The Secretary of State to the Spanish Ambassador (Riaño)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on May 11, 1923, of your note concerning the announcement that on and after the tenth of June next, no vessel either national or foreign will be allowed to enter territorial waters of the United States with alcoholic beverages on board. You refer to your note of October 20, 1922, dealing with the particular situation in which the new regulations will place the vessels of some of the Spanish steamship companies whose transit services will be so affected that they may possibly be compelled to stop them entirely, thereby causing large losses. You state that by direction of your Government you desire to protest particularly against the prohibition to which Spanish vessels will be subjected when they enter or cross territorial waters of the United States and which prevents them from carrying alcoholic beverages intended for ship consumption or for other countries.

I have the honor to state that a copy of Your Excellency’s note has been forwarded to the appropriate authority of this Government [Page 135] for consideration. I may state, for your information, that I have been informed that although the regulations relative to the treatment of liquors on foreign vessels have not yet been issued, due consideration will be given to the fact that vessels arriving with liquor on board cleared from a foreign port prior to the date of the promulgation of the Supreme Court decision, and seizure will not be made if the liquor is kept under customs seal while in American territorial waters.

I shall not fail to communicate with you again as soon as I receive further information respecting the provisions that will be contained in the regulations when issued.

Accept [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes