The Secretary of State to the Minister in Sweden (Bliss)

No. 17

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 72 dated November 21, 1923,44 enclosing a memorandum dealing with the [Page 166] extent of territorial jurisdiction claimed by Sweden.45 You refer to Article 7 of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Sweden and Mexico, ratified on the 28th day of May, 1886, at Stockholm, and on the first of July, 1886, at Mexico, which contains the following provision:

“Both parties agree to consider as limit of territorial waters on their respective coast for everything pertaining to the application of customs regulations and to measures taken to prevent smuggling, a distance of three sea leagues from the line of the low water.”

You state that three sea leagues is approximately ten miles from shore.

The information you have furnished is considered important. Reference is made to the request contained in the Department’s instruction of September 10, 1923,46 for a report setting forth information concerning the views held by Swedish officials with respect to the proposal for a treaty dealing with the enforcement of prohibition on Swedish vessels within American territorial waters and measures for stopping liquor smuggling operations outside the three-mile limit. The Department will be glad to receive a report dealing with this matter at your early convenience.

You are informed that the British Government has submitted a counter-draft for the proposed treaty dealing with the subject referred to in the Department’s telegram dated June 12, 1923, 3 p.m., forwarded to you from the American Embassy at Paris.47 The Department has suggested certain modifications in the counter-draft which are now under consideration by the British Government. Negotiations for a treaty have also been started with the Netherlands Government and a communication commenting upon the American draft for the proposed treaty has been received from the Foreign Office of the Netherlands Government.48

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i p. 211.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 184.
  4. See ibid., p. 152.
  5. See telegram no. 66, Dec. 5, 1923, from the Minister in the Netherlands, ibid., p. 219.