The Netherland Minister ( De Graeff ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1939

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note dated June 20, 1924 in which you state that the United States Government cannot agree with the modifications which the Royal Government has proposed with regard to the draft of the convention submitted by your Government with respect to the preventing of smuggling of intoxicating liquors into the United States.

After having taken cognizance of the contents of your note the Foreign Minister at The Hague feels somewhat disappointed by this decision of your Government. Jonkheer van Karnebeek is inclined to concede that for practical reasons it is desirable to establish one set of regulations for the guidance of the authorities charged with the duty of enforcement of prohibitions against smuggling. He understands that for that reason substantial differences between the treaties of the United States on this subject with one Government and with another Government are not acceptable to the United States Government as far as such differences should occur in stipulations wherewith the said authorities are concerned.

The Minister, however, regrets that in your note no further explanation has been given why also with respect to other stipulations as f. i. the adjustment of differences by arbitration and the mode of amendment or termination of the treaty, uniformity of tenor of the different treaties is deemed of so great importance that the United States Government had to object also against the modifications proposed sub 4° and 5° of my communication of June 12, 1924. It seems to my Government, also after further consideration, that strong arguments have been brought forward to support these proposals, and that there is no sufficient reason to fear confusion if matters of this kind are arranged between the United States and our country in a different way as between the United States and other countries.

Furthermore, in sub 6° of the said note I suggested an exchange of notes regarding the substitution of the Permanent Court of Arbitration by the Permanent Court of International Justice in case the United States should adhere to the Protocol of the latter Court. In your note no special mention has been made of this suggestion, which seems to my Government a logical consequence of the notes I had the pleasure to exchange with you on the occasion of the renewal of the Arbitration treaty between the United States and The Netherlands.

Being desirous to bring the negotiations about the treaty in question to a conclusion, the Royal Government, although reluctantly, [Page 205] has decided to abandon further discussion on the modifications proposed sub 4° and 5° of my note of June 12, 1924, but feels obliged to emphasize once more the great importances She attaches to the suggested exchange of notes and to express the hope that the United States Government as yet could be found willing to accede to this proposal. In order to make clear the intentions of the Royal Government I take the liberty to enclose herewith a draft of the note that eventually I could sign simultaneously with the signature of the Convention.71

In expectation of your answer, I beg to inform you that I am in possession of a formal authorization to sign on behalf of the Royal Government a treaty in conformity with the draft which you handed to me on March 22, 1924, provided that in the penultimate paragraph the words “in the English and Dutch languages” are inserted between the words “in duplicate” and “and”.

The Dutch text of the drafted convention has been mailed to me but has not yet reached me.

Accept [etc.]

De Graeff
  1. Draft note not printed; same as signed note no. 2330, Aug. 21, 1924, post, p. 210.