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willing to introduce and urge a resolution in the final act expressly stating that nothing in this convention could be construed as interfering with the right of a state to adopt such tariff measures as conformed with its necessities, but that the Conference believed that no state should impose tariff measures in such a way as to thereby replace the restrictions which might be eliminated by this convention.

This brings up a thought to which Department may desire to give careful consideration, namely, whether such a general disclaimer of the purpose

of this convention not to interfere in tariff measures is not a sufficient guarantee of our right to take any action envisaged by section 317.

If the Department is interested in this thought, please so instruct me and I will request Serruys to draft for transmission to Department what he proposes to insert. Your criticisms in advance of his proposal would be helpful.


560.M2/48 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Delegation


WASHINGTON, October 22, 1927–6 p. m. 9. Your 13, October 21, 9 p. m. Compromise regarding Article 3 is acceptable and your acquiescence in it approved.

Your 14, October 21, 10 p. m. You may support Egyptian proposal.


560.M2/51 : Telegram The Chief of the American Delegation (Wilson) to the Secretary

of State


GENEVA, October 23, 1927—10 p. m.

[Received 11:15 p. m.] 17. Department's 65, October 6. On analysis of paragraphs of

6 article 4 it appears to us that the question of "standards,” which you bring up on page 10, may well be covered without further necessary article under paragraph 7, article 4, provided we obtain insertion of the words "and exported” after the word “imported". May I request consideration and instructions on this point?

Considerable reluctance has been expressed in the debate to the general idea of extending the list of articles and it might be easier for us to obtain our desires under the proposed amendment to para

graph 7.

560.M2/49 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Delegation




WASHINGTON, October 24, 1927—7 p. m. 12. Your No. 15, October 21, 11 p. m. Rapporteurs' draft of article 1 is satisfactory to Department.

Your No. 16, October 21, 12 p. m.

(1) Department does not doubt correctness of thesis on which two members of Economic Committee insist, but nevertheless it wishes insertion at appropriate time and place of a provision such as Department suggested in instruction No. 65, October 6. As far as duties are concerned, Mr. Serruys' proposition is satisfactory, though we should prefer "import duties" instead of "tariff measures".

(2) This disclaimer is not sufficient, however, to safeguard section 317 of Tariff Act, under the terms of which the President is authorized, should additional duties fail, to proclaim prohibitions. It follows that if article 6 be omitted, or be inapplicable, you should arrange as unobtrusively as possible for an exception, either in article 4 or somewhere else, to cover this contingency. Following wording is satisfactory to Department:

“The following are not prohibited by the present agreement: Prohibitions or restrictions on the importation of goods to counteract measures of discrimination or unfair competition.

Alternatively, this suggestion might be combined with that made by Serruys by insertion after “necessities” the following: "or measures to prevent or counteract dumping, discrimination or unfair competition, or to offset bounties or subsidies”.

Section 317 of Tariff Act is especially important at present by reason of its connection with present treaty negotiations with France.22 Accordingly, the Department cannot agree to any obligation that would weaken article 317 as an instrument with which commercial equality may be obtained. Closely observe Serruys' attitude toward language calculated to except prohibitions which are made for retaliation against discrimination; and report observations to Department.

Your No. 17, October 23, 10 p. m. Department of Agriculture does not view substitute regarding standards as objectionable, as no change in substance is involved, and you may agree to it tentatively. Additional instructions will be sent you if, on further inquiry, objection appears.


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Department wishes you to send French text of document C. I. A. P.1., as well as several more copies of the English text.


560.M2/92: Telegram

The Chief of the American Delegation (Wilson) to the Secretary

of State

GENEVA, November 4, 1927—1 p. m.

[Received November 410:20 a. m.] 54. Plenary session this morning discussed Rumanian reservation export of crude oil, (see my 50, November 3, 8 p. m.23). Much opposition was expressed to acceptance of the reservation under paragraph 2, article 6, of protocol, without guarantees. Finally, Rumanian delegation made this following declaration:

"The Convention [Conference] declares that, in accepting as regards Rumania and having consideration of its exceptional position de facto and de jure, the exception of crude petroleum under paragraph 2 of article 6, it does not give its approval of measures of prohibition and restriction of this product which it considers very important for international markets. The Conference expresses its confidence that Rumania itself, as soon as circumstances shall permit, will abolish this prohibition in conformity with the spirit of ad article 6, paragraph 2, of the protocol of the convention and that meanwhile it will take into account the interests of neighboring contracting countries. The Rumanian delegation associates itself completely in this declaration of the Conference.”

