123D322/77

The Commissioner at Danzig ( Dawson ) to the Secretary of State

No. 12

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith for the information of the Department copy of a communication dated January 2, 1920, addressed to the American Minister at Warsaw, Poland, with reference to the question of securing recognition for an American consular representative at Danzig after the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace.

I have [etc.]

William Dawson
[Enclosure]

The Commissioner at Danzig ( Dawson ) to the Minister in Poland ( Gibson )

Sir: Under date of December 13, 1919, the Legation informed me confidentially of a resolution of December 3, 1919, of the Council of [Page 96] the Heads of Delegations in Paris to the effect that during the period between the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace and the constitution of the Free City of Danzig the exequaturs of foreign consuls should be delivered by the representative of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

It seems to me advisable that I or such other consular officer as may be here when the Treaty of Peace goes into effect secure recognition as promptly as possible.

I may state in this connection that no commission has been issued to me by the Department to act as either consul or commissioner at Danzig. My only written authority is to be found in an instruction of October 6, 1919, informing me that I was designated American Commissioner at Danzig and instructing me to proceed to this city and assume my duties. I was verbally informed by the Department that my status was that of an unofficial representative of the United States for trade purposes but that I might, if deemed advisable and in the absence of objections from the local authorities, perform consular functions under my general commission as Consul of Class Five, which I have in my possession. I have not considered it advisable or for that matter practicable to act as consul as long as Danzig remains in the hands of the German authorities. The situation will, however, change when the Treaty of Peace goes into effect and the Temporary Administrator arrives.

I do not know whether or not any special procedure has been arranged for the granting of exequaturs by the Temporary Administrator. Inasmuch as we shall presumably have no diplomatic representative at Danzig, it seems to me that application for the granting of the exequatur could be made by me, provided I had from the Department of State a written or cable instruction directing me to secure recognition and act as American Consul at Danzig.

In case you agree with me as to the advisability of taking steps to facilitate my early recognition by the Temporary Administrator, I should be very grateful if you would take the matter up by telegraph with the Department.

Under the circumstances it does not appear practicable to cable the Department from Danzig. A telegraphic instruction from the Department directing me to secure recognition from the Temporary Administrator and act as consul could, however, perhaps be sent in plain language to me at Danzig. Such an instruction might also include the designation and recognition as vice consul of Mr. Albert Halstead, jr., who is with me at Danzig.

I have [etc.]

William Dawson