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2. United States citizens in Great Britain and British subjects in the United States of America who are at the date of the coming into operation of this agreement within the respective limits of age laid down in article 1, and who desire to serve in the army of their own country, must make application for the purpose in such manner, if any, as may be prescribed under the laws of the country in which they are, and must leave Great Britain or the United States of America, as the case may be, for the purpose of serving in the army of their own country within 60 days from the coming into operation of this agreement. Persons who fall within the respective limits of age laid down in article 1 at any date after the coming into operation of this agreement must leave Great Britain or the United States of America, as the case may be, within 30 days from such date.

Provided, That if any person shall make an application to the Ambassador of the country whose subject or citizen he is for a certificate of exemption from military service in accordance with the provisions of article 3 of this agreement, and such application shall not have been decided within 30 days from the date of the coming into operation of this agreement (or, in the case of a person who falls within the limits of age laid down in article 1 at any date after the coming into operation of this agreement, within 30 days from such date)

then, in the event of such a certificate being refused, the period within which such period [person] must return to Great Britain or the United States of America, as the case may be, shall be extended to 30 days from the date on which such certificate is refused.

3. The Ambassador of the United States of America in London and His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington may grant certificates of exemption from military service to United States citizens in Great Britain and British subjects in the United States of America, respectively, who may make application for such certificate within 30 days from the coming into operation of this agreement (or in the case of persons who fall within the respective limits of age laid down in article 1 at any date after the coming into operation of this agreement, within 14 days from such date); and persons holding such certificates shall, so long as the certificate is in force, not be liable to military service in the army of the country in which they are. Such certificates may be absolute, temporary, or conditional.

4. In view of the fact that under British law United States citizens in Great Britain who are within the age limits specified for compulsory military service in Great Britain, but under or above the age limits at present specified for compulsory service under the laws of the United States of America, will, upon the coming into operation of this agreement, become liable for military service under the laws of Great Britain, the United States Ambassador in London may issue a general certificate of exemption in favor of all such United States citizens; but in the event of the age limits under the law of the United States being altered, such certificate shall be withdrawn or modified, as the case may require. In the [that] event United States citizens who are affected by the withdrawal or modification of the said certificate shall be liable to service in accordance with the provisions of this agreement, the period within which they must leave Great Britain if they desire to return to the United States of America for service, being 30 days from the date of such withdrawal or modification of the said certificate. Such persons shall, however, be entitled to apply for a certificate of exemption in accordance with article 3, and in the event of such certificate being refused the period in which the person concerned must leave Great Britain shall be extended in accordance with the proviso that [to] article 2.

5. United States citizens in Great Britain and British subjects in the United States of America who do not apply to return to their own country for service shall have such rights as to appealing for exemption from military service under the laws of the country in which they are as may be afforded them under the laws of that country.

6. The United States Government will take such steps as may be necessary to render liable for immediate military service British subjects in the United States of America (other than those who have obtained a certificate of exemption under article 3) who are within the age limits specified for compulsory military service under the laws of Great Britain and who have not elected to return to Great Britain, or who having elected to return to Great Britain have failed to avail themselves of an opportunity offered to them to return, notwithstanding the fact that any such British subjects may be above or below the age limits at present specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States of America.

7. British subjects in the United States of America who have at the date on which this agreement comes into operation taken out their first citizenship papers and who, being within the age limits specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States of America, are liable for service in the United States Army, are excluded from the operation of this agreement.

8. Persons who possess both British and United States nationality shall be regarded for the purpose of this agreement as possessing exclusively the nationality of the country in which they are resident at the date on which this agreement comes into operation.

9. His Majesty's Government and the United States Government will, respectively, give facilities for the return of United States citizens and British subjects who may desire to return to their own country for service, but shall not be responsible for providing transport or the cost of transport for such persons, each Government being left to make its own arrangements for defraying the cost of the return of its nationals for this purpose.

10. No British subject who under the provisions of this agreement serves in the United States Army, and no United States citizen who under the provisions of this agreement serves in the British Army shall, after this agreement ceases to have effect, be considered to be under any allegiance, by reason of such service, to the United States of America or to His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland, respectively, or be subject to any liability to service in the reserve of either army after the conclusion of this present war.

11. This agreement shall come into operation on the date on which it is laid before Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the British law relating to such agreements, and shall, subject to the provisions of article 10, remain in force until either party shall cease to be a cobelligerent in the present war, whereupon any person entered into military service hereunder shall be immediately discharged from such service.

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File No. 811.2222/122312
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Page)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, November 10, 1917. 5769. Your 7571, October 31. Following is text of proposed counter-draft convention:

UNITED STATES COUNTER-DRAFT OF CONVENTION 1. All male subjects of Great Britain in the United States and all male citizens of the United States in Great Britain, who at any time after the date on which this agreement comes into operation are within the age limits for the time being specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States or Great Britain respectively, shall, unless they return to Great Britain or the United States, respectively, within the periods laid down in this agreement for the purpose of military service in their own country, be subject to military service and entitled to exemption therefrom under the laws of the country in which they are in all respects as if they were citizens or subjects thereof.

