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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. General

Unsuccessful effort to obtain German and Italian consideration of draft international convention for prevention of oil pollution at sea,   pp. 970-974 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 970

  The Secretary of State to the Ambas8ador in Germa'ny (Dodd)'
No. 791                               WASHINGTON, May 5, 1937.
  SIR: The Communications and Transit organization of the League
of Nations has had under consideration since 1934 the preparation
of a draft convention designed to bring about through international
cooperation the correction of the problem of the pollution of the
sea by oil. In the fall of 1934 and in the fall of 1935 a committee
of experts, including American experts, met in Geneva and at the
latter meeting a draft convention was drawn.2 This draft conven-
tion was then submitted by the League of Nations to various maritime
countries of the world, asking for comments and whether those coun-
tries were prepared in principle to agree with the draft in question.
All of the governments to which this questionnaire was presented,
with the exception of Italy and Germany, have made replies thereto.
It was through the initiative of the British Government that this
pollution question was taken up by the League of Nations.
  On October 10, 1936, the Council of the League of Nations decided
to convene at a date yet to be fixed a conference for the conclusion
of a convention and final act of the pollution of the sea by oil. No
date has as yet been fixed and the reason for the delay in calling
the conference is stated to be that the German and Italian Govern-
ments have not as yet made observations on the draft convention or
expressed any willingness to participate in the conference. An Italian
expert did, however, participate in the work of the committee of
experts. While the Department does not know the reasons under-
lying the inaction on the part of the German and Italian Govern-
ments, it may be assumed that this inaction is due, in part at least,
to their present policy in respect of any cooperation on the part of
those governments with League of Nations activities.
'The same, mutatis mutandis, as Department's No. 96, May 5, to the Charge
in Italy.
2 See League of Nations document C.449.M.235.1935.VIII.

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