711C.02/10–952

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Interior (Chapman)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The receipt is acknowledged of Mr. Vernon D. Northrop’s letter dated October 9, 1952, containing a full account of the steps leading to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on July 25, 1952.

As the Department of the Interior is aware, the details set forth in Mr. Northrop’s letter are being carefully studied by officers of this Department to determine how the new status of Puerto Rico may affect the international commitments of this Government. Of particular concern is the question whether, as a consequence of the new status of Puerto Rico, the United States should continue to transmit information about Puerto Rico to the United Nations under Article 73(e) of the Charter of the United Nations.

Resolution 222 of the Third General Assembly requested each administering Government to inform the United Nations of any change in the constitutional position and status of any territory as a result of which the Government considers it unnecessary to transmit information [Page 1436]under Article 73(e) of the Charter. Under the provisions of that resolution, the United States is requested to communicate to the Secretary General, within a maximum period of six months, appropriate information including the constitution, legislative act providing for the government of the territory, and the constitutional relationship of the territory to the Metropolitan Government. Such communication might go forward at about the same time we transmit the annual report on Puerto Rico for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1952, which is due on January 1, 1953.

In connection with their consideration of this matter, our officials will continue to consult with appropriate officers of the Department of the Interior whose cooperation to date in providing the necessary data on the domestic aspects of the problem, which are essential for a consideration of the international aspects, has been very much appreciated. The Department of State expects shortly to be in a position, to advise the Department of Interior of its views on the question of cessation of information on Puerto Rico and to reach an agreed Government position on this issue.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Jack B. Tate

Acting Legal Adviser