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Display of the United Nations Flag

39. PUBLIC LAW 107 (83d CONGRESS, 1st SESSION),
July 9, 1953 1

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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 3 (c) of the joint resolution entitled "Joint resolution to codify and emphasize existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America", approved June 22, 1942,2 as amended (36 U. S. C., sec. 175 (c)), is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new sentence:

"No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations."

World Calendar Reform

3

40. LETTER FROM THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE AT THE UNITED NATIONS TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, MARCH 21, 1955 *

1 67 Stat. 142.

256 Stat. 1075.

The Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations presents his compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honor to refer to the Secretary-General's note SOA 146/2/01, dated October 7, 1954, concerning World Calendar Reform.

The United States Government does not favor any action by the United Nations to revise the present calendar. This Government cannot in any way promote a change of this nature, which would

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

♦ Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 11, 1955, p. 629.

intimately affect every inhabitant of this country, unless such a reform were favored by a substantial majority of the citizens of the United States acting through their representatives in the Congress of the United States. There is no evidence of such support in the United States for calendar reform. Large numbers of United States citizens oppose the plan for calendar reform that is now before the Economic and Social Council. Their opposition is based on religious grounds, since the introduction of a "blank day" at the end of each year would disrupt the seven-day sabbatical cycle.

Moreover, this Government holds that it would be inappropriate for the United Nations, which represents many different religious and social beliefs throughout the world, to sponsor any revision of the existing calendar that would conflict with the principles of important religious faiths.

This Government, furthermore, recommends that no further study of the subject should be undertaken. Such a study would require the use of manpower and funds which could be more usefully devoted to more vital and urgent tasks. In view of the current studies of the problem being made individually by governments in the course of preparing their views for the Secretary-General, as well as of the previous study made by the Secretary-General in 1947, it is felt that any additional study of the subject at this time would serve no useful

purpose.

Régime of the Territorial Sea

41. REPORT OF THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION, JUNE 3-JULY 28, 1954 (Excerpts) 1

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I. INTRODUCTION

55. At its third session in 1951 the International Law Commission decided to initiate work on the topic "régime of territorial waters" which it had selected for codification and to which it had given priority pursuant to a recommendation contained in General Assembly resolution 374 (IV) of 6 December 1949.2

[The remainder of this Section (through paragraph 72) traces the work of the International Law Commission in drafting the "provisional articles" as set forth in Section II.]

1 General Assembly, Official Records, Ninth Session, Supplement No. 9 (A/2693), pp. 12-21. See also infra, pp. 1346-1356.

2 Ibid., Fourth Session, Resolutions (Â/1251), p. 66.

II. PROVISIONAL ARTICLES CONCERNING THE RÉGIME OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

CHAPTER I

GENERAL

Article 1

JURIDICAL STATUS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

1. The sovereignty of a State extends to a belt of sea adjacent to its coast and described as the territorial sea.

2. This sovereignty is exercised subject to the conditions prescribed in these regulations and other rules of international law.

Comment

Paragraph 1 emphasizes the fact that the rights of the coastal State over the territorial sea do not differ in nature from the rights of sovereignty which it exercises over other parts of its territory. There is an essential difference between the régime of the territorial sea and that of the high seas since the latter is based on the principle of free use by all nations. The replies of the Governments in connexion with The Hague Conference of 1930 and the report of the Conference's Committee on the subject confirmed that this view, which is almost unanimously held, is in accordance with existing law. This is also the view underlying some multilateral conventions such as the Air Navigation Convention of 1919 2 and the International Civil Aviation Convention of 19443-which treat territorial waters in the same way as other parts of State territory.

The Commission preferred the term "territorial sea" to "territorial waters". It is of the opinion that the term "territorial waters" lends itself to confusion for the reason that it may be used to describe both internal waters only, and internal and territorial waters taken together. For the same reason, the Codification Conference also expressed a preference for the term "territorial sea". Although not universally accepted, this term is becoming more and more prevalent.

