Page images

Senate for the sale of the two ships would have excellent effect here and be likely to facilitate whatever course may have to be taken as regards the ports. A dozen defense airplanes would be especially useful to this end as they would compel training of pilots in England or America, the establishment of needed landing fields and the coordination of patrol intelligence with the RAF.42

The British and Canadian representatives personally approve this policy in principle as promising the best chance of profitably capitalizing the course of future events especially in view of the economic pressures now imminent. The Irish Government forbid exports of all articles they regard needful for Irish welfare and propose no sacrifices. They cannot justly complain of reciprocal treatment sweetened with tokens of good will.

De Valera continues to assert that he will attack the first aggressor and invite help from that aggressor's enemy. He undoubtedly means this and would order fire on British or American invader. Whether the Army would obey order against Americans and the country support it I cannot say. Very much would depend on the manner of approach and preparation.

The program suggested in no way relieves the Allies of responsibility for the defense of the Island.


“ Royal Air Force.




711.90H/69 The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the

Minister in Iran (Dreyfus)

WASHINGTON, January 28, 1941. DEAR Louis: We presume that you will travel to Kabul to present your letters of credence as soon as you find it possible and expedient to do so, but it is hardly to be supposed that you will make the journey before spring brings on improvement in traveling conditions.

When you are in Kabul, we should like you to explore the ground with a view to ascertaining whether, in your judgment, it would be worthwhile to consider entering into negotiations with the Afghans with a view to concluding a more formal and more comprehensive arrangement than the Provisional Agreement of 1936. Before proceeding, you will doubtless desire to familiarize yourself with the history of the negotiations a leading to the signature at Paris on March 26, 1936, of a Provisional Agreement of Friendship and Diplomatic and Consular Representation. Reference in this connection is made to the Department's instruction No. 1 (Afghan series) of August 26, 1935, and to instruction No. 5 (Afghan series) of February 21, 1936.* For further background there is enclosed a copy of an informal letter of February 13, 1936, from the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs to the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim at Paris. There is also enclosed a copy of a memorandum dated February 12, 1936, from the Division of Near Eastern Affairs to the Legal Adviser, and a copy of the latter's comments dated February 14, 1936. Please take note also of Baghdad's despatch No. 570 of January 2, 1936,5 entitled: "Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs visits Baghdad”, a copy of which was apparently sent to your Legation.

* The Minister in Iran was accredited also to Afghanistan. See Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. III, pp. 1 ff.

For text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 88, or 49 Stat. (pt. 2) 3873.

*Neither printed. 5 Not printed.

While it is assumed that the Legation has a copy of the Provisional Agreement of March 26, 1936 (Executive Agreement Series, No. 88), two additional copies are enclosed for convenience of reference.

From an examination of this material, it will be evident that the conclusion of a somewhat more far-reaching agreement in 1936 was prevented: (1) by the discovery that the text first proposed to the Afghans did not take account of their ineligibility to American citizenship and the legislative structure based thereon; and (2) by the refusal of the Afghans to enter into an agreement providing for reciprocal and unconditional most-favored-nation treatment in regard to commercial and customs matters.

The question arises whether, in spite of past difficulties, it would now be possible to enter into a more comprehensive and more formal agreement with the Afghan Government.

The Afghans themselves are naturally the best judges of what they desire from this country. It may be surmised, however, that their wants include: the establishment by the United States of a diplomatic mission in Kabul; the development of Afganistan by American enterprise and American capital; American teachers and experts to advise and to work with the Afghan authorities; an assured supply of American automobiles and accessories; treaty alien status for Afghan merchants who travel to the United States on business; continued fair treatment of Afghan exports to this country.

You are doubtless aware of the reasons why an American diplomatic mission has not been established in Kabul up to the present time, and realize the unlikelihood that one will be established in the future so long as our interests in Afghanistan continue to be slight. However, the Afghan officials are likely to have much to say on this point, and it is suggested that you review the conversations on the subject which your predecessor, Mr. Hornibrook, had in Kabul.

We understand that the Afghans are disposed to give a favorable reception to American enterprise and capital, but it is for American private interests themselves to determine whether or not Afghanistan is a suitable field for their endeavors.

Nevertheless, we should like to know whether the Afghan Government would consider giving general assurances regarding the treatment which would be accorded to American interests of the kind entering Afghanistan.

The furnishing of American civilian experts is of course not a suitable subject for a treaty stipulation, nor is the supplying of automobiles.

It would be possible to provide treaty alien status for Afghan merchants coming to this country on business, but if the treaty were to deal not merely with entry, but also with establishment and sojourn, due account would have to be taken of the ineligibility of Afghans for American citizenship and consequently the more limited rights which may be granted in connection with the tenure and disposition of real property. In the proposed treaty between the United States and India, which is now being considered by the Government of India, where the same question arose, these matters are dealt with in Article I. For your information there is attached a copy of our note of October 10, 1939, and its enclosure, as well as a copy of our supplementary note of April 10, 1940, to the British Ambassador.

Obviously, the reservations which we are compelled to make in a brief instrument (see the Treaty of Establishment and Sojourn with Turkey, signed on October 28, 1931,10 a copy of which is enclosed) would stand out in bold relief and be very difficult to explain to the satisfaction of the Afghans. One alternative would be to make the treaty very brief indeed, giving Afghan merchants treaty alien status, i. e. dealing solely with entry, and to say nothing about establishment and sojourn. The other alternative would be to insert provisions relating to establishment and sojourn in a treaty of larger scope in which our reservations would be less noticeable.

Assurance of continued equitable treatment for Afghan exports to this country is, of course, a matter with which we are fully prepared to deal in a treaty.

So far as we are concerned, there would be no objection to entering into a treaty comprising a considerable range of subjects, such as the proposed treaty with India, in so far as its provisions are applicable to Afghanistan. In your conversations at Kabul you should not, however, allude to the fact that treaty negotiations are pending between your Government and the Government of India. The provisions relating to navigation would naturally be eliminated. It would also be desirable to postpone entering into detailed stipulations relating to diplomatic and consular establishment until there are definite prospects therefor.

We assume that the Afghans are unwilling to permit American eleemosynary activities in their country. As to archeological work, your attention is invited to the Legation's despatch No. 366 of February 27, 1935, to the Department's instruction No. 112 of April 4, 1935, and to the Legation's despatch No. 131 (Afghan series) of January 23, 1940.11 From this correspondence and from the text of the French archeological monopoly (see "A Report on Afghanistan”, by Cornelius Van H. Engert, Washington, 1924, pp. 48 and 211-212), it is noted that although the French archeological monopoly will not expire until 1952, British archeologists were recently engaged in ex

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »