The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Herrick )
229. Department’s circular telegram of June 12, 3 p.m.
This Government is proposing to Spanish Government at Madrid as a convention distinct from Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and is also proposing to Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan through their Missions at Washington, as a special convention, the following Articles:
“Article I. The High Contracting Parties, without attempting to extend as between themselves the limits of their respective territorial waters adjacent to the high seas, agree that the authorities of either High Contracting Party may, within the distance of 12 geographical miles from its coasts, board the private vessels of the other and make inquiry of the masters thereof as to whether such vessels or the person or persons controlling them are engaged in any attempt, either with or without the cooperation of other vessels, or persons on board the same, to violate the laws of the High Contracting Party making the inquiry, and prohibiting or regulating the unlading near, or importation into its territories of any articles.
An officer of one High Contracting Party boarding a private vessel of the other may examine the manifest of the vessel and make inquiry of the master with respect to the cargo and destination thereof. If such officer has reason to believe from the statements of the master or from documents exhibited by him or otherwise, that the vessel or the person or persons controlling it, either with or without the cooperation of other vessels, or persons on board the same, is or are engaged in the willful commission of acts which constitute a violation of the laws of the State of which such boarding officer is an official, with respect to the unlading or importation of any article or articles, he shall impart his belief to the master of the vessel, and thereupon may with the aid of the master, institute a search of the vessel and an examination of any articles on board. The search shall be conducted with the courtesy and consideration which ought to be observed between friendly nations. If there is reasonable cause for belief that the vessel or the person or persons controlling it is or are willfully engaged, with or without the cooperation of other vessels or persons on board the same, in the commission of acts which constitute a violation of the laws of the State whose officer has conducted the search, forbidding or regulating the unlading near, or importation into its territories of any article or articles, the vessel, cargo and the person or persons controlling it or them may be seized and brought in for an adjudication, and subjected to the imposition of the penalties established by law by the Party whose laws and regulations are found to have been violated.
Article II. Any article or articles the importation of which into the territories of either High Contracting Party is or are for any purposes prohibited by its laws, but which is or are listed as sea [Page 156] stores, or as cargo destined for a port foreign to either High Contracting Party, on board a private vessel of either High Contracting Party destined for a port of the other High Contracting Party, may be brought within the territorial waters of such other High Contracting Party on condition that upon arrival of the vessel so destined within 12 geographical miles of the coasts of such High Contracting Party whose territorial waters are about to be entered, such article or articles may be placed under seal by the appropriate officer of that Party and shall be kept sealed continuously thereafter until the vessel enters and during the entire stay of the vessel within those waters, and no part of such article or articles shall, during that period, be removed from under seal for any purposes whatsoever. Upon the departure of the vessel from such territorial waters destined for a foreign port, such article or articles under seal may be released therefrom either by an officer of the vessel or by an officer of the Party affixing the seal.”
Any minor changes in phraseology proposed or accepted by this Government will be communicated to you without delay.
Repeat to London as Depts 138 and Rome as 47.