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The High Contracting Parties will use every effort to obtain the adhesion to the present Convention of the other States exercising authority over territories of the African Continent.
This adhesion shall be notified through the diplomatic channel to the Government of the French Republic, and by it to all the signatory or adhering States. The adhesion will come into effect from the date of the notification to the French Government.
All the provisions of former general international Conventions relating to the matters dealt with in the present Convention shall be considered as abrogated in so far as they are binding between the Powers which are parties to the present Convention.
The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible.
Each Power will address its ratification to the French Government, which will inform all the other signatory Powers.
The ratifications will remain deposited in the archives of the French Government.
The present Convention will come into force for each signatory Power from the date of the deposit of its ratification, and from that moment that Power will be bound in respect of other Powers which have already deposited their ratifications.
On the coming into force of the present Convention, the French Government will transmit a certified copy to the Powers which under the Treaties of Peace have undertaken to accept and observe it, and are in consequence placed in the same position as the Contracting Parties. The names of these Powers will be notified to the States which adhere.
In faith whereof, the above-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention.
Done at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the tenth day of September, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, in a single copy which will remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic, and of which authenticated copies will be sent to each of the signatory Powers.
(SEAL] FRANK L. POLK
SEAL TASKER H. BLISS
SEAL ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR
[SEAL GEQ N. BARNES
SEAL GUGLIELMO MARCONI
[On February 28 (legislative day of February 25), 1929, the Senate gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the above convention, subject to the following reservation: “Should any dispute whatever arise between any of the high contracting parties and the United States relative to the application of the present convention which can not be settled by negotiation, such dispute shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, established by the convention of October 18, 1907, or to such other arbitral tribunal upon which the parties to the dispute may agree."]
CONVENTION SIGNED AT SAINT GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, SEPTEMBER 10, 1919, REVISING THE GENERAL ACT OF BERLIN OF 1885 AND THE GENERAL ACT AND DECLARATION OF BRUSSELS OF 1890 RO
550.48 A 1/173a
The Secretary of State to President Coolidge THE PRESIDENT: The undersigned, the Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President, with a view to its transmission to the Senate to receive the advice and consent of that body to the ratification thereof, if his judgment shall approve such action, a certified copy, with translation, of the Convention Revising the General Act
" For text of the General Act of Berlin, in French, see British and Foreign State Papers, 1884–1885, vol. cXXVI, p. 4; for text of the General Act and Declaration of Brussels, see Malloy, Treaties, 1776-1909, vol. II, p. 1964,
of Berlin, signed February 26, 1885, and the General Act and the Declaration of Brussels, signed July 2, 1890, which Convention was concluded at St. Germain-en-Laye on September 10, 1919.
The parties signatory to this Convention, which will be referred to herein as the Revising Convention, are the United States of America, Belgium, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan and Portugal. With the exception of the United States and of Italy, it has been ratified by all of the States signatory to it.
The recommendation that the United States shall ratify the Revising Convention is based primarily upon the following reasons:
(1) The Revising Convention provides for the maintenance of the Open Door, in respect of the signatories thereof and of states members of the League of Nations, throughout an immense region stretching across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, which is potentially of considerable importance to American commerce. The United States is a party to the General Act of the International Conference of Algeciras, signed April 7, 1906,602 which instrument provides for the Open Door and with it the safeguarding of American commercial interests in Morocco. The United States has recently concluded conventions with the countries holding mandates for certain territories in Africa, by virtue of which it receives in such territories the treatment accorded to states members of the League of Nations. It is believed that similar safeguards should be provided for in the important regions of Central Africa to which the Revising Convention applies.
It may appropriately be added that American commercial policy is based upon the conception of equality of treatment. Assurance of equality of treatment in the regions under consideration can be most efficaciously and conveniently maintained by ratifying the Revising Convention. There is reason to be apprehensive of discrimination, especially in colonial areas, which may become involved in systems of intra-imperial preference, unless a positive guarantee is maintained.
American exports of merchandise and American shipping entering the ports of the territories in question alike demand the promise afforded by the Revising Convention that they will not be discriminated against.
