T. D. 34693

The Secretary of the Treasury (McAdoo) and the Secretary of Commerce (Redfield) to Collectors of Customs

To Collectors of Customs:

You will permit foreign-bound vessels to clear only after they have filed with you their full and final manifests.
You will notify all merchant vessels in your district that they will be subject to inspection and examination of documents, ships, and cargoes by United States authorities before clearance is given, and will be subject to further examinations by United States authorities after clearance and while such vessel remains within the territorial waters of the United States. Such vessels shall stop and lie to for examination when signaled by a United States vessel.
Any foreign-bound vessel whose character as a merchant vessel is established to your satisfaction is entitled to clearance (subject to the requirements of paragraph 1), no matter what the character of her cargo or what her destination.
You will not refuse clearance to merchant vessels, whether of the United States or other neutral power, or whether of a belligerent power, solely on the ground that the cargo contains contraband of war.
When a vessel of a belligerent power, which has arrived as a merchant vessel, alters, or attempts to alter, her status as a merchant vessel or there is reason to believe she intends to alter such status, so as to become an auxiliary cruiser or an armed vessel in any degree, you will immediately notify the department by wire, giving all particulars. Any of the following acts will constitute such a change of status:
The placing in position or otherwise changing the location of guns which were on board the vessel at the time of her arrival;
so changing the appearance, color, rig, or equipment of a vessel as to render her suitable for some purpose of war;
the taking on board of guns, arms, or ammunition under circumstances which in any way indicate the outfitting of the vessel for any purpose of war, or in aid of a military expedition.
Should any vessel depart or attempt to depart from your district without a regular clearance, you will wire the department and also the commander of the nearest naval vessel or revenue cutter.
You will report by wire to the department and to the commander of the nearest naval vessel or naval station the arrivals and departures of all war vessels of foreign nations.
In case of doubt wire the department for instructions.
All telegrams relating to the foregoing and similar questions should be, until further orders, addressed, “Customs Division, Treasury Department, Washington, D. C.”

W. G. Mcadoo

Secretary of the Treasury
Wm. C. Redfield

Secretary of Commerce