800.796/4–2645: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

4239. We have just received an informal communication from Sir Ronald Campbell15 referring to our conversation mentioned in our 4169, April 24, 6 p.m.16 The substance of this communication is as follows:

“Having looked into the question of air transport agreements which you raised with me on the 24th of April, I find that our Embassy in [Page 68] Washington has forwarded a copy of the note of April 18 which we have already received. This note is being carefully studied and will receive a reply as soon as possible. In the meantime, I can assure you that no significance attached to the term ‘air fields’ as distinct from ‘general landing rights’ in Lord Halifax’s note of February 16. Our Government have no desire whatsoever to exclude the United States from acquiring landing rights for their services in the Middle and Near East, or anywhere else. However, when, as has occurred in a number of cases, foreign governments invite our views on proposals made to them by the United States Government, we respond naturally with a statement of our views based on the principles which we upheld at the Chicago Conference which, among other things, advocated the grant of conditional as opposed to unconditional Fifth Freedom rights.”

It will be observed that Sir Ronald’s letter is not intended as a final reply to the Department’s note of April 18 but that that note is being studied and will be answered as soon as possible.

  1. Superintending Under Secretary of State for the Middle East in the British Foreign Office.
  2. Not printed.