The Secretary of State to the Spanish Ambassador ( Riaño )

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note (No. 74–18) of October 16, 1925, and its enclosures, being your full powers to sign a convention with the United States to aid in the prevention of the smuggling of intoxicating liquors into the United States, which would allow Spanish vessels to carry such liquors into the territorial waters of the United States, its territories and possessions as sea stores or as cargo in transit to other countries, and a tentative draft of the Spanish text of the proposed convention.

Your Government will readily understand how important it is to the United States that in all essential particulars uniformity shall be maintained in the conventions relating to this matter to which the Government of the United States becomes a party. While it has been noted that the text of the draft submitted by you presents a number of variations from the texts of the similar conventions now in force between the United States and other countries, I am glad to be able to inform you that with few exceptions these variations present no difficulties to the acceptance of that draft by this Government.

The points to which I desire to invite the consideration of your Government are as follows:

(1) The second sentence of Article V of the draft submitted by you is translated as follows:

“It will be understood that such liquors shall be kept under seal continuously while the vessel on which they are carried remains within said territorial waters and that no part of such liquors shall at any time or place be unladen within the United States, its territories or possessions.”

It is the desire of this Government that the provision that liquors shall be kept under seal while the vessel carrying them is within the territorial waters of the United States and shall not be unladen within the United States shall be expressed in a form which will make clear that these requirements are conditions which must be complied with by Spanish vessels in order that effect may be given to the immunity from penalty or forfeiture provided by the article. This Government therefore proposes to substitute the word “provided” for the words “It will be understood” in the English text of the proposed convention at the beginning of the sentence quoted and to join the sentence to the [Page 960] preceding sentence as a part thereof. I should be glad to be informed whether the force which this Government desires the provision shall have is given by the expression “Se entendera” which is used in the Spanish draft, and if it is not, of the change which should be made in order that the Spanish text will have that force.

(2) It is suggested that in Article VI, line 15, the expression within the parentheses, viz.—(articulo 70 y 74 exception hecha de los 53 y 54), should be the Spanish equivalent of the provision “special regard being had for Articles 70 and 74 but excepting Articles 53 and 54.” If the Spanish text in its present form does not convey this meaning it would be desirable to have the necessary change made therein.

(3) This Government considers it to be important that the fact that awards are not to bear interest should be expressly stated in the convention. It asks therefore that the words “without interest” be inserted in the fourth sentence of the second paragraph of Article VI. As the insertion of these words in the English text at the place which seems to be most appropriate,—namely,—between the words “the final award” and the phrase “save as hereafter specified”, without other change in the text might give rise to some uncertainty of meaning, it is suggested that the words “and without deduction” also be inserted so that the sentence will read “The sums of money which may be awarded by the Tribunal on account of any claim shall be paid within eighteen months after the date of the final award without interest and without deduction save as hereafter specified.”

(4) It is suggested that the first paragraph of Article VII be revised as follows: that a period be placed after the word “legislaciones” and that in place of the remainder of the paragraph the following be substituted: “It shall come into force on the day of the exchange of ratifications, which shall take place at Washington as soon as possible, and shall remain in force for one year.”

A copy of the English translation of the draft submitted by you, amended in accordance with the foregoing suggestions, is enclosed.13 If the draft as so amended is acceptable to your Government, I shall be pleased on being informed thereof and of the amendments required in the Spanish text as a consequence of such acceptance, to make the necessary arrangements for the preparation and signing of the convention.

I beg to return herewith your full powers which have been examined and found to be in good and due form.

Accept [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. Not printed.