The Ambassador in Cuba (Crowder) to the Secretary of State

No. 1225

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 1220 of October 30, 1925,29 transmitting a translation of the Cuban counter draft entitled “Convention between the Republic of Cuba and the United States of America for the Suppression of Smuggling”.

In order that the Department may be in a position to compare this draft with the two previous American drafts, which it combines into a single counter proposal, there is transmitted herewith a comparison in parallel columns of the corresponding articles of these drafts.29

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The Department will observe that in general the tendency of the Cuban Government has been to amplify and to attempt to render more specific certain of the articles in question. In general I think that the Cuban Government has shown a sincere spirit of good-will in the negotiations, but I am not certain that all of their proposals will be entirely suitable to conditions prevailing in the United States. It should be observed that the first twelve articles of the Cuban draft convention have provisions corresponding to all of the provisions of the American draft entitled “Convention between the United States and Cuba to Suppress Smuggling Operations Between Their Respective Territories”, with the exception of the provisions in Article V of the American draft to the effect that the High Contracting Parties would agree to refuse admission to aliens seeking entry into their territory when there was reason to suspect that such aliens were endeavoring to enter said territory for the purpose of subsequently effecting unlawful entry into the territory of the other High Contracting Party.

Articles XIII to XX, inclusive, of the Cuban counter draft correspond to the articles of the American draft entitled “Convention for the Prevention of Smuggling of Intoxicating Liquors into the United States”. Here it will be noted that Article XIV of the Cuban counter draft departs substantially from the American draft in that it makes the right of search of vessels, et cetera, a reciprocal privilege instead of confining the same to a unilateral declaration on the part of Cuba as was suggested in the American draft, which in turn was based on the convention between the United States and Great Britain on this subject, signed at Washington on January 23, 1924. It should further be noted that Article XV of the Cuban counter draft provides for the submission of a report of the boarding or search of a vessel to the diplomatic and consular representatives of the nation under the flag of which the ship sails. Article XVIII of the Cuban counter draft, it will be noted, substitutes the Permanent Court of International Justice of The Hague, in the event that the United States should adhere to the protocol of December 16, 1920,30 for the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal mentioned in the American draft.

I shall defer discussing with the Cuban Government Article I of the American draft as instructed in the Department’s instruction No. 566 of October 24, 1925,31 and I shall await with interest the Department’s comments on the Cuban counter proposals. I venture to express the hope that I may receive instructions on this subject at as early a date as possible, in order that I may be able to complete the negotiations so that the treaty will be ready to submit to the Senate of the United [Page 30] States at the next session of Congress, as proposed in the Department’s Instruction No. 458 of April 9, 1925.33

The Department will observe that the text of the English translation used in the parallel column statement enclosed herewith is slightly different from that transmitted with my despatch No. 1220 of October 30. These slight changes have been made with a view to rendering the translation into more idiomatic and accurate English.

There is also enclosed herewith, for the Department’s consideration, a copy of the Spanish text of the Cuban counter draft.33

I have [etc.]

E. H. Crowder
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  3. Foreign Relations, 1920, vol, i, p. 17.
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