Editorial Note

On October 1, 1946 the United States issued invitations for an International Whaling Conference to be held in Washington on November 20, 1946. A draft agenda and draft rules of procedure were sent in a circular instruction on October 24, 1946 to U.S. missions accredited to the invited countries. The principal objectives of the conference were to develop a code of regulations for the 1947–48 and subsequent whaling seasons, and to establish an international whaling commission. The delegates drafted an International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed by the United States and other nations on December 2, 1946. This provided for the establishment of an International Whaling Commission.

The Convention, the Final Act of the Conference, and the Report of the United States Delegation may be found accompanying President Truman’s Message of April 7, 1947 (Senate Executive L, 80th Congress, 1st Session). The Convention was brought into force on November 10, 1948 (62 Stat. (pt. 2) 1716; TIAS 1849).

In addition, a Protocol for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in London on November 26, 1945, was, at the Washington Conference, extended for the 1947–48 whaling season, and entered into force on February 5, 1948. The text of the Protocol may be found printed in Senate Executive K, 80th Congress, 1st Session (TIAS 1708).

Additional documentation, including a complete set of conference documents, may be found in the Department’s indexed central files under No. 562.8 Washington.