811.114 Ottawa Conference/1

The British Chargé (Chilton) to the Secretary of State

No. 593

Sir: With reference to Sir Auckland Geddes’ note No. 494 of the 19th ultimo relative to the illegal traffic in liquor across the Canadian border, I have the honour to inform you, by request of the Governor-General of Canada, that when a copy of the note which you were so good as to address to Sir A. Geddes on March 7th last was received by His Excellency, it was referred to and dealt with by the Departments of the Canadian Government especially concerned, and that the reply communicated to you in Sir Auckland Geddes’ note under reference related exclusively to the observance of Canadian laws as they stand at present.

With regard to the general question whether the Canadian Government would be disposed to co-operate with the United States Government by prohibiting shipments of liquor from Canada to the United States unless a permit authorizing such shipments be first obtained from the competent United States authorities, I have to inform you that the Dominion Government have every desire to furnish such information to the American authorities as will assist them in securing observance of the United States law just as the Government of Canada would themselves welcome the co-operation of the United States Government in similar circumstances.

In this connection, I would add that Canadian Customs officers at frontier ports already make a practice of notifying American Customs officials in adjacent territory of the exportation of duty paid liquors by vessels and that in some instances American officials have been present at the time such shipments were made from Canada.

I have the honour further to inform you that the Dominion Government would be glad to receive at Ottawa a representative of the United States Government with a view to discussing the possible ways and means of furnishing additional assistance with a view to meeting the situation described in your note of March 7th last. The [Page 231] Governor-General of Canada desires me to assure you that the attitude of the Canadian Government in this matter is entirely friendly, and is inspired by a desire to further as far as possible the most cordial relations with the United States.

I have [etc.]

H. G. Chilton