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31 C.F.R. 500.311. Thus, attorneys who wish to continue to represent South Viet-Nam require a license from the Treasury Department. That agency's Office of Foreign Assets Control has advised us that it is its policy to license all litigation brought by blocked nationals against non-blocked nationals. Such licenses provide, however, that funds in satisfaction of any judgment must be deposited in a blocked account in a domestic bank in the name of the blocked national, or in the name of his attorneys. The Office has also advised us that any license it issues to attorneys for South Viet-Nam is permissive in nature, and does not represent a determination by the Treasury Department that the attorneys are otherwise properly authorized to continue representation of the former Republic of Viet Nam.

In any event, issuance of a permissive license by the Treasury does not establish the right of the Republic of Viet-Nam, to continue to litigate as a party in the courts of this country. That question depends upon the recognition policy of the United States as determined by the political authorities responsible for it.

Our research indicates that foreign governments which are not recognized by the United States-as distinguished from those with which it has simply severed diplomatic relationsmay not maintain suits in State or Federal courts. Guaranty Trust Co. of New York v. United States, 304 U.S. 126, 136-141; Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic v. Cibrario, 235 N.Y. 255, 139 N.D. 259. See also Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino, 376 U.S. 398, 408-412; Federal Republic of Germany v. Elicofon, 358 F. Supp. 747 (E.D. N.Y.), affirmed sub nom. Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar v. Elicofon, 478 F.2d 231 (C.A.2), certiorari denied, 415 U.S. 931. The executive branch's action with respect to recognition is conclusive on domestic courts, although the legal consequences following therefrom are solely for the courts to determine. Guaranty Trust Co. of New York v. United States, supra; United States v. Pink, 315 U.S. 203; United States v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324. The rights of sovereign states are vested in the nation, however, not in any particular government purporting to represent it. The Sapphire, 78 U.S. (11 Wall.) 164, 168. There is thus some precedent indicating that an action initiated by a foreign government which the United States subsequently ceases to recognize, may be suspended, rather than dismissed, if the United States currently recognizes no government for that state, but circumstances indicate that this condition may be of relatively short duration. Government of France v. IsbrandtsenMoller Co., 48 F. Supp. 631 (S.D. N.Y.); Bank of China v. Wells Fargo Bank and Union Trust Co., 92 F. Supp. 920 (N.D. Cal.), appeal dismissed without prejudice and case remanded for reconsideration in light of subsequent developments, 190 F.2d 1010 (C.A. 9). Cf. The Sapphire, supra; Republic of China v. Merchants Fire Insurance Co., 30 F.2d 278 (C.A. 9). Furthermore, it appears that American courts are open to diplomatic representatives of a state, if recognized, even though the government they represent no longer controls any specific territory. Guaranty Trust Co. v. United States, supra, 304 U.S. at 138–141. Cf. The Florida, 133 F.2d 719 (C.A. 5), certiorari denied, 319 U.S. 774.

In light of the foregoing, the Department of Justice requested the advice of the Department of State regarding the recognition policy of the United States toward South Viet-Nam.

(Mr. Kauper's letter then quoted the Department of State's reply, as given above.]

It appears from the foregoing that even if the attorneys for South Viet-Nam were licensed by the Treasury to act on its behalf in this litigation, their client would have no right to proceed in the courts of the United States because it is not a recognized government. Accordingly, it is the view of the United States as amicus curiae that the Republic of Viet-Nam's action against the defendants herein should be deemed to have abated, and its proceedings in both this court and in the district court should be dismissed without prejudice. In making this observation, we note also that there are other foreign governments before the court whose recognized status continues. As to these parties, the case should be decided in the normal course.

Dept. of State File L/EA.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals entered a judgment on August 27, 1975, on the defendant corporations' interlocutory appeals in Pfizer, Inc. v. Lord, 522 F.2d 612 (1975). See post, Ch. 3, $ 3, pp. 134-137. The Court failed to rule on the issue of whether Viet-Nam might properly continue to be a party to the suit. In a lengthy footnote the opinion summarized the State Department's letter of June 9, 1975, and declared, “The rule is that unrecognized governments may not maintain suits in State or Federal courts," citing Guaranty Trust Co., Elicofon, and Sabbatino, supra. It went on to discuss the alternative possibilities of dismissal of South VietNam's claim or suspension of the proceeding with regard to its claim for a reasonable time to see if a new government would be recognized and, if so, whether it would want to pursue this litigation. In remanding to the District Court the issue of whether foreign governments are persons within the meaning of Section 4 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 15), the Circuit Court said that the District Court would have to face on remand the question of suspension or dismissal as regards the Viet-Nam claim.

