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A few minor verbal changes which it is not necessary to mention specifically have also been made in the interest of precision and clearness of expression. Respectfully submitted.

ROBERT LANSING

File No. 811.2222/5503

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy (Page)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, June 11, 1918, 3 p. m. 1425. Your 1462, March 10,1 military service convention. Conventions with Great Britain and Canada have been modified in certain particulars, and in the interest of having the conventions with the Entente Powers as nearly uniform as possible I have to propose to the Italian Government the following corresponding changes in the convention telegraphed you in Department's February 16:2

Article 1. Proviso at end of article 1 changed to read: Provided that in respect to citizens of Italy in the United States the ages for military service shall be for the time being 20 to 44 years both inclusive, and in respect to citizens of the United States in Italy the ages for military service shall be the ages specified in the laws of the United States prescribing compulsory military service.

I trust there will be no objection to advancing the ages from 40 to 44 years in respect to Italians. The change in respect to ages of Americans is made in order to cover possible changes by Congress in the age limits of the existing draft laws.

The British convention contained these further two provisos to article 1: Provided however that no citizen of the United States in Great Britain and no British subject in the United States who, before proceeding to Great Britain or the United States respectively, was ordinarily resident in a place in the possessions of the United States or in His Majesty's Dominions respectively, where the law does not impose compulsory military service shall by virtue of this convention, be liable to military service under the laws and regulations of Great Britain or the United States, respectively; Provided further that in the event of compulsory military service being applied to any part of His Majesty's Dominions in which military service at present is not compulsory, British subjects who, before proceeding to the United States were ordinarily resident in such part of His Majesty's Dominions, shall thereupon be included within the terms of this convention. These provisos do not appear in the Canadian convention for obvious reasons, and it is assumed they will be unnecessary in the Italian convention. I have, however, mentioned them for the information of the Italian Government. The Italian Government may desire to have these provisos inserted in the convention as it does not wish the convention to apply to the Italian colonies, and as I understand from Foreign Minister Sonnino's note of March 9 last, this convention reciprocally will not apply to American citizens who reside in the colonies of the Kingdom.

*Ante, p. 695.

Ante, p. 679.

Article 4. This article is omitted entirely as it seems unnecessary since it may, if desirable, be inserted in the regulations of the War Department. I hope the Italian Government will be able to agree to this omission, as I have reason to believe that the omission of this article will facilitate the approval of the convention by the Senate.

Article ". Last two sentences changed to read : It shall come into operation on the date on which the ratifications are exchanged and shall remain in force until the expiration of 60 days after either of the contracting parties shall have given notice of termination to the other; whereupon any citizen of either country incorporated into the military service of the other under this convention shall be as soon as possible discharged therefrom. These changes are self-explanatory, and I trust the Italian Government may see their way to adopt them.

I understand from Foreign Minister Sonnino's note of March 9 last that Italians in the military service of the United States will not be considered or treated by Italy as deserters, or otherwise liable to punishment or penalty for failure to perform military service in the armed forces of Italy.

For your own information. Have you had any expression of opinion by the Italian Government as to exemption of relatives in Italy of Italians in the United States who have not returned for military service from penal taxes, in case such Italians should choose to serve in the armed forces of the United States? See last paragraph of my 1089 of February 26 last.2

LANSING

File No. 811.2222/6231
T'he Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, June 11, 1918, 3 p. m. 4481. Your 3445, March 25, and mail despatch 6110, March 26,4 military service convention. Conventions with Great Britain and Canada have been modified in certain particulars and in the interest

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1 Transmitted in telegram of Mar. 10 from the Ambassador in Italy, ante, p. 695.

? Ante, p. 693.
Ante, p. 696.
* Not printed; see the Ambassador's telegram No. 3445, ante, p. 696.

of having the conventions with the Entente Powers as nearly uniform as possible I have to propose to the French Government the following corresponding changes in the convention telegraphed you in Department's February 16:1

Article 1. Proviso at end of article 1 changed to read: Provided that in respect to citizens of France in the United States the ages for military service shall be for the time being 20 to 44 years both inclusive, and in respect to citizens of the United States in France the ages for military service shall be the ages specified in the laws of the United States prescribing compulsory military service.