Clearly, the coastal State's sovereignty over the territorial sea cannot be exercised otherwise than in conformity with the provisions of international law. The reason why this is expressly mentioned in paragraph 2 is that the Commission wished to convey beyond any possible doubt that, while recognizing the State's sovereignty over the

1 See the League of Nations publication entitled Acts of the Conference for the Codification of International Law (4 vols.; Geneva, 1930).

2 Convention of Oct. 13, 1919; C. F. Redmond, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements Between the United States and Other Powers vol. III (Washington, 1923), pp. 3768 ff.

A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 311–327.

territorial sea, it did not endorse the idea of an unlimited sovereignty which has at times been claimed to be a quality implied in sovereignty.

This draft sets forth the specific limitations imposed by international law on the exercise of sovereignty in the territorial sea. These provisions should not, however, be regarded as exhaustive. Events which occur in the territorial sea and which have a legal import are also governed by the general rules of international law which cannot be codified in this draft as applying to the territorial sea in particular. For this reason, the "other rules of international law" are mentioned. in addition to the provisions of this draft.

It may happen that, by reason of some special, geographical or other, relationship between two States, rights in the territorial sea are granted to one of them in excess of the rights recognized in this draft. It is not the intention of the Commission to limit any more extensive rights of passage or other rights enjoyed by States by virtue of custom or treaty.

Article 2

JURIDICAL STATUS OF THE AIR SPACE OVER THE TERRITORIAL SEA AND OF ITS BED AND SUBSOIL

The sovereignty of a coastal State extends also to the air space over the territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil.

Comment

This article reproduces, subject to purely stylistic changes, the provisions of the 1930 regulation. It may be said to form part of positive law. Since the present draft regulations deal exclusively with the territorial sea, the Commission did not consider the conditions in which sovereignty over the air space, sea-bed and subsoil in question is exercised.

CHAPTER II

LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

BREADTH OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

(Postponed)

Article 4

NORMAL BASE LINE

Subject to the provisions of article 5 and to the provisions regarding bays and islands, the breadth of the territorial sea is measured from the low-water line along the coast, as marked on the largest-scale chart available, officially recognized by the coastal State. If no detailed charts of the area have been drawn which show the low-water line, the shoreline (high-water line) shall be used.

Comment

The Commission considered that, according to the international law in force, the extent of the territorial sea is measured, as a general rule, from the low-water line along the coast, but that, in certain cases, it is permissible under international law to employ base lines independent of the low-water mark. This is the Commission's interpretation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice rendered on 10 December 1951 in the Fisheries Case between the United Kingdom and Norway.'

The traditional expression "low-water mark" may have different meanings; there is no uniform standard by which States in practice determine this line. The Commission considers that it is permissible to adopt as the base line the low-water mark as indicated on the largest-scale official charts of the coastal State. The Commission considers that the omission of detailed provisions such as were prepared by the 1930 Conference is hardly likely to induce Governments to shift the low-water lines on their charts unreasonably.

In the absence of detailed charts indicating the low-water line, the only practical solution would seem to be to employ the shore-line (high-water line) as the base line.

Article 5

STRAIGHT BASE LINES

1. As an exception, where this is justified for historical reasons or where circumstances necessitate a special régime because the coast is deeply indented or cut into or because there are islands in its immediate vicinity, the base line may be independent of the low-water mark. In these special cases, the method of straight base lines joining appropriate points on the coast may be employed. The drawing of such base lines must not depart to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast, and the sea areas lying within these lines must be sufficiently closely linked to the land domain to be subject to the régime of internal waters.

2. As a general rule, the maximum permissible length for a straight base line shall be ten miles. Such base lines may be drawn, when justified according to paragraph 1, between headlands of the coastline. or between any such headland and an island less than five miles from the coast, or between such islands. Longer straight base lines may, however, be drawn provided that no point on such lines is more than five miles from the coast. Base lines shall not be drawn to and from drying rocks and shoals.

3. The coastal State shall give due publicity to the straight base lines drawn by it.

Comment

The International Court of Justice considers that where the coast is deeply indented or cut into, or where it is bordered by an archipelago

1 International Court of Justice Reports, 1951, pp. 114-206.

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