The British Ambassador (Geddes) to the Secretary of State

No. 494

Sir: With reference to the note which you were so good as to address to me on March 7th last regarding the illegal traffic in liquor across the Canadian border, I have the honour to inform you that I am now in receipt of a communication from His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada relative to the issuing of clearance papers to small motor-boats and other vessels leaving Canadian ports, particularly Belleville and Corbyville, Ontario, with cargoes of liquor destined to ports in United States territory.

The Government of Canada have carefully investigated the matter and have ascertained that the provisions of the law as it stands are being properly observed. Owing to the fact that liquors in bond cannot be exported except upon the giving of a bond of a Guarantee Company in double duties to produce a foreign customs landing certificate, the liquors in question are all duty paid. The Dominion Government further state that the export of liquor is not prohibited from Canada and that there exists no provision in the customs laws or regulations which would warrant the refusal of clearance papers [Page 230] to vessels carrying liquor destined for a foreign port because of the fact that the entry of such liquors, without special permits, is prohibited at the foreign port in question.

In these circumstances the Government of Canada much regret their inability to adopt the suggestion put forward by the United States Government in regard to this matter.

I have [etc.]

(For the Ambassador)
H. G. Chilton