Out of consideration for the French desire to have the ages for military service of Frenchmen under the convention increased to 48 years, I have been able to obtain the agreement of Great Britain, Canada, and Italy to the ages of 20 to 44 both inclusive as indicated, as it is indispensable to have uniformity of ages for military service under these conventions, and as the ages for military service in Italy do not extend beyond 44 years, I feel confident that the French Government will upon reconsideration agree to the proviso quoted, in order to facilitate the task of the American Government. The change in respect to ages for military service of Americans is made in order to cover possible changes by Congress in the age limits of the existing draft laws. The British convention contained these further two provisos to article 1: Provided however that no citizen of the United States in Great Britain and no British subject in the United States who, before proceeding to Great Britain or the United States respectively, was ordinarily resident in a place in the possessions of the United States or in His Majesty's Dominions respectively, where the law does not impose compulsory military service shall by virtue of this convention, be liable to military service under the laws and regulations of Great Britain or the United States, respectively; Provided further that in the event of compulsory military service being applied to any part of His Majesty's Dominions in which military service at present is not compulsory, British subjects who, before proceeding to the United States were ordinarily resident in such part of His Majesty's Dominions, shall thereupon be included within the terms of this convention. These provisos do not appear in the Canadian convention for obvious reasons, and it is assumed they will be unnecessary in the French convention. I have, however, mentioned them for the information of the French Government.

Article 4. This article is omitted entirely as it seems unnecessary since it may if desirable be inserted in the regulations of the War Department. I hope the French Government will be able to agree to this omission, as I have reason to believe that the omission of this article will facilitate the approval of the convention by the Senate.

*Ante, p. 677.

Article 7. Last two sentences changed to read: It shall come into operation on the date on which the ratifications are exchanged and shall remain in force until the expiration of 60 days after either of the contracting parties shall have given notice of termination to the other; whereupon any citizen of either country incorporated into the military service of the other under this convention shall be as soon as possible discharged therefrom. These changes are self-explanatory and I trust the French Government may see their way to adopt them.

In concluding this agreement I desire to obtain a formal written assurance that Frenchmen in the military service of the United States will not be regarded or treated by France as deserters or otherwise liable to punishment or penalty for failure to perform military service in the armed forces of France.

LANSING

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File No. 811.2222/12463a
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, June 27, 1918, 10 a. m. 4784. Your [Department's] 4481, June 11, 3 p. m., military service convention. Please urge immediate reply, as it is expected Congress may adjourn within the next few days until August. It is of the greatest importance to agree upon text and sign convention at once in order that it may be presented, if possible, to Senate before it adjourns.

There is no possiblity of having War Department here adopt French ages for military service, on account of administrative difficulties.

LANSING

File No. 811.2222/12574
T'he Ambassador in Italy (Page) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]
ROME, June 30, 1918, 1 p. m.

[Received July 1, 7.33 p. m.] 1787. Your 1495, 27th. Minister of Foreign Affairs communicates following: 3

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1 The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date, with last sentence omitted, to the Ambassador in Italy, No. 1495. (File No. 811.2222/12463b.)

See footnote 1, supra.

3 Corrections based on enclosure to despatch No. 942, July 2. (File No. 811.2222/12896.)

Mr. Ambassador. In reply to the note No. 2060, that you addressed to me, dated the 13th instant, I have the honor to communicate to you as follows:

Relative to article 1 of the proposed convention for military service, I note with pleasure that the Government of the United States, acceding in part to the point of view of the Government of the King, is disposed to extend its application to Italians up to the age of 44 years. It would seem, however, preferable that for Italians in the United States there should be adopted a generic reference to the laws of the Kingdom, not differing from the formula now proposed by Your Excellency for citizens of the United States in Italy, thus returning in substance to the formula already proposed by Your Excellency in your note No. 1901, of the 9th January 1918.

With reference to the colonies, the Royal Government of His Majesty has no objection to the convention being applied to Americans resident in Italian colonies, and to Italian citizens who, prior to going to the United States, might be resident in the territory of the same; only natives, the colonial subjects of the Kingdom, are actually exempt from military service obligations. Having settled in the above sense the previous communications on this subject, the insertion in the convention of any clause whatever regarding the colonial possessions seems superfluous.

As to article 4, the Royal Government, in order to please the Government of the United States, consents to its suppression; however, the Government of His Majesty the King would consider it preferable to keep the clause, it appearing more opportune to appreciate [anticipate] and resolve by common accord, rather than on one's own account in the respective settlements, controversies to which the said article refers.

We have no objection to the modification of article 8 proposed by Your Excellency.

Finally, we cannot consider [have considered] it opportune to put in a clearer light, as indeed follows from the last clause of article 3, than the extra (that an explicit] reference to eventual exonerations, referred to in article 3, should be referred to in the first part of article 1 of the convention.

The Ambassador at Washington has been telegraphed to in the above sense. Sonnino.

NELSON PAGE

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File No. 811.2222/12596
The Ambassador in Italy (Page) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]
Rome, July 2, 1918,1 p. m.

[Received 6.39 p. m.] 1796. Your telegram 1089, received 18th [February 28 ?] and my despatch No. 917, June 4.4 Foreign Office today communicates following: Tax ruled in Italy for exemption military service cannot be

* See telegram of June 11 to the Ambassador in Italy, ante, 1). 701.
? See footnote 1, ante, p. 662.
*Ante, p. 693.
* Not printed.

59665—33—45

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