The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Treasury (Mellon)

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of October 1, 1923, in reply to this Department’s letter of September 22.11 You request an expression of this Department’s views upon the question whether the Corn Islands are considered a part of the United States.

By Article II of the Treaty of August 5, 1914, with Nicaragua, these islands were leased to the United States for a period of ninety-nine years, it being expressly agreed that they should be subject exclusively to the laws and sovereign authority of the United States during the term of the lease and of any renewal or renewals thereof. In an international sense, therefore, the islands may be deemed, in view of the proclamation of the Treaty, to be a part of the territory of the United States. This Government, however, has not taken possession of the islands under the lease and Nicaragua has continued to exercise jurisdiction therein.

I should be glad if you would inform me, in the light of this information, what will be the policy of the Treasury Department with regard to the imposition of duties upon coconuts imported from the islands in question.

I have [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Not printed.