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and possibly four clerical assistants. The delegation probably will sail from New York on August 25, 1928, and should arrive in Brussels in sufficient time to confer with you before the Conference is convened.
You are instructed to proceed to Brussels and you should arrange the departure from your post so that you may arrive at Brussels not later than September 8, 1928. You will, of course, be allowed your transportation expenses and subsistence at the rate of fifteen dollars per day for the time that you are away from your post in connection with this Conference.
For your information the Department encloses a copy of Documents of the Committee on the Study of Code Language; a translation of the final report of that Committee; a copy of a report by Major William F. Friedman entitled "Report on the history of the use of Codes and Code Language, the International Telegraph Regulations pertaining thereto, and the bearing of this history on the Cortina Report"; a copy of the Stenographic Report of the Hearing on July 25, 1928, regarding the Cortina report and a copy of a letter dated June 29, 1928, and a questionnaire which was sent to a number of the large users of the telegraph, cable and radio communication facilities. The report of the Cortina Committee constitutes the agenda for the Conference.
Specific instructions to govern the American delegation at the Conference will be prepared and sent to you as soon as possible. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
W. R. CASTLE, Jr.
572.F1/206 : Circular telegram The Acting Secretary of State to American Diplomatic Representatives
in Mexico and Central and South America
WASHINGTON, August 23, 1928—% p. m. Department sending delegation to Brussels for representation in International Telegraph Conference beginning there September 10. Proposals of majority of representatives of European Governments recommend changing maximum length of code word from ten letters to five letters and reducing charges by only 25 to 40 per cent. This will result in very considerable increase in costs of international communication for large code users throughout the world and American delegation is being instructed to endeavor to maintain status quo as regards method of counting words and rates. Department understands British and Canadian delegations will receive similar instructions.
Enclosures not printed.
Bring foregoing informally to attention of Government to which you are accredited. Ascertain whether it will have representatives at the Brussels Conference and if so, endeavor to have similar instructions issued to them. Telegraph report.os
572.F1/249 : Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium
WASHINGTON, September 10, 1928–6 p. m. 61. For Harrison. For your information: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela apparently only Latin American countries which signed International Telegraph Convention signed at Paris in 1925.
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have not yet replied to Department's circular telegram.
Honduras, Paraguay and Peru stated they will not be represented at conference.
Panama states that it is sympathetic with Department's desires but may not be represented at conference.
Costa Rica, Guatemala and Haiti have not received invitations. They state however that if they are represented their delegations will be instructed to vote to maintain status quo.
Department understands that: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua and Salvador although apparently not signatories to Paris Convention expect to be represented and to support status quo. Cuba and Mexico will appoint their Ministers at Brussels as delegate and observer, respectively. Dominican Consul at Brussels will represent his Government.
Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela will vote to maintain status quo. Bolivia and Venezuela will be represented by their Ministers at Brussels; Chile will be represented by its Chargé d'Affaires ad interim at Brussels and its Consul at Antwerp; and Colombia will be represented by its Chargé d'Affaires ad interim at Brussels. Please inform Vallance.
572.F1/264 : Telegram
[Received September 24, 1928–10 a. m.] 7. Eighth and last plenary session Telegraph Conference Saturday ended with signing of protocol containing amendments to Paris reg.
* Reports not printed.
ulations effective October 1929. New regulations maintain ten-letter code word at present rate and definitely state conditions to which they must conform. New conditions will not cause scrapping present codes. Amended regulations also provide for new category of fiveletter code words with no restrictions as to formation at two-thirds present charge in extra European regime and three-fourth present charge in European regime. Under latter category unions of plainlanguage words in five-letter groups also admitted. Amended regulations will therefore not increase cost telegraphic communication to anybody, if anything slight decrease may result from new class fiveletter words. Full report being prepared and work of delegation will be completed by September 27. Report will be forwarded by next Embassy pouch.94 Account crowded conditions Embassy unable to arrange return passage earlier than October 5th and has approved allowance subsistence to that date.
PROPOSED DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY HELD BY THE ALIEN
763.72113 Au 7/22
The Austrian Minister (Prochnik) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, January 4, 1928. EXCELLENCY: This Legation has obtained information that one of the reasons, if not the chief one, for the delay experienced in the framing of a bill dealing with the return of Austrian property was the lack of sufficient particulars as to the nature and extent of potential claims, which Austrian citizens may have against the United States Government from seized patents, copyrights a. s. f.
