming into force of the protocol, take all such administrative steps as are possible and necessary to put the provisions of the protocol into operation forthwith, and the Government of the United Kingdom is requested to make the necessary approaches to them for this purpose.
- That the maintenance of a limitation on the number of whales to be caught in any pelagic season in the waters south of 40 degrees south latitude is necessary if whale stocks are to be preserved and it is accordingly recommended that a limitation such as that contained in Article 3 of the draft protocol annexed to Resolution Number 1 should be continued by international agreement after “the first season” referred to in the said draft protocol; and that the continuance of such a limitation should be considered at the next and subsequent whaling conference.
- That copies of this Final Act should be communicated as a matter of courtesy to the representatives in London of the Danish [Page 946] Government which is a party to the Agreement of 1937 by accession.
Done at London this . . day of January 1944 in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom which is requested to transmit certified copies to all governments represented at the Conference. List of signatories.
Annex to Resolution Number 1
The governments of (here insert the names of those governments on whose behalf the protocol is signed).
Being parties or signatories to the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling signed at London at 8th June, 1937 (hereinafter referred to as the Agreement of 1937) and to the Protocol signed at London on the 24th June, 1938, introducing certain amendments into the Agreement of 1937 (hereinafter referred to as the Protocol of 1938); and
Desiring in view of the fact that pelagic whaling operations in the area to which Article 7 of the 1937 Agreement applies have been interrupted for a considerable period by the existence of hostilities and in order to meet the present emergency without prejudicing the conservation of stocks of whales, to put into force by agreement such provisions as may be necessary with regard to pelagic whaling in this area when whaling operations are resumed there:
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1. Section 1. The period fixed by Article 7 of the Agreement of 1937 during which factory ships or a whale catcher attached thereto may be used for the purpose of taking or treating baleen whales, shall be extended for the first season in which whaling operations are resumed in the area referred to in the said Article 7 so as to cover the period from the 24th November to the 24th March both dates inclusive.
2. Each government party to the present protocol shall give notice to the Government of the United Kingdom when whale factory ships registered under the law of any territory under its authority or otherwise under its jurisdiction engage in whaling operations in the area defined in Article 7 of the Agreement of 1937. The Government of the United Kingdom will inform the other governments party to the present protocol of all notices received under this paragraph and shall itself similarly give notice to the other contracting governments if whale factory ships registered under the law of any territory under its authority or otherwise under its jurisdiction engage in whaling operations in the said area.
3. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Article the first season in respect of which any notice has been given under paragraph 2 above shall be deemed to be the first season in which whaling operations are resumed. This season is hereinafter referred to as “the first season”.
Article 2. The provisions of Article 1 of the Protocol of 1938 relating to the taking of humpback whales in any waters south of 40 degrees south latitude shall apply during the first season.
Article 3, Section 1. During the first season the number of baleen whales caught in the area referred to in Article 7 of the 1937 Agreement shall not exceed 16,000 blue whale units.[Page 947]
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Article blue whale units shall be calculated on the basis that 1 blue whale equals (a) 2 fin whales or (b) 2½ humpback whales or (c) 6 SEI whales.
3. The Government of the United Kingdom shall consult all the governments who have given notice under Article 1 paragraph 2 of this agreement in order to arrange by cooperation and agreement the measures necessary to ensure that the total number of baleen whales caught during the first season does not exceed the number specified in paragraph 1 of this Article.
Article 4. In the absence of agreement to the contrary none of the provisions of the present protocol shall operate except in the first season.
Article 5. The present protocol shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification deposited as soon as possible with the Government of the United Kingdom.
Article 6. Section 1. The present protocol shall be open to accession on behalf of any government which was a party to the 1937 Agreement and has not signed the present protocol.
2. Accession shall be effected by means of a notification addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom.
Article 7. Section 1. The Government of the United Kingdom shall inform the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Eire, Mexico, New Zealand and Norway of all ratifications of this protocol or accessions thereto.
2. The present protocol shall come into force as soon as ratifications or accessions have been deposited on behalf of all governments referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and of the Government of the United Kingdom.
3. The ratification of or accession to the present protocol by a government which is a signatory but not a party to the Agreement of 1937 shall not become effective until such government becomes a party to that Agreement by ratification.
In witness whereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorised to this effect by their respective governments have signed the present protocol and affixed thereto their seals.
Done at London this . . day of . . . . . in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom by whom certified copies will be transmitted to all the governments referred to in Article 7 paragraph 1.