(2) The provisions of the Revising Convention include articles for the purpose of assuring religious freedom and protection of religious, charitable and scientific institutions. American missionary organizations, as well as other institutions which are interested in developing a higher degree of welfare in Central Africa, have left no doubt whatever of the importance which they attach to this provision. It is deemed especially important that American nationals representing
these institutions in Africa shall have the protection afforded by American participation in the Revising Convention.
(3) Under the terms of the Revising Convention, the parties thereto will shortly reassemble for the purpose of considering whether a further revision may be useful. While it is possible that the United States might participate in a conference for that purpose without having ratified the Convention, the natural and easy way of assuring such participation, and with it the opportunity to re-affirm and perhaps to extend the American policy of the Open Door, is to accept the Convention prior to the Conference.
(4) The Revising Convention forms an essential part of a group of instruments relating primarily to Africa, but in some cases of general application, in all of which it appears to be important that the United States become a participant. One of these, a Convention for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition and in Implements of War, signed at Geneva on June 17, 1925,61 was transmitted by you to the Senate on January 12, 1926, but has not as yet been acted upon by the Senate. There are being forwarded at this time, with a view to their transmission to the Senate, certified copies of the other two, namely, the Convention Relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa, signed at St. Germain-en-Laye on September 10, 1919,62 and a certified copy of the Slavery Convention, signed at Geneva on September 25, 1926.88 The simultaneous acceptance by the United States of these four Conventions will not only safeguard American interests in important matters but will have a definitely helpful moral influence upon the welfare of Central Africa in the matter of slavery, the prohibition of alcoholic liquors and the suppression of the traffic in arms. In respect of the traffic in arms and of slavery the provisions of the conventions are, moreover, general in their scope.
(5) Finally, in view of the fact that the United States is a party to the General Act of Brussels, which is revised by the Convention under consideration, and since the Act of Brussels has been abrogated in respect of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Japan and Portugal by virtue of their acceptance of the Revising Convention, it is deemed highly desirable that the United States, likewise, shall accept the Revising Convention and so bring its position into line with the position of the other powers principally interested, with consequent participation in the advantages which such powers enjoy thereunder. For the United States to continue under obligations arising from an instrument from which the parties of principal interest have withdrawn, is deemed inexpedient. Hence the termination of such obligations under the General Act of Brussels through becoming a party to the Revising Convention is advisable for the United States. The United States is not a party to the General Act of Berlin or to the Declaration of Brussels.
* Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. I, p. 61. Ante, p. 429. Ante, p. 419.
It is necessary to call attention to the provisions of Article 12 of the Revising Convention, relating to the arbitration of disputes arising under the Convention. In view of the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of Nations and the arbitral provisions presuppose reference to a tribunal in conformity with the provisions of the Covenant, it seems appropriate that this Government, in ratify. ing the Convention, should make a reservation to the effect that it may submit disputes to some other arbitral tribunal.
Accordingly, it is suggested that the Senate may appropriately give its consent with the following reservation:
“The Senate consents to the ratification of the present Convention subject to the understanding that, in the event of a dispute in which the United States may be involved arising under the Convention, such dispute shall, if the United States so requests, be submitted to a court of arbitration constituted in accordance with the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, signed at The Hague on October 18, 1907,64 or to some other court of arbitration."
In accordance with the foregoing considerations, it is recommended that, if such course meets with approval, the Senate be requested to take suitable action consistent therewith for the purpose of advising and consenting to the ratification of the Convention Revising the General Act of Berlin and the General Act and the Declaration of Brussels. Respectfully submitted,
FRANK B. KELLOGG WASHINGTON, May 22, 1928.
Draft of a Letter From President Coolidge to the Senate 66
To the end that I may receive the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the Convention signed at St. Germain-en-Laye on September 10, 1919, Revising the General Act of Berlin of February 26, 1885, and the General Act and Declaration of Brussels of July 2, 1890.
I further transmit for the information of the Senate a report from the Secretary of State recommending that the Revising Convention referred to be ratified with a reservation in regard to arbitral procedure.
Article 12 provides for the submission of disputes arising with respect to the application of the Convention to an arbitral tribunal in
Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. 2, p. 1181.