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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
(1937)

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


Page 133


UNITED KINGDOM
said, it is very probable that he may wish to participate in any con-
versation with the British Ambassador.
  I will of course not forget the importance of contacting with the
British Ambassador on his return. There is nothing that we could do
in the few days remaining before he will be here that would serve to
strengthen our claim to any of the islands, or weaken the British claim.
                                                 R. WALTON MooRm
811.0141 Phoenix Group/24*
Memorandum by the Counselor of the Department of State (Moore)
                                  [WASHINGTON,] November 4, 1937.
  At my request this morning Sir Ronald Lindsay, the British Am-
bassador, called at my office when I brought him up to date on what
has occurred with reference to the Pacific Islands situation. I men-
tioned the note of August 9, 1937, delivered to him containing our
proposal that the two governments discuss conflicting claims to any
of the islands, and then I took up with him the note of his Charge of
October 20th indicating a willingness to discuss all claims except
those pertaining to Canton and Hull Islands in the Phoenix group. I
said that only a discussion had been suggested and that it seemed to us
entirely illogical that any islands to which there are conflicting claims
should be omitted from the discussion. I said furthermore that it
would seem to be a simple process for each government to list the
islands it claims, and following that engage in an interchange of
evidence in the effort to reach some satisfactory conclusion. I repeated
to him what I said to the Charge about Canton Island, indicating the
possibility that it might be found that neither government has any
perfect claim of ownership and that the island might conceivably be
used by both governments for civil aviation purposes. I did not hesi-
tate to tell him in a very friendly way that we find that ordinarily the
British incline to claim everything. I think he fully realized the
strength of my statements and promised that he would at once send a
pouch communication to London in order perhaps to bring about a
reconsideration of the decision in the note of October 20th. Incident-
ally he said that he was sorry that he had failed to take the matter up
while he was in London and was quite satisfied that it was taken up
with subordinate officials instead of being referred as a matter of real
importance to those high in authority. The conversation with the
Ambassador left me very hopeful that within a reasonably short time
he will inform us that a discussion can be carried on without any island
being excluded.
133


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