Robert L. Funseth, Director of the Department's Office of Press Relations, stated in a news briefing on December 22, 1975, that Gulf Oil Corporation had announced that morning that it was suspending operations in Angola and removing its personnel. On the question of the payment of taxes and royalties due Angola from Gulf Oil, he stated: “The views we expressed to Gulf Oil were, first, under the terms of Gulf's concessions, payments were due to the Government of Angola. There is no Government of Angola at the present time. Therefore, in our view, there was no properly constituted authority to make the payments to at this time." He also read the following from the December 22 announcement by Gulf Oil: "Gulf will maintain these funds in a special interestbearing account to be held for the benefit of the state of Angola. These amounts will become payable to the state of Angola when it has a government that is in control of the territory and population and this government has been generally recognized by the world community.”

Dept. of State News Briefing, DPC 212, Dec. 22, 1975. In a letter of Dec. 19, 1975, to the President of Gulf Oil Corp., Edward W. Mulcahy, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, had requested that Gulf evacuate its personnel from Angola for reasons of safety, in view of the deteriorating situation there. Dept. of State File No. P76 0015-0216.


A new government came to power in Bangladesh in a militaryled coup on August 15, 1975. Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed, former commerce minister, was selected as president. The United States Embassy in Dacca received a note dated August 16, 1975, circulated to all foreign missions, affirming that the new Bangladesh Government intended to honor its international agreements and obligations. The Embassy responded, welcoming the affirmation. On August 18, 1975, the Department of State spokesman, Robert L. Funseth, stated that "the question of recognition has not specifically arisen.” On August 21, following up on earlier questions as to whether the United States had actually recognized the new government, Mr. Funseth stated, “the continuing contacts we have had with the new government there constitute recognition of that government, without necessity for any other specific act of recognition on our part."

Dept. of State News Briefings, DPC 138, Aug. 18, 1975, and DPC 141, Aug. 21, 1975.

Recognition of States


On June 25, 1975, President Ford, in a letter to Samora Moises Machel, President of the People's Republic of Mozambique, extended United States recognition to Mozambique, which had that day become independent of Portugal. The independence of Mozambique had been assented to in an agreement dated September 4, 1974, between Portugal and the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), a group representing the peoples of Mozambique. President Ford's letter of recognition reads in part:

I am pleased to inform you that the United States Government extends recognition to Mozambique. It is our hope, with your agreement, that diplomatic relations can soon be established between our two countries.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 11, No. 26, June 30, 1975, pp. 680-681; Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1882, July 21, 1975, p. 97.

Cape Verde

On July 5, 1975, President Ford sent a letter to Aristides Pereira, President of the Republic of Cape Verde, extending recognition to that newly independent Republic, which had formerly been a part of Overseas Portugal.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 11, No. 29, July 21, 1975, pp. 749–750; Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1885, Aug. 11, 1975, p. 213.

Sao Tome and Principe

On July 12, 1975, the United States extended recognition to the newly independent Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, formerly part of the Overseas Territories of Portugal located off the coast of West Africa. The following is an excerpt from a letter dated July 12, 1975, from President Ford to President Manuel Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome and Principe:

I am pleased to inform you that, as Sao Tome and Principe obtains its independence, the United States Government is extending recognition. With your agreement, it is our hope that diplomatic relations can be established between our countries and that the United States Ambassador to Gabon can be accredited as Ambassador to your country. Although he would reside in Gabon, he would maintain close contact with your Government.

Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1889, Sept. 8, 1975, p. 386.

Papua New Guinea

The United States Government was represented at the Papua New Guinea independence celebrations in Port Moresby on September 16, 1975, and established diplomatic relations with the newly independent state constituted from the former Trust Territory of New Guinea, Papua, and nearby islands.

See Press Release USUN-101(75), Sept. 22, 1975.


Surinam's independence from the Netherlands was officially proclaimed on November 25, 1975. The United States was represented at the independence ceremony in Paramaribo by a delegation headed by the Secretary of the Navy. President Ford addressed a letter to President Johan Henri Eliza Ferrier of Surinam that day, extending the recognition of the United States Government and expressing the hope that diplomatic relations could be established promptly.

For the text of President Ford's letter, see Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 11, No. 48, Dec. 1, 1975, p. 1317.

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The United States submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations its views concerning review of the Charter of the United Nations on May 23, 1975, in response to the SecretaryGeneral's request of January 28, 1975, and pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 3349 (XXIX). See the 1974 Digest, pp. 20-21. The United States views were stated as follows:

The United States reaffirms its basic position concerning review of the Charter set forth in its note of September 14, 1972 (A/8746/Add.1). We are convinced that the most urgent need of the international community is for Member States to strengthen their resolve to bring national policies and actions more into line with their obligations under the Charter. Observance of these obligations is essential if the United Nations is to fulfill the purposes laid down by the Charter of maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations based on equal

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