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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)

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)


Page 390


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1937, VOLUME II
Department a digest of a further note from the Foreign Office dated
January 22, 1937,'7 in reply to the Embassy's note of December 29,
1936,w based on the instructions of the Department telegraphically
transmitted, as noted above.
  Further details in the case are as follows:
  At the time the Embassy's note was handed to the appropriate For-
eign Office official, the matter was discussed at length, keeping in
mind the consideration expressed on pages 4, 5 and 6 of instruction
No. 696 of November 24, 1936,97 as well as the attitude of American
authorities in similar cases arising in the United States.
  At that time the official in question expressed the opinion, later
brought out in the official reply, that the German Government did not
question the right of Consular officers to discuss individual cases with
any authority in their respective districts, but that questions of a
general character involving matters of policy or those having some
"fundamental significance" could not properly be put, he thought,
by
Consular officers. He did not wish to go into details on the point
until the Embassy's note had been studied, and he added that the reply
which would be made might not embody the same opinion. In view
of this attitude, the case was not argued, but an endeavor was made
to impress him with the thought that the inquiries in question did not
appear to involve any consideration whatever except a desire on the
part of the Consuls to carry out their normal protection duties in
accordance with their rights as specifically set forth in the Treaty.
  The opinion of the Foreign Office as expressed in its last note,
dated January 22, 1937, copy and translation of which are transmitted
herewith, seems to call for certain observations.
  In the first place, and apparently for the first time since the signing
of the Treaty of 1923-and perhaps even before-a distinction is
being made by the Foreign Office as regards direct communication
between Consular officers and German authorities on matters involv-
ing the "discussion of individual cases" and those which may involve
questions of policy having some "fundamental significance". Such
classification or distinction, especially in view of the rather broad
terms of the Treaty provisions, is not entirely clear.
  Second, with a view to determining, if possible, any reasonable
grounds on which such an interpretation might be made, the Con-
sular inquiries questioned were again carefully studied. It -may be
noted that in the case of the letter addressed by Consul General
Thomson at Dresden, dated October 5, 1936, to the State Chancery
of Saxony in Dresden, he requested (in translation) that "the Con-
sulate would further very much appreciate being informed of any
  TNot printed.
  Not found in Department files.
390


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