The Spanish Ambassador (Riaño) to the Secretary of State

No. 63–05

Mr. Secretary: Referring to Your Excellency’s note of December 1 last (711.529/23) in which various changes in the reading of the [Page 961] draft of the convention for the transportation of alcoholic beverages on Spanish vessels bound for the United States or in transit across its territorial waters, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that upon my transmitting the contents of the said note and its accompaniments to the Government of His Catholic Majesty, the Minister of State has sent me instructions by cable to say to the Government of the United States that that of His Catholic Majesty accepts the changes as proposed by Your Excellency and authorizes me to sign the said convention.

The Minister of State, however, suggests at the same time the expediency of putting in place of the words “se entenderá” (it will be understood) in Article V the words “y siempre que” (and provided), as it is agreeing better with your Government’s wishes striking out the period after the word “Panama” and substituting “may remain” for “will remain”. In case the Government of the United States should accept the change in the aforesaid Article V as indicated the said Article would stand reading as follows:

“No penalty or forfeiture under the laws of the United States shall be applicable to alcoholic liquors or to vessels or persons by reason of the carriage of such liquors when they are listed as sea stores or cargo destined for a port foreign to the United States, its territories or possessions on board Spanish vessels voyaging to or from ports of the United States, or its territories or possessions or passing through the territorial waters thereof, and such carriage shall be as now provided by law with respect to the transit of such liquors through the Panama Canal, provided 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.”

I shall thank Your Excellency kindly to let me know if you find it expedient that you agree with the above stated proposal and if so, let me know the day and hour which you find it convenient to set for the signature of the convention.

I avail myself [etc.]

Juan Riaño