295. Instruction From the Department of State to All Diplomatic Missions 1

CA–5615

SUBJECT

  • Law of Sea Conference

See Department’s CA–4339.2

The Department is very concerned over recent indications that some posts may have the erroneous impression the United States is actively working to defeat the Canadian-type proposal for a special contiguous zone for fishery matters.

The fact is that the Government is maintaining an open mind and has not determined its position on this particularly vital issue. Indeed, one of the principal purposes of these preliminary discussions with other governments is to elicit their attitudes and reactions to such proposals so that the United States will be able to intelligently assess the situation and arrive at a definitive position later.

If any officials of foreign governments have been led to believe the United States is at this stage endeavoring to scuttle any such proposal, or that the United States has no final position one way or the other on the issue, the Embassy should utilize the earliest opportunity to remove that mistaken impression as discreetly as possible. If discussions of the fisheries contiguous zone problem are to be profitable to the United States, they must be conducted in a manner which will elicit the other nation’s own evaluation of the issue.

Report soonest any further reactions to this problem.

Herter
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 399.731/12–3157. Confidential.
  2. Document 290.