1216 Mutual assistance in preliminary action. Period of operation. INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS OTHER THAN TREATIES [58 STAT. The competent American authorities will be prepared to cooperate with the authorities of the Belgian Congo in setting up a satisfactory procedure for affording such mutual assistance as may be required in making investigations and collecting evidence with respect to offenses alleged to have been committed by members of the armed forces of the United States. As a general rule it would probably be desirable that preliminary action be taken by the authorities of the Belgian Congo on behalf of the American authorities where the witnesses or other persons from whom it is desired to obtain testimony are not members of the United States forces. In the prosecution in the courts of the Belgian Congo of persons who are not members of the United States forces but where members of such forces are in any way concerned, the Service authorities of the United States will be glad to render such assistance as is possible in obtaining testimony of members of such forces or in making appropriate investigations. It is proposed that the foregoing arrangement shall be in effect dur- ing the present war and for a period of six months thereafter. If the above arrangement is acceptable to the Belgian Government, this note and the reply thereto accepting the provisions outlined shall be regarded as placing on record the understanding between our two Governments. Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest con- sideration. CoRDELL HULL His Excellency Count ROBERT VAN DER STRATEN-PONTHOZ, BelgianAmbassador. The Belgian Ambassador to the Secretary of State AMBASSADE DE BELGIQUE D. 6801 No. 2689 Sm: WASHINGTON, May 27th, 1943. I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency's letter of March 31st, concerning an agreement between the United States and Belgium relating to the jurisdiction of American Service courts over members of the armed forces of the United States in the Belgian Congo. The Belgian Government assumes that in this arrangement the words "criminal offenses" include all criminal offenses within the law of the Belgian Congo. My Government also assumes that this ar- rangement provides only for the punishment of criminal offenses and that all actions (actions civiles) involving the collection of damages for injury which may be caused by such offenses will remain within the province of the courts of the Belgian Congo.