If the legislation pertaining to the return of Austrian property is to be framed along the lines as envisaged by my Government, suggested to Your Excellency, and discussed by me with Judge Parker 96 and Mr. Mills,97 I do not see, how the question of potential Austrian claims could in any way interfere with the passage of a legislative measure authorizing the Alien Property Custodian to release Austrian property under certain stipulated conditions—unless the members of the Ways and Means Committee had the German analogue in mind, overlooking or not being aware of quite a different construction contemplated in our case.
* Published by the Department of State under title of Report of the American Delegation to the International Telegraph Conference of Brussels, September 10-22, 1928, etc. (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1929).
* Continued from Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. I, pp. 301-308.
In the German case a sort of clearing between American claims against Germany and German claims against America had to be resorted to to enable provisions for payment of the awards of the Mixed Claims Commission, the chief prerequisite for the return of property. In the German case the creation of a special fund for the payment of such awards was under consideration and this question could only be solved by retaining part of seized private property, by alloting the unallocated interest and by crediting to Germany a certain amount in compensation for seized ships, radios, patents etc. For this reason it was necessary to estimate and settle on an approximate amount of counter claims in connection with the Bill.
In the Austrian case, however, the American claims against Austria are entirely divorced from the potential Austrian claims against the United States. The awards of the Tripartite Claims Commission will be fully paid by the Austrian Government with Government funds and no request for the return of property is made prior to a moment when the United States Treasury in agreement with Judge Parker is in a position to declare that the Government property already in said Department's Custody and an additional cash amount to be deposited by the Austrian Government are sufficient to cover all American claims.
Austria has always maintained the standpoint that awarded American claims constitute a liability against the Austrian Government to be settled with Government funds and that this settlement in no way should interfere with the liquidation of private claims between the two countries. No matter, whether and when Austrian citizens will obtain redress or compensation for seized patents etc., or when the unallocated interest will be returned to the rightful Austrian owners, the Austrian Government is ready to provide for the payment of American claims awarded by the Tripartite Claims Commission.
Of course, the Austrian Legation could not, for the mere reason of simplifying matters, waive for private citizens of Austria whatever rights they may have or obtain to claim under similar conditions as provided for in the German Bill certain indemnities for seized and used patents. In fact such a waiver would be embarrassing and unacceptable to your Government and Congress as it would create a case of discriminative legislation.
This Legation must, therefore, reiterate its request to have an appropriate clause inserted in the Austrian Bill which would reserve to Austrian owners of patents, copyrights etc. under like or similar conditions the same rights which Congress is willing to grant to German citizens. May I recall in this connection that the Mills Bill when under advice during the last session of Congress actually contained such a provision in favor of Austria although it otherwise exclusively dealt with German property.
As there is no intention on our part to have whatever claim Austrian citizens may possess credited against the liability incurred by the awards of the Tripartite Claims Commission the question of determining these claims should not interfere with the passage of a Bill for the return of property. Like in the German case a special arbitration procedure shall determine, what if any Austrian claims of aforementioned nature exist, and whether and to what extent they shall be recognized. But as awards against the Austrian Government will be settled by the same regardless whatever the outcome of these arbitration proceedings may be, I see no reason why the potential claims of Austrian citizens should cause a delay in the passage of an act returning Austrian property.
The same applies to the unallocated interest which accrued from Austrian property. We expect and hope that these interest [s] will be returned to the rightful Austrian owners with the seized property, but we do not request that this amount should be computed in or deducted from the total awards to be charged by the Tripartite Claims Commission against the Austrian Government.
Austria, with other words, offers an exchange of securities-Government property for private property—it is anxious to make with Government funds such "other suitable provisions” which Congress stipulated as a prerequisite for the return of seized private property.
Your Excellency would greatly oblige me by bringing the aforesaid to the attention of Congress.” Accept [etc.]
The Swiss Minister (Peter) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, January 17, 1928. Sir: It has been brought to my knowledge that a Bill concerning the return of alien property seized during the war and at present held by the Alien Property Custodian has already passed the House of Representatives of the United States and is now being considered by the Committee of Finance of the Senate. In this connection, I beg to invite Your Excellency's attention to the following:
In pursuance to the enemy trading legislation of the United States, enacted on October 6, 1917," assets in the United States of certain Swiss individuals and corporations were seized by the Alien Property
Transmitted Jan. 9, 1928, to the Honorable William R. Green, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
40 Stat. 411.