Under the Carpenter Agreement of 1915, the Sultan of Sulu agreed to relinquish its temporal power over Sulu, but retained his sovereignty over North Borneo. As Governor Carpenter clarified in this communication to the director of the Non-Christian tribe on May 4, 1920, as follows:
“It is necessary however that there be clearly (sic) of official record the fact that the termination of the temporal sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu within American territory is understood to be wholly without prejudice or effect as to the temporal sovereignty and ecclesiastical authority of the sultanate beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the United States Government especially with reference to that portion of the Island of Borneo which as a dependency of the Sultanate of Sulu is understood to be held under lease by the chartered company which is known as the British North Borneo Company… ” The American Governor General of the Philippine Island Francis B. Harrison made it more clear that: “It is true Governor Carpenter’s contract or treaty with the Sultan of Sulu of 1915 deprived the Sultan of his temporal sovereignty in the Philippine archipelago but did not interfere with the Sultan’s status of sovereignty over British North Borneo lands.”
It is in the context of this statement that the 1930 Convention between the United States and Great Britain defined their respective boundaries. The United States did not intend to claim North Borneo. By this act of defining their respective boundaries, the United States did not cede or waive anything to the British Crown.