800.014 Antarctic/6–2648: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


2424. Dept Jun 25 handed to Brit Emb aide-mémoire and draft proposal for settlement Antarctic question on basis trusteeship arrangement.1 Brit informed we are obligated to present matter similarly to other interested countries in ten days or two weeks. Following points made in conversation: Our approach will be to present proposal as basis for discussion and negotiation. Brit attitude as expressed previously has been taken into account. Our proposal calculated to prevent Sov intervention in process of settlement or interference with resulting status. South Shetland and South Orkney Island groups omitted from draft for proposed trust area on understanding Brit prefer attempting work out settlement with Arg and Chile. We hope amicable tripartite negotiations will be underway before next navigation season. On principle we would prefer inclusion of these Islands in trust area and we reserve our position for review in light Chilean and Arg positions on this question. Implication draft proposal that US will become claimant power was confirmed. Explanation made that once negotiations started US expects to announce claims for purpose of leaving no part of area unclaimed, putting US on equal legal basis with other negotiating countries, and safeguarding US national interest.

Hope was expressed that Brit will accept proposal as basis for discussion and that they will appreciate our obligation to approach other interested countries.2

Policy study, draft proposal etc., being airmailed.

  1. The aide-mémoire under reference here is printed supra. The “draft proposal” referred to here is the Draft Agreement on Antarctica included as an enclosure to document PPS 31, June 9, p. 977.
  2. The reference here is to the Secretary of State’s letter of June 15, not printed, which transmitted to Secretary Forrestal a copy of document PPS 31, p. 977. Regarding Secretary Marshall’s letter, see footnote 1 to PPS 31.