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

No. 420

Sir: I enclose two copies of a Convention between the United States and Canada, signed on June 6, 1924, to aid in suppressing smuggling operations along the boundary between the two countries and in the arrest and prosecution of persons violating the narcotic laws of either Government.5 On December 12,6 1924, the Senate gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the Convention and removed the injunction of secrecy from it.

I also enclose two copies of a statement issued to the press on January 8, 1925,7 with regard to the treaty between the United States and Canada, signed on January 8, 1925, with respect to extradition [Page 16] of persons charged with having violated the narcotic laws of either Government.

A copy of a despatch dated December 13, 1924, received from the American Consul General at Habana, setting forth the extent to which Cuban ports are used in smuggling intoxicating liquors into the United States, is enclosed.7a

According to information received from other sources it seems that smuggling operations are carried on extensively from Cuba, not only with respect to intoxicating liquors but with respect to narcotics, aliens and goods subject to the payment of customs charges in the United States. It is believed that it would be of assistance to the officers of the United States engaged in enforcing the laws with regard to prohibition, narcotic drugs, immigration and the collection of customs dues if a Convention could be concluded with Cuba similar to that signed by representatives of the United States and Canada on June 6, 1924. There would seem to be no reason for including in such a convention provisions similar to Articles 6 and 7 of the Convention with Canada signed on June 6, 1924. Changes of phraseology would also be necessary in the other articles, as there is no “international boundary” between the two countries. Amendments to Article 4 to include the exchange of information concerning the names and activities of persons known or suspected to be engaged in violation of the customs, liquor and immigration laws of the United States or of Cuba would be desirable.

As it also appears that there is no extradition treaty with Cuba covering crimes and offenses against the laws for the suppression of traffic in narcotics, it is suggested that it would be desirable to endeavor to negotiate an extradition treaty with Cuba covering this subject. Two copies of the Extradition Treaty concluded between the United States and Cuba on April 6, 1904 are enclosed.8 A copy of a similar Convention concluded with Canada is enclosed for your confidential information.9

You are instructed to bring this matter to the attention of the Cuban Government with a view to ascertaining whether the Cuban Government is disposed to conclude similar conventions with the United States. It is earnestly hoped that Cuba will favorably consider the matter and you will telegraph the Department as soon as you receive a reply.

On account of the extent to which it appears that smuggling operations are now being carried on from Cuba, you will suggest to the Cuban authorities that they consider whether greater surveillance can be exercised over clearances of vessels and the cargoes carried [Page 17] by them pending a determination with respect to the conclusion of these conventions.

For your confidential information it may be stated that on December 17, 1924, instructions were forwarded to the American Ambassador at Mexico City with a view to bringing about the conclusion of similar conventions with Mexico.10

I am [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. Ibid., 1924, vol. i, p. 189.
  2. Legislative day December 10.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Foreign Relations, 1905, p. 280.
  6. Vol. i, p. 542.
  7. Post, p. 504.