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and military authorities of the French Republic are authorized and requested to arrest any soldier belonging to military forces of the United States in France who is absent in desertion or who, being absent from his proper command, is unable to produce proper evidence of authority for such absence in the form of a furlough, a leave of absence, a detail on special duty, or other proper official documents fixing his status, and to return the said soldier to the appropriate military authority of the army to which he belongs, as well as to arrest and return to the proper military authority of the army to which he belongs, any soldier belonging to the military forces of the United States in France who is guilty of disorder or other infractions of law or regulations. Similarly it is understood by the two Governments that the military authorities of the American Expeditionary Forces in France are authorized and requested to arrest any soldier belonging to the Army of the French Republic who is absent in desertion, or, who, being absent from his proper command cannot produce authority for such absence in the form of a furlough, a leave of absence, a detail on special duty, or other proper official documents fixing his status, and to return the said soldier to the proper military authority of the army to which he belongs, as well as to arrest and return to the appropriate military authority of the army to which he belongs any soldier of the French Army who is guilty of disorder or other infractions of law or regulations, it being understood, however, by the two Governments that the military authorities of the American Expeditionary Forces in France are placed under no obligation to return to the French authorities any men in the American Expeditionary Forces who failed to join the French colors or who deserted the French Army prior to the entry of the United States into the war, but that the military authorities of the American Expeditionary Forces in France will return to the French military authorities men belonging to the American Expeditionary Forces in France who have or shall have deserted from the French Army since the entry of the United States into the war.

Should this arrangement be acceptable to the Government of the French Republic your formal notification in writing to that effect will be understood on the part of the Government of the United States as completing the arrangement and putting it into force and effect, and I shall be glad to receive your assurance that it will be so understood also on the part of the Government of the French Republic. Accept [etc.]

ROBERT LANSIXG

File No. 811.2226/180
The French Ambassador (Jusserand) to the Secretary of State

[Translation]
WASHINGTON, July 3, 1918.

[Received July 8 ] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: By a note dated the 7th of last month, Your Excellency was pleased to inform me that the President of the United States as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States hail authorized you to propose to me a settlement, by exchange of notes, of the question of delivering the deserters and absentees belonging to the American or French military forces operating in France. Your Excellency communicated at the same time to me the wording of the contemplated arrangement of which I reproduce the French text herein below.

[Here follows French version of English text quoted in the preceding document.]

Duly authorized thereto by my Government, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that those terms are accepted by it and that, conformably to the suggestion' made by the Federal Government the provisions therein contained are from this moment put into force and effect.

In taking this action, I am directed to point out to the Federal Government that, as Your Excellency will understand, it is only by reason of the military interest involved in the question, that the Government of the Republic accepts American military policing in the zone of the interior. Be pleased to accept [etc.]

JUSSERAND

File No. 811.203/25

The Secretary of State to the Belgian Minister (De Cartier)

No. 81

WASHINGTON, July 5, 1918. Sir: Referring to your note of May 6, 1918, in which you communicate to me the desire of your Government to effect an arrangement between the United States and Belgium on the subject of penal jurisdiction over the military and naval forces of each country within the jurisdiction of the other, I have the honor to inform you that I am authorized by the President as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, to propose to you an arrangement by an exchange of notes as follows:

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians recognize during the present war the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunals of their respective land and sea forces with regard to persons subject to the jurisdiction of those forces whatever be the territory in which they operate or the nationality of the accused. In the case of offences committed jointly or in complicity with persons subject to the jurisdiction of the said military forces, the principals and accessories who are amenable to the American lanıl and sea forces shall be handed over for trial to the American military or naval justice, and the principals and accessories who are amenable to the Belgian land and sea forces shall be handed over for trial to the Belgian military or naval justice.

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The Government of the United States of America and the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians further recognize during the present war the exclusive jurisdiction within American territory of American justice over persons not belonging to the Belgian land and sea forces who may commit acts prejudicial to the said military forces and the exclusive jurisdiction, within Belgian territory, of Belgian justice over persons not belonging to American land and sea forces who may commit acts prejudicial to the said military forces.

The word “persons” as used in the first paragraph of this agreement designates, together with the persons enrolled in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, any other person who under the American or Belgian law is subject to military or naval jurisdiction, especially members of the Red Cross regularly accepted by the Government of the United States of America or the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians in so far as the American or Belgian law and the customs of war place them under military or naval jurisdiction.

