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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

United Kingdom ,   pp. 1-135 PDF (51.1 MB)

Page 130

islands in the Pacific, and (b) meanwhile for both Governments to
observe a "stand-still." He remarked that one objection that oc-
curred to him was that while Great Britain and the United States were
standing still, other Powers might proceed with settlers or beacons or
markings or postings. Mr. Moffat replied that as far as he knew
no other Power was asserting claims, and Sir Ronald agreed that his
observation was in effect more theoretical than actual. He then asked
whether we had claims to islands outside the Phoenix group. Judge
Moore replied "yes" but that the number was not large. Sir Ronald
then said that if he understood us aright, what we proposed was
first, that the British should agree to the principle of the stand-still
and that once this was agreed we would present our claims without
delay. Judge Moore replied that Sir Ronald's understanding was
correct and that we would be in a position to give him this informa-
tion within a very few days thereafter. The Ambassador replied that
he felt he understood the situation and that he would telegraph his
Government and let us know their reaction within a very few days.
                                             PIERREPONT MOFFAT
811.0141 Phoenix Group/16M
  Memorandum by the Chief of the Divison of European Afairs
                                 [WASHINGTON,] August 23, 1937.
  I saw Sir Ronald Lindsay this morning apropos of another matter,
and asked him if he had received any reply to the proposal we had
made regarding methods of discussing the islands in the Pacific to
which there were conflicting claims. He replied that he had not had
an answer and frankly did not anticipate one for some time, as he
felt that the British Government would not make a move on the
matter without consulting Australia and New Zealand. I replied
that I could well understand this when it came to questions of sub-
stance but that all we were interested in now was in trying to work out
a means of settling the question without its arousing publicity or
undue concern. Sir Ronald replied that he personally did not see
that the situation had the makings of any public disagreement and
added that as far as he was aware there were at most islands in two
small groups to which there were conflicting claims. I asked him if
he would mention the matter when he reached London as it seemed
to me that our proposals were procedural only and acceptance might
forestall possible criticism in either press. He agreed to do so.
                                              PIERREPONT MOFFAT

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