235.11 B 76/94

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Paraguay (Dickson)

No. 194

Sir: The Department has received your despatch, No. 939 [929], of October 28, 1921, in further relation to the question which arose in connection with the application for the extradition of William H. Bricker, whether the offense of perjury is made extraditable by treaty between the United States and Paraguay. You enclosed a translation of a letter addressed to you by Doctor Eusebio Ayala, who signed the treaty in question on behalf of Paraguay, and who expresses the view that perjury is not so made extraditable since the offense so designated in the English text is not enumerated in the Spanish text, which, however, covers the offense of false testimony, that resembles the offense of prejury, but is less comprehensive, and for the further reason that perjury is not punishable by the Paraguayan Code.

Doctor Ayala also cites the word “burglary” in the English text of the Treaty, which he states is improperly translated in the Paraguayan text by the words “violation of domicile”. However, he points out that this discrepancy is not serious since these offenses are defined alike in both texts of the Treaty.10

Doctor Ayala further refers to the difficulties which exist in framing treaties of this character arising from the differing systems of legislation and the differences in language, and he points out that with a view to overcoming such difficulties he signed June 23, 1921 [1919?], with the Spanish Ambassador an extradition treaty which does not enumerate the offenses covered thereby, but provides with [Page 632] respect to persons charged with crimes, that all offenses subject in the legislation of the demanding Government to punishment by imprisonment for not less than two years, shall be extraditable, and that, in the cases of persons convicted of crimes, all offenses punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year shall be extraditable.

Inasmuch as the discrepancy in the texts of the treaty between the United States and Paraguay appears to be serious in its nature only with regard to the offense designated in the English text as perjury, the Department does not think it would be advisable at this time to attempt to remedy such discrepancy, which could only be done by a new treaty to be submitted to the Senate of the United States. However, the Department has made careful notation of the statements of Doctor Ayala relative to this discrepancy.

The Department has noted with interest the arrangements made between Paraguay and Spain respecting the offenses covered by the treaty of extradition.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Henry P. Fletcher
  1. This paragraph summarizes the omitted portion of Dr. Ayala’s letter.