800.796/4–1645: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Representatives 2

The Departments of this Government handling aviation matters are all much concerned over the fact that only six Governments, namely, the United States, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, Ethiopia and the Polish Government in exile, have accepted the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation (reference Department’s circular telegram February 17, 19453).

At the time that the establishment of a Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization was decided upon at Chicago it was confidently believed that the 26 states necessary to activate it would accept promptly and that the Interim Council of the Organization would meet in Montreal within a comparatively short time. The approaching end of the war in Europe makes it highly probable that the airlines of many nations will soon be in a position to resume or inaugurate commercial operations in that territory and other areas. It is of the utmost importance that the provisions of the Interim Agreement regulating air navigation, use of airports, and flight over territory of member states become effective throughout the world at the earliest possible date. It is also highly desirable that the Interim Council initiate its studies of the many problems which will arise in connection with these operations and formulate its recommendations as soon as possible. Furthermore, the action which the nations take or fail to take will have broad implications with respect to postwar international cooperation. It would be most helpful if the Provisional International Civil Organization could be accepted by a majority of the nations during the early days of the San Francisco Conference. We have received no indication that any governments represented at Chicago propose to abstain from the proposed Organization, and can only assume that their delay in acting is caused by failure to appreciate the importance of this matter.

Incidentally, the Canadian Government has informed us that there is an acute shortage of office space and private housing facilities in Montreal and that they are seriously handicapped in their planning [Page 1457] by the lack of any assurance of the approximate date when the Interim Organization may be activated or the number of people who may come to Montreal.

Please seek a personal interview at the highest level to discuss this matter and use your best and most earnest efforts to persuade the Government to which you are accredited to act as promptly as is possible under its constitutional procedure.

  1. Sent to 43 diplomatic missions.
  2. Not printed; it instructed the heads of diplomatic missions to seek personal interviews with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government to which each was accredited and to express the hope that his Government would accept the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation (800.796/2–1745).