The President requested the delegations to state in roll call whether they approved the principle of extending the categories of reservations and whether they therefore voted to accept the Rumanian reservation. This gave us excellent opportunity to go on record as opposed to extending categories and I therefore stated that my Government attached great importance to limiting these as far as possible and that I was therefore obliged to vote against. Mine was the only negative vote though there were nine abstentions.

The chairman has now asked me whether the acceptance by the Conference of the Rumanian reservation will prevent my Government from signing. Such signing on our part will now imply acceptance of Rumanian reservation. The reservation in itself appears of no economic importance to the United States and my negative vote was intended, as I explained, only to emphasize our attitude on the principle.

* Not printed.

The American exception as regards helium gas was accepted without opposition under paragraph 2, article 6 (formerly additional article).

It now becomes important to know at once Department's attitude toward signing. Chairman has called my attention to the fact that unless we can be prepared at final reading Saturday night to affix our signature our reservation on helium must be dropped for the present from the convention and must be submitted again as one of the reservations to be included after signature as provided in protocol ( section IV, (d) ad No. 4, (ii) Procedure].24


560.M2/92: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chief of the American Delegation


WASHINGTON, November 4, 1927-1 p. m. 20. Your 54, November 4, 1 p. m., last paragraph. You should not sign Saturday night. Draft agreement is extremely complicated and there will not be time for the officials of this Government to give due consideration to the matter. Furthermore, there appears to be no reason for such haste in rushing through a matter of such impor tance.



The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State No. 190

BERNE, November 22, 1927. L. N. No. 1010

[Received December 16.) SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith a report concerning the convention relative to the Abolition of Prohibitions and Restrictions on Exports and Imports.

The convention falls naturally into certain sub-divisions:

Articles 1 and 2 represent the positive achievement of the convention. In these articles the High Contracting Parties undertake to abolish, within a period of six months after the date of the coming into force of the convention, prohibitions and restrictions on export and import.

Articles 4, 5 and 6 contain the list of exceptions. Article 4 contains an enumeration of exceptions under which the signatory states reserve the right to maintain prohibitions and restrictions for certain specified purposes. This class of exceptions are all of a permanent nature.

* For text of protocol, see Proceedings of the Conference, p. 21.

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Article 5 provides for those exceptions which may arise of a temporary and unforeseen character. It provides for those acts by states which may be rendered essential by calamities, wars and other unforeseen and non-recurring causes.

Article 6 provides for certain stipulated and listed exceptions specifically reserved for individual states, after an examination on their merits, which are either temporary in character or of no importance to international commerce.

Articles 8 and 9 are the arbitration clauses, the one obligatory on all signatories of the convention and the other optional for such states as desire to extend the scope of arbitration.

Articles 3, 7, 10, 11 and 12 are in the nature of explanatory material, making more precise the limits of the rights and obligations assumed under the convention.

Articles 14 to 19 inclusive, treat the method of signature, ratification and denunciation, as well as the admission of reservations.

As I pointed out in my telegraphic reports from Geneva, it was apparent to one who followed the matter closely that from the first day of the conference the greatest difficulty which would be encountered lay in the determination of the British Delegation to maintain their prohibitions and limitations relative to the import of dye stuffs. Nearly all the other delegations expressed themselves ready to abolish without reservation restrictions and prohibitions. (Whether this was done because they knew that they were entirely safe in promising such procedure because they knew the British would stand firm in their decision, or whether this announcement represented sincere conviction is impossible to say with any degree of certainty. In any case all the principal states are on record as being willing to abolish restrictions and prohibitions, with the exception of those of no commercial importance, if Great Britain will abolish this one restriction.) Therefore, when the moment came to discuss the list of exceptions (now appearing in articles 4, 5 and 6), the conference was faced with the choice either of writing a convention so phrased as to admit the claim of Great Britain and thus permit her to be a signatory, or to draft a convention as tight as or tighter than the original draft of the Economic Committee. Great Britain would then not have signed the convention. Rightly or wrongly, the choice was made in favor of the first alternative and it can be said roughly that the type of convention which issued from the conference was designed in its broad lines to meet the needs of Great Britain and make it possible for that nation to be a signatory.

As I examine the protocol to the convention, it does not seem necessary to enter into any detailed analysis. The articles are interpretative in character and those which are of particular interest to

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