Imagini ale paginilor

in this matter. On the contrary, that freedom with respect to the control of immigration, which is an essential element of sovereignty and entirely compatible with the friendly sentiments which animate our international relations, this Government in the course of these negotiations always fully reserved.

Thus in the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation concluded with Japan in 1894 it was expressly stipulated in Article II:

"It is, however, understood that the stipulations contained in this and the preceding article do not in any way affect the laws, ordinances or regulations with regard to trade, the immigration of laborers, police and public security which are in force or which may hereafter be enacted in either of the two countries."

It is true that at the time of the negotiation of the Treaty of 1911 the Japanese Government desired that the provision above quoted should be eliminated and that this Government acquiesced in that proposal in view of the fact that the Japanese Government had, in 1907-8, by means of the Gentlemen's Agreement, undertaken such measures of restriction as it was anticipated would prove adequate to prevent any substantial increase in the number of Japanese laborers in the United States. In connection with the treaty revision of 1911 the Japanese Government renewed this undertaking in the form of a declaration attached to the treaty. In acquiescing in this procedure, however, this Government was careful to negative any intention to derogate from the full right to exercise in its discretion control over immigration. In view of the statements contained in your communication with respect to these negotiations I feel that I should refer to the exchange of views then had. You will recall that, in a memorandum of October 19, 1910, suggesting a basis for the treaty revisions then in contemplation, the Japanese Embassy stated:

* The measures which the Imperial Government have enforced for the past two and a half years in regulation of the question of emigration of laborers to the United States have, it is believed, proved entirely satisfactory and far more effective than any prohibition of iminigration would have been. Those measures of restraint were undertaken voluntarily, in order to prevent any dispute or issue between the two countries on the subject of labor immigration, and will be continued, it may be added, so long as the condition of things calls for such continuation.


"Accordingly, having in view the actual situation, the Imperial Government are convinced that the reservation in question is not only not necessary, but that it is an engagement which, if continued, is more liable to give rise to misunderstandings than to remove difficulties. In any case, it is a stipulation which not unnaturally is distasteful to national sensibilities. In these circumstances the Imperial Government desire in the new treaty to suppress entirely the reservation above mentioned, and to leave, in word as well as in fact, the question to which it relates for friendly adjustment between the two Governments independently of any conventional stipulations on the subject. In expressing that desire they are not unmindful of the difficulties under which the United States labor in the matter of immigration, and they will accordingly, if so desired, be willing to make the proposed treaty terminable at any time upon six months' notice.

“The Japanese Embassy is satisfied that in the presence of such a termination clause the Contracting States would actually enjoy greater liberty of action, so far as immigration is concerned, than under the existing reservation on the subject, however liberally construed."

Replying to these suggestions, the Department of State declared in its memorandum sent to the Japanese Ambassador on January 23, 1911, thatit was prepared to enter into negotiations for a new treaty of commerce and navigation on the following bases:

“The Department of State understands, and proceeds upon the understanding, that the proposal of the Japanese Government made in the above-mentioned memorandum is that the clause relating to immigration in the existing treaty be omitted for the reason that the limitation and control which the Imperial Japanese Government has enforced for the past two and a half years in regulation of emigration of laborers to the United States, and which the two Governments have recognized as a proper measure of adjustment under all the circumstances, are to be continued with equal effectiveness during the life of the new treaty, the two Governments, when necessary, cooperating to this end; the treaty to be made terminable upon six months' notice.

“It is further understood that the Japanese Government will at the time of signature of the treaty make a formal declaration to the above effect, which may, in the discretion of the Government of the United States, be made public.

"In accepting the proposal as a basis for the settlement of the question of immigration between the two countries, the Government of the United States does so with all necessary reserves and without prejudice to the inherent sovereign right of either country to limit and control immigration to its own domains or possessions."

On February 8, 1911, in a memorandum informing the Department of State of the readiness of the Japanese Government to enter upon the negotiations which had been suggested by the embassy and to which the department had assented subject to the reservation above quoted, the Japanese Embassy stated that "the Imperial Government concur in the understanding of the proposal relating to the question of immigration set forth in the above mentioned note of January 23 last.”

It was thus with the distinct understanding that it was without prejudice to the inherent sovereign right of either country to limit and control immigration to own domains or possessions that the treaty of 1911 was concluded. While this Government acceded to the arrangement by which Japan undertook to enforce measures designed to obviate the necessity of a statutory enactment, the advisability of such an enactment necessarily remained within the legislative power of this Government to determine. As this power has now been exercised by the Congress in the enactment of the provision in question this legislative action is mandatory upon the executive branch of the Government and allows no latitude for the exercise of executive discretion as to the carrying out of the legislative will expressed in the statute.

It is provided in the Immigration Act that the provision of section 13 (c), to which you have referred, shall take effect on July 1, 1924. Inasmuch as the abstention on the part of the United States from such an exercise of its right of statutory control over immigration was the condition upon which was predicated the undertaking of the Japanese Government contained in the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-08 with respect to the regulation of the emigration of laborers to the United States, I feel constrained to advise you that this Government cannot but acquiesce in the view that the Government of Japan is to be considered released, as from the date upon which section 13 (c) of the Immigration Act comes into force, from further obligation by virtue of that understanding. In saying this, I desire once more to emphasize the appreciation

on the part of this Government of the voluntary cooperation of your Government in carrying out the Gentlemen's Agreement and to express the conviction that the recognition of the right of each Government to legislate in control of immigration should not derogate in any degree from the mutual good-will and cordial friendship which have always characterized the relations of the two countries.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.




MAY 26, 1924'

In signing this Bill, which in its main features I heartily approve, I regret the impossibility of severing from it the exclusion provision which, in the light of existing law, affects especially the Japanese. I gladly recognize that the enactment of this provision does not imply any change in our sentiment of admiration and cordial friendship for the Japanese people, a sentiment which has had and will continue to have abundant manifestation. The Bill rather expresses the determination of the Congress to exercise its prerogative in defining by legislation the control of immigration instead of leaving it to international arrangements. It should be noted that the Bill exempts from the exclusion provision government officials, those coming to this country as tourists or temporarily for business or pleasure, those in transit, seamen, those already resident here and returning from temporary absences, professors, ministers of religion, students, and those who enter solely to carry on trade in pursuance of existing treaty provisions. But we have had for many years an understanding with Japan by which the Japanese Government has voluntarily undertaken to prevent the emigration of laborers to the United States, and in view of this historic relation and of the feeling which inspired it, it would have been much better in my judgment, and more effective in the actual control of immigration, if we had continued to invite the cooperation which Japan was ready to give and had thus avoided creating any ground for misapprehension by an unnecessary statutory enactment. That course would not have derogated from the authority of the Congress to deal with the question in any exigency requiring its action. There is scarcely any ground for disagreement as to the result we want, but this method of securing it is unnecessary and * Reprinted from the official text furnished by the State Department.


« ÎnapoiContinuați »