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plorations. It is suggested that when in Kabul you inquire informally whether, and, if so what, sites could be made available to American archeologists under Article 11 of the Franco-Afghan Agreement of September 9, 1922,12 or on any other basis.

For the rest, it would seem to be mainly a question of what commitments the Afghans can make. We have the impression that Afghan reluctance to grant us most favored-nation treatment in trade and customs matters is not due to a desire to place our goods at a disadvantage, but is to avoid affording certain other countries of whom the Afghans entertain suspicions, an opportunity to press for equal advantages which could be used for political ends. There is the added difficulty that a foreign trade monopoly system exists in Afghanistan as in Iran, and that Afghanistan, like its western neighbor, has entered into certain compensation arrangements. We, however, do not know whether the Afghans feel disinclined or unable to give us most-favored-nation treatment in respect to all matters, or whether their disinclination is confined to a few subjects.

In sum, we are disposed to enter into a treaty giving the Afghans national or most-favored-nation treatment, with certain exceptions, in various matters. In granting such treatment, we ordinarily obtain reciprocal treatment from the other party, and we should be glad to be informed as to those subjects in respect of which the Afghans feel able to accord it. In cases where they cannot, we should like to know in a general way what compensatory advantages they can offer.

The Afghans are probably unaware of the disabilities to which they are unfortunately subject in this country, references to which have been made in the course of this letter. They are bound to learn of them sooner or later, but you should refrain from bringing the matter up.

Your conversations in Kabul should of course be purely informal and exploratory in character. While we hope that they will lead to concrete results, we believe that your inquiries will in any case serve the purpose of convincing the Afghans of the good will of this Government. Sincerely yours,


124.90H/54 : Telegram

The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

TEHRAN, June 27, 1941-10 a. m.

[Received 7:55 p. m.] 65. Following preliminary report on results of Afghan mission. Our reception was unusually cordial due to traditional Afghan spirit

1 League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cv, p. 153.

of hospitality, to the obvious friendly disposition of the people toward Americans and to the desire of the Government to have us open a Legation at Kabul. The Afghans have a sincere and deep rooted desire in the absence of a friend or neighbor to whom they can turn to have a disinterested third-power friend to assist and advise them and they have always hoped that the United States would be willing to fill such a role. This desire on their part is not opportunistic because of the war although war conditions have made it more acute. I venture to recommend the immediate opening of a Legation at Kabul for the following reasons—first and most important the United States should accept the hand of friendship offered it by this small and independent nation in keeping with its world responsibilities; secondly this is an opportunity which should not be missed of establishing ourselves solidly in a strategic position in Asia; thirdly our interests in Afghanistan should increase since negotiations are now under way to bring a number of American teachers and technical advisers, and many more are contemplated if all goes well. It may be pointed out that Germany has established herself well in Afghanistan as a result of the good work of her more than 100 citizen advisers there and to the economic assistance and advice she has given.

As to administration of justice in Afghanistan my opinion after considerable investigation on the spot is that while justice is administered exclusively by [apparent omission] on the basis of Islamic law and there is no legal or constitutional guarantee of treatment according to western standards. In practical application foreigners are accorded suitable treatment and the Government is most anxious to avoid incidents involving them. There have been no cases in recent years of harsh or unusual treatment of foreigners and in a number of cases those accused of serious crimes have been turned over to their Legations for deportation rather than delivered to the vagaries of the Shariat.

The Afghan Government has expressed willingness to sign a more comprehensive treaty including most-favored-nation clause with certain reservations. Their rough draft of a suggested treaty 13 is being forwarded by mail.

The Afghans are willing to waive visa fees through exchange of notes. I should appreciate instructions if Department wishes me to proceed therewith.

A series of despatches on political and economic subjects covering the Afghan mission will be prepared and forwarded as time permits.


13 Post, p. 261.


The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State Afghan Series No. 7

TEHRAN, July 5, 1941.

[Received December 8.] SIR: Referring to a communication of January 28, 1941, from the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, and my telegram No. 65 of June 27, 1941, concerning my journey to Kabul and the presentation of my letters of credence to the King of Afghanistan, I have the honor to report that, after the termination of the protocol formalities, one of the first matters taken up informally with the Minister for Foreign Affairs was that of exploring the ground to ascertain whether it would be worth while to consider entering into negotiations with the Afghan Government with a view to concluding a more formal and more comprehensive treaty than the Provisional Agreement of 1936.

