Mr. Eugene H. Dooman, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn), to the Counselor of the British Embassy (Wright)

Dear Mr. Wright: I am greatly obliged to you for your letter of June 18, 1945, by which you were so good as to send me an account of the views of the Foreign Office with regard to our paper “Proposed Decision with respect to Fisheries in Certain Areas of High Seas”. [Page 1515] I look forward to receiving from you the more detailed statement to which you refer in the last paragraph of your letter.

There are one or two observations in your letter which move me to wonder whether the Foreign Office may not be under some misapprehension with regard to the purposes and operations of our proposed policy.

Reference is made in your letter to the effects which “the principle of control of off-coast fisheries by the coastal state, if applied in the North Sea”, might have on the United Kingdom fishing industry which, as you say, obtains the bulk of its catches from waters situated nearer to the coast of other countries than to those of the United Kingdom. It appears to be the belief of the Foreign Office that, if our doctrine were applied, the fisheries would be controlled by the state to which the waters were contiguous.

We contemplate assertion of control only “where such [fishing]56 activities have been developed and maintained by its [United States]56 nationals alone.” Even in such cases, we would not contemplate the exclusion in principle of nationals of other countries.

In all other cases, that is to say, where there have been well-established fishing activities by nationals of other countries, we contemplate the conclusion of agreements between the United States and the other participating countries. We believe that, in all instances in which there exist established interests of other countries, our proposed policy would support in the most emphatic and effective possible manner the principle of international, as opposed to national, control of fisheries beyond territorial waters. We believe that the interests of each state fishing in areas contiguous to the coasts of another state would be most effectively safeguarded by its sharing, on completely equal terms, with the coastal state in the regulating and control of fishing in such areas. We believe, further, that our position consorts with reason, with concepts of orderly procedure, and indeed with the serving of the respective interests of the countries concerned. We cannot, therefore, but feel that the Foreign Office, in expressing preference that we emphasize adherence to the principle of international control, has misapprehended our proposed policy in an essential respect.

I hope you will appreciate that, just as your comment was of a preliminary character, the observations appearing above address themselves only to one specific point rising out of your comment. I shall be glad to elaborate further on our position after the receipt of vour anticipated detailed statement.

Yours sincerely,

E. Dooman
  1. Brackets appear in the original letter.
  2. Brackets appear in the original letter.