Franco-British Declaration of April 24th, 19371
IN accordance with instructions received from their respective Governments, His Majesty's Ambassador and the Fr Ambassador have the honour to make the following communication to the Belgian Government:
1. The Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of the French Republic have not failed during the last few months to give their full attention to the desire of the Belgian Government to have the international rights and obligations of Belgium clarified in certain respects where this is rendered necessary by her geographical position and by the delays which may still occur before the negotiation and conclusion of the general Act intended to replace the Treaty of Lausanne.
2. The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic, being anxious to give full expression to their sympathy with this desire of the Belgian Government, have agreed to make the following declaration:
3. The said Governments have taken note of the views which the Belgian Government has itself expressed concerning the interests of Belgium, and more particularly--
The determination expressed publicly and on more than one occasion by the Belgian Government: (a) to defend the frontiers of Belgium with all its forces against any aggression or invasion, and to prevent Belgian territory
from being used, for purposes of aggression against another State, as a passage or as a base of operations by land, by sea, or in the air; (b) to organize the defence of Belgium in an efficient manner for this purpose;
The renewed assurances of the fidelity of Belgium to the Covenant of the League of Nations and to the obligations which it involves for Members of the League.
4. In consequence, taking into account the determination and assurances mentioned above, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic declare that they consider Belgium to be now released from all obligations towards them resulting from either the Treaty of Locarno or the arrangements drawn up in London on March 19th, 1936, and that they maintain in respect of belgium the undertakings of assistance which they entered into towards her under the above-mentioned instruments.
5. The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic agree that the release of Belgium from her obligations, as provided for in paragraph 4 above, in no way affects the existing undertakings between the United Kingdom and France.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT1
The Royal Government has taken note with great satisfaction of the declaration communicated to it this day by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It thanks the Government of the United Kingdom warmly for this communication.
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