Should this arrangement be acceptable to the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians your formal notification in writing to that effect will be understood on the part of the Government of the United States of America as completing the arrangement and putting it into force and effect, and I shall be glad to receive your assurance that it will be so understood also on the part of the Government of His Majesty the King of the Belgians. Accept [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

bille No. 811.203/22
T'he Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Great Britain

(Laughlin)
[Telegram]

WASIIINGTON, July 17, 1918, 5 p. m. 264. Your 9748, April 27, 1 p. m., respecting jurisdiction over American military forces in England. You may communicate regarding this matter with British Government in sense of following:

The note of the British Foreign Office dated April 26 last, with its additional proposals, is regarded by this Government as containing conditions which would create a very dangerous situation as regards the forces of this Government in British territory. The competent authorities of this Government are of the opinion that the result of entering into an agreement such as that proposed in the above-mentioned note would be a partial surrender by the American forces to the British Government of jurisdiction over the military forces of the United States located within British territorial limits for offenses committed on American warships or in American camps and would involve the lack of proper recognition of the character and competency of the existing American military tribunals. In view of the foregoing and since the British Government has already entered into an agreement upon this subject with the Government of France dated December 15, 1915, which agreement is substantially the same as was entered into between the Governments of the United States and France, it is respectfully suggested that the British Government may desire to submit a proposal embodying the same terms as those contained in the French-American note dated January 14, 1918, which would receive the favorable consideration of the United States Government.

POLK

File No. 811.203/28
The French Ambassador (Jusscrand) to the Secretary of State

[Translation]
WASIIINGTON, July 11, 1918.

[Received July 17.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: In reminding me of the scope of the notes which I had the honor to exchange with Your Excellency under dates of January 3 and 14, last, respecting military penal jurisdiction and affecting persons coming under such jurisdiction regardless of the territory where the forces operate and of the nationality of the men concerned, my Government notes that it has thereby relinquished the right to seek and prosecute the French deserters and delinquents who might come to France as members of the American Army.

Without the slightest intention of eluding the engagements reciprocally made in that connection, the Government of the Republic deems it its duty unofficially to point out to the Federal Government certain awkward consequences that may result from the operation of those provisions and which it believes it very important to remedy.

The French military authorities have indeed had occasion to note the presence of French deserters or delinquents among noncombatant American troops either in the army zone or in the interior, and this may create regrettable incidents from the standpoint of public order. Those men might be recognized by former comrades in arms or by the Frenchmen whom they met in France or the United States and who are doing or have done their duty as combatants, at the risk of their lives. For instance, one Giselon, a French deserter, was recently identified at Chaumont while doing police duty in the American Army.

Without questioning the right of the Federal Government and Commander in Chief of the American Armies to use the services

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of Frenchmen belonging to the American Army as they see fit or as may best befit the man's aptitude, my Government believes it has a right to prevent, as far as possible, friction or even public scandal that might be attended with very unpleasant consequences.

If the Federal Government were disposed, for its part, to make allowance for the apprehensions caused to the French authorities by that condition of affairs, it seems that it might send to the front as combatants or keep in the United States with the local forces the French deserters or delinquents who have enlisted in its Army. Both these solutions would have the happy result that the Frenchmen who answered the call to the colors on the very day of mobilization and stood true to the flag would have no opportunity to manifest sentiments liable to misinterpretation by the American authorities.

I am instructed to add that it would also be to the interest of the French delinquents and deserters wearing the American uniform to be called to the honor of fighting the enemy at the front.

The agreement contemplated by the two Governments with respect to military service provides that French delinquents who fight at the front will be given the equivalence of their services. On the other hand, the French deserters sheltered from search or prosecution while in an American uniform, by virtue of the notes of January 3 and 14, but wishing hereafter to clear their situation under the French law could, in all likelihood, rely on the clemency of their judges if they can show proof that they actually bore arms and so atoned for their desertion.

I venture to draw Your Excellency's very special attention to this matter to the settlement of which the French High Command attaches great importance. Be pleased to accept [etc.]

JUSSERAND

File No. 811.203/29

The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Jusserand) No. 2216

WASHINGTON, August 24, 1918. EXCELLENCY: Referring to your note of July 11, 1918, in which, with reference to the exchange of notes between the Governments of the United States and of France respecting military penal jurisdiction, you advised me that your Government notes that it has thereby relinquished the right to seek and prosecute the French deserters and delinquents who might come to France as members of the American Army, and pointed out the awkward consequences that may proceed from the operation of those provisions, which the French Government believe it very important to remedy, I have now the honor to inform you of the receipt of a letter on this subject from the Secretary of War.

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