2. Citizens of the United States in Great Britain and subjects of Great Britain in the United States who are subject to military service in accordance with article 1 and who desire to enter the military service of their own country must make application to enter such service in such manner, if any, as may be prescribed by the laws of the country in which they are and must leave Great Britain or the United States, as the case may be, for the purpose of military service in their own country within 60 days from the date of the exchange of ratification of this agreement, or within 60 days from the date of attaining military age under the laws of their respective countries, or within 60 days from the date on which any certificate of exemption issued under article 3 becomes inoperative (unless sooner renewed), or within 60 days from the date on which any application for such certificates of exemption is refused (unless sooner allowed), as the case may be.

3. The Government of the United States and His Britannic Majesty's Government may, through their respective diplomatic representatives, grant certificates of exemption from military service to citizens of the United States in Great Britain and subjects of Great Britain in the United States, respectively, upon application or otherwise within 60 days from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this agreement or within 60 days from the date when such citizens or subjects attain military age under the laws of their respective countries. Persons holding such certificates shall so long as the certificate is in force not be liable to military service in the country in which they are. Such certificates may be special or general, temporary or conditional, modified, renewed or revoked, in the discretion of the Government concerned.

4. Subjects of Great Britain in the United States who have declared or shall during the life of this agreement declare their intention to become citizens of the United States, and who, being within the age limits specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States are liable for military service in the United States, are excluded from the operation of this agreement.

5. Persons who possess both British and American nationality shall be regarded for the purpose of this agreement as possessing exclusively the nationality of the country in which they are resident at the date of the exchange of ratifications of this agreement.

6. His Britannic Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States will, respectively, so far as possible, facilitate the return of citizens of the United States and subjects of Great Britain who may desire to return to their own country for military service but shall not be responsible for providing transport or the cost of transport for such persons.

7. No citizen or subject of either country who under the provisions of this agreement enters the military service of the other shall, by reason of such service, be considered, after this agreement expires or after his discharge, to be under any allegiance to the United States or to His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland, as the case may be.

8. This agreement shall come into operation on the date on which ratifications thereof are exchanged and shall remain in force until either country shall cease to be a cobelligerent in the present war whereupon any citizen or subject of such country entered into military service hereunder shall be immediately discharged from such service.

By changes in wording it has been possible to shorten the British draft which seemed unnecessarily long.

The United States Government cannot undertake to place in its military service British subjects who remain in the United States and are outside the compulsory military age under United States laws as suggested in article 6 of the British draft. This would probably arouse feeling in this country on account of discrimination. Alternative would be to have such British subjects deported by some proper precedure.

Does not the British Government desire some agreement as to return of deserters? This article in United States draft has been omitted from British draft in order that procedure may be properly worked out. Perhaps this might properly form the subject of a separate convention.

Is it the intention of the British Government to apply the convention to Great Britain, including all its Dominions and possessions, or restrict it to the United Kingdom; and is it their desire to apply the convention only to the continental portion of the United States? Please lay the foregoing before the British Government at the earliest possible moment and request to be advised as soon as possible of their views.

LANSING

File No. 811.2222/1715a
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Page)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, November 28, 1917, 5.19 p. m. 5918. Department's November 10, your November 20, conscription agreement.

1. Upon reconsideration, I am willing to consider changing agreement so that British subjects in the United States will be subject to military draft under United States law except as to age limits, which will be those of the British law, reciprocal treatment to be accorded United States citizens in Great Britain. Article 1 of the United States draft changed to conform to this view would read as follows:

All male subjects of Great Britain in the United States and all male citizens of the United States in Great Britain shall, unless they return within the periods laid down in this agreement to Great Britain or the United States respectively for the purpose of military service in their own country, be subject to military service and entitled to exemption therefrom under the laws of the country in which they are: Provided, That in respect to such citizens of the United States in Great Britain, the age limits for compulsory military service shall be the age limits for the time being specified for compulsory military service under the laws of the United States; and reciprocally, in respect to such subjects of Great Britain in the United States, the age limits for compulsory military service shall be the age limits for the time being specified for compulsory military service under the laws of Great Britain.

2. In order to avoid difficulty from large numbers of British subjects taking out first papers and becoming thereby subject to draft in the United States only if between 20 and 31 years, I would suggest omission of article 4 of United States draft.

3. In order to cover the question of deserters I would suggest that the article on that subject in my first draft be retained.

4. The Embassy here states that delay in reaching an agreement is due to legal difficulties in making the agreement conform to Canadian law. I would earnestly suggest that the self-governing Dominions be not included in this agreement, as it would cause unnecessary delay to meet their wishes and might make any agreement

1 Latter not printed.

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