When this subject was first broached by me to Ali Mohammad Khan, the Foreign Minister, he appeared to be quite interested and receptive and informed me that he would be much pleased if something could be done along these lines. He stated that he would consult the Prime Minister and would then let me know the decision of his Government. On a subsequent visit several days later he informed me that he regretted very much not to have been able to discuss the question of the treaty with the Prime Minister as the latter had been confined to his bed by a slight illness. On that occasion Ali Mohammad Khan went on to say that he could not see any reason why Afghanistan should not enter into an agreement providing for reciprocal and unconditional most-favored-nation treatment in regard to commercial and customs matters as his country was quite free in this respect, not having through treaty or otherwise given any special advantages to any particular country. Thereupon I inquired whether his Government was disposed to give favorable reception to American enterprise and capital and whether it was prepared to give general assurances regarding the treatment which would be accorded to American interests entering Afghanistan. To this he replied emphatically in the affirmative.

No reference whatever was made in the conversation by either side to the ineligibility of Afghans to American citizenship and the more limited rights which may be accorded them in connection with the tenure and disposition of real property. I doubt if the Foreign Minister is aware of the disabilities suffered by Afghans in this respect, although his draft of the treaty would indicate that he had it vaguely in mind. I am of the opinion, in any event, that this hurdle can be surmounted in the same manner as contemplated in


the proposed treaty between the United States and India, a copy of which was enclosed with Mr. Murray's communication.

The day before my departure from Kabul, the Foreign Minister informed me that he had been able finally to go over the matter with the Prime Minister and they had gone so far as to prepare an informal draft of a treaty comprising a considerable range of subjects. Unfortunately, this draft was in the Persian language and it was not possible in the time at our disposal to examine carefully each of the articles. However, the Minister explained that this draft had been prepared only with the view of giving an idea of some of the subjects his Government felt might be included in such a treaty and he went on to say that he would be glad to receive from the American Government a counter-draft with its proposals. Throughout the conversation his attitude seemed to be that there should be no difficulty in arriving at a formal agreement between the two countries.

During my talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, he mentioned only on one or two occasions that Afghanistan is desirous of having a permanent American Minister in Kabul. The reason for his not having stressed this is undoubtedly due to a certain sensitiveness on this subject which I feel is developing. However, in my conversations with the Minister of Public Works, that official repeated several times how helpful it would be in the furtherance of AfghanAmerican commercial relations to have a permanent Legation in Kabul. In my telegram of June 27th, I ventured to recommend the opening of a permanent Legation at Kabul. I respectfully commend to the Department's earnest consideration the arguments therein adduced for this stand as well as those more fully set forth in Despatch No. 6, dated June 29, 1941, on American-Afghan relations.14

A translation of the Afghan draft of the proposed treaty is enclosed. Respectfully yours,




Afghan Draft of Treaty of Friendship Between the Royal Govern

ment of Afghanistan and the Government of the United States of America

His Majesty the King of Afghanistan and the President of the United States of America, desiring to extend the friendly relations between the Royal Government of Afghanistan and the Government of the United States of America, found it necessary, in order to attain this end, to conclude a Treaty of Friendship in lieu of the Provisional. Accord concluded on March 26, 1936, between the Royal Government

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of Afghanistan and the Government of the United States of America, and in order to conclude the said treaty they designated as their Plenipotentiaries:

For His Majesty the King of Afghanistan,

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For His Excellency the President of the United States of America,

The above-mentioned plenipotentiaries, after communicating their letters of credence (full powers), which they found correct and authentic, agreed on the following articles :

ARTICLE I There shall be a firmly established and lasting peace and sincere friendship between His Majesty the King of Afghanistan, his descendents and subjects on the one hand, and the United States of America and her citizens on the other, in all their territories and dominions.


The Diplomatic Representatives of each country in the territory of the other shall enjoy all privileges under public international law. The Consular representatives of each country shall have exequaturs and may reside in the territory of the other, and enjoy the honorary privileges granted to all representatives by virtue of general international usage, and they shall be treated like the Consular representatives of any other country.

ARTICLE III The citizens of the United States of America, her dominions and possessions, in the Kingdom of Afghanistan, and the subjects of His Majesty the King of Afghanistan in the United States and her dominions and possessions, will be admitted (into the territories of the other) in accordance with the general principles of international law as generally known. (These principles) shall apply to their persons, their property and rights. They shall enjoy the protection of the laws and the authorities of the country. As to their persons, property, rights and interests, the treatment accorded will not be less favorable than that accorded the nationals of any other country.


In commercial and customs matters the Royal Government of Afghanistan shall receive the rights and facilities given by the United States of America, her dominions and possessions to a third foreign Government or to be given in the future. Similarly the Government of the United States of America, its dominions and possessions, in commercial and customs matters shall receive the rights and facilities

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