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arrived at useless as a model for an agreement between the United States and France, Italy, Belgium, et cetera. Canada and the other Dominions can be treated in a separate agreement which can be negotiated immediately. I am most anxious to have the agreement with Great Britain simple, concise, and clear-cut, so that agreements with the other countries may be as nearly like it as possible in the interest of efficient execution of the agreements in the United States.

5. In order to make the final article of the agreement somewhat more flexible, it is suggested that the latter part be changed to read as follows: “ whereupon any citizen or subject of that country incorporated into the military service under this agreement shall be forth with discharged from such service.”

6. Insert "regulations" after prescribed by the laws" in article 2 of United States draft.

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File No. 811.2222/1716
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

LONDON, November 30, 1917.

[Received in four sections, December 1-3.] 7847. The Foreign Office asks that you disregard my 7829, November 28, 3 p. m.,and they submit the following draft 1 to cover agreement which they think meets all the points you have raised except points 5 and 6 in your telegram 5918, November 28.

I am promised a further note today dealing with these points and will telegraph you upon receiving it.2

For your convenience in examining the draft I have indicated in inner quotation marks the proposed alteration in your draft. I am obliged for clearness also to telegraph in full the explanations in covering note.

I have just heard from His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington that the United States Government are willing that British subjects in the United States who are within the British age limits for military service, should either serve in the British Army or be drafted into the American Army. I understand that Mr. Lansing has suggested the following wording for article 1:

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

1 Not printed.
2 Telegram No. 7851 (File No. 811.2.2:22/1690); not printed.

* The “inner quotation marks” are used in the amended draft of the convention at the end of this telegram ; draft not printed.

subject to military service and be subject [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.

It is a source of great pleasure to His Majesty's Government that the United States Government have been able to meet their wishes on this point, but the drafting of the proposed new article 1 presents one difficulty, as I had the honor to explain to you in my note of October 25. Under the British law United States citizens who do not return to their own country will become liable to military service within the age limits prescribed by the law of this country. I regret that it is, therefore, not possible for His Majesty's Government to accept the words“ 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.” But they will of course be willing, as I have already suggested to Your Excellency, that United States citizens in this country who are above or below the age limits under American law, though within the limits under British law, should be exempted by Your Excellency under the powers given to you under the agreement so that complete reciprocity would in fact be obtained.

Section 2.

If the United States Government should wish an express provision as to the exemption of such persons to be inserted in the agreement, His Majesty's Government woulil of course raise no objection.

The new form of article 1 will involve two consequential alterations in articles 2 and 3 and I would accordingly suggest that the words“ under the laws of their respective countries” in lines 12 and

༡༡ 131 of article 2 after 115th word article 2 Department's 5769 and in lines 10 and 111 of article 3 after 76th word article 3 Department's 5769 should be replaced by the words“ in accordance with article 1."

It has been pointed out that the effect of article 4 of the draft might be [badj. Under this, British subjects in the United States who were within the American age limits and clesired to escape service might immediately take out their first citizenship papers in the hope of escaping service under the operations of the ballot. Sir C. Spring Rice informs me that the United States Government are willing that this article should be eliminated if this would cause no inconvenience to the United States (British?] Government. I think that this should be done.

Since your counter-craft was received the Canadian Government have expressed their desire to negotiate at Washington to adopt separate arrangement with the United States Government providing for the liability to service of United States citizens in Canada

1

* These numbers refer to lines of telegram No. 5769 as received by the Ambassador, not as printed ante, p. 653.

59665-33-442

and Canadians in the United States. His Majesty's Government are very willing that such an arrangement should be made, but in order that this course may be adopted it is necessary that the persons who would be covered by the proposed arrangement should be excluded from the operation of the present agreement, as otherwise to adopt considerable proportion of them will be entitled under the terms of the Military Service Convention with Allied States Act to receive certificates of exemption. I would therefore propose that the following article should be inserted as a new article 4:

To adopt special arrangement being in contemplation as to British subjects born in or ordinarily resident in the Dominion of Canada, this convention will not apply to British subjects in the United States ordinarily resident in Canada, nor to British subjects in the United States born in Canada, unless they are ordinarily resident in some part of the British Empire other than Great Britain or Canada.

The form of the draft article is due to the fact that it appears necessary that British subjects in the United States who though born in Canada are ordinarily resident in some part of the British Empire other than Great Britain or Canada should be dealt with under the present agreement, not under the separate agreement between the United States Government and the Government of Canada. I should explain that there has not yet been time to obtain the concurrence of the Canadian Government in this article, but in view of the desire of the United States Government to sign the agreement as soon as possible I venture to hope that they will be willing in the meanwhile to take the draft article into consideration so that if it is acceptable to the Canadian Government the agreement may be signed without loss of time.

In articles 2 and 3 of the draft the period during which persons who desire to return to their own country must leave the country in which they are is given as 60 days in all cases. In article 2 and in article 3 this period of 60 days is in accordance with the intentions of His Majesty's Government, but in the other cases the period after which the persons concerned will become liable for military service in this country is, under the Military Service Acts, 30 days, and His Majesty's Government therefore desire that these periods should be reduced to 30 days accordingly.

Section 3.]

I observe that the United States Government wish the agreement to be ratified and that it should come into operation on the date on which ratifications are exchanged. His Majesty's Government have no objection to this course and they would suggest that it would save time if the ratifications were exchanged at Washington. They would propose, in order that the various periods under

the British act may begin to run on the same day as the periods under the agreement, to lay the latter before Parliament on the day on which ratifications are exchanged, and if a short notice can be given before the exchange there should be no difficulty in arranging this in order to comply with the desire of the United States Government that the agreement should be ratified. A preamble and ratification clause have been added and the word agreement has been changed throughout to convention.

His Majesty's Government would prefer that the expression “subjects of Great Britain " should be changed throughout to “ British subjects.”

With regard to the questions put by Mr. Lansing and conveyed to me in Your Excellency's note I have the honor to state that it does not appear to His Majesty's Government necessary to include any provision as to deserters in the present agreement. The number of British deserters in the United States cannot be large, and such as there are are probably Canadians who could be dealt with under the proposed separate arrangement with the Government of Canada. If it appears necessary at a later date to make any special arrangement as to deserters other than Canadians, this could no doubt form the subject of a separate agreement.

The intention of the British Government is that the agreement should only apply in Great Britain and not in Ireland or the British Dominions and possessions overseas, Canada being dealt with separately, and they considered it would be more convenient if it were confined to the continental portion of the United States. The draft which I had the honor to submit to Your Excellency in my note of October 25 contained a provision to that effect. It would seem, however, sufficient that this understanding of the terms of the agreement should be recorded in this correspondence without any special provisions to that effect being inserted. I have the honor to enclose a copy of the draft agreement in which the alterations which His Majesty's Government would desire made are underlined. If the United States Government are willing to accept these alterations I shall be prepared to sign the agreement as soon as the Canadian Government have expressed their agreement with the proposed article 4, which I hope they will do in the course of a very few days. [Here follows amended draft convention.]

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File No. 811.2222/1773a
The Secretary of State to the Ambussador in Great Britain (Page)

(Telegram]

WASHINGTON, December 5, 1917. 5956. Your Nos. 7847, 7851.2 Conscription agreement.

1. We will arrange to give a short notice to the British Government before exchange of ratifications is made here so that the convention may be laid before Parliament as the British Government desires.

2. We are willing to agree to article 1 as given in the British text transmitted in your 7847 on the understanding set forth in the last sentence of your 7847, section 1.

1

* Note of Oct. 25 not printed; for draft of convention see telegram No. 7571 from the Ambassador in Great Britain, ante, p. 650.

? Latter not printed.

3. The British changes from 60 to 30 days in article 2 are adopted. We have made a few verbal changes in this article which do not change the sense or meaning. For example: the words “as provided ” are omitted, as they seem to carry no meaning for the reason that the whole question of certificates is fully covered by article 3.

4. Thirty-day period is adopted in article 3.

5. Article 4 as proposed by Great Britain will lead to difficulty and confusion for the United States to determine whether a British subject is “ ordinarily resident” in Canada or some other part of the British Empire. Cannot the distinction be made more clear-cut by having the proposed article 4 exclude from the operation of the convention British subjects in the United States born or naturalized in Canada? Birth and naturalization can be easily determined, as they are generally matters of record; thus the convention would apply to British subjects in the United States who are neither born nor naturalized in Canada but who reside there.

6. The only change in article 5 is the omission of the word “resident." This word has been omitted throughout the convention on account of vague and uncertain meaning which it carries in various parts of the United States. The word "are” which is used instead of “resident ” throughout the convention can be interpreted, it is believed, in a manner agreeable to both countries.

7. The remaining articles 7 and 8 are adopted with few minor verbal changes, to which we trust the British Government will raise no objection.

8. We are willing to omit an article regarding the arrest of deserters. If experience shows the necessity of such a provision it can be negotiated later.

9. By the omission of the article regarding the exclusion of declarants from the operation of this convention, it is understood that declarants of British nationality who have been registered under our Draft Act of May 18, 1917, will not come within the operation of the convention, but will remain subject to conscription under that act. If necessary this understanding may be made clear by an additional article to the treaty.

10. It is my understanding that the present convention shall apply only to Americans in the United Kingdom, excluding Ireland, and to British subjects, except Canadians, in continental United States.

11. The text of the convention drafted in conformity with the foregoing follows.1

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