800.796/8–146: Circular Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Officers 4

In view inquiries resulting from Depcirtel July 25 re this Govts denunciation International Air Transport Agreement, you are authorized furnish additional following background information to appropriate authorities.

Decision US to withdraw from this Agreement was based on failure of most nations principally concerned with operation and development of air transport services to accept this particular document, together with dissatisfaction with it as reflected at meeting Assembly of Provisional [Page 1229] International Civil Aviation Organization [PICAO] held at Montreal.5 It is therefore opinion US that agreement cannot be relied upon as effective medium for establishment of international air routes for operation by US airlines.

At same time, this Govt still adheres firmly to Fifth Freedom principle,6 even though it is achieved through bilateral rather than multilateral approach. All 18 bilateral arrangements concluded by US with other countries since Chicago Aviation Conference provide for such Fifth Freedom traffic, and this Govt will continue to seek to have this principle incorporated in bilateral air arrangements with additional countries.

  1. Sent to the Diplomatic Officers at 53 different posts.
  2. The first annual meeting of PICAO was held at Montreal, May 21–June 15, 1946.
  3. The International Air Transport Agreement provided for the grant of the “five freedoms” of the air by each contracting state to other contracting states. The Fifth Freedom reads as follows: “The privilege to take on passengers, mail and cargo destined for territory of any other contracting State and the privilege to put down passengers, mail and cargo coming from any such territory.”