The Chief of the Treaty Division (Barnes) to the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy (Sawada)


My Dear Mr. Sawada: At our Conference on May 3, 1928, in regard to the proposed Convention between the United States and Japan, for the Prevention of Smuggling of Intoxicating Liquors into the United States and the carriage of such liquors on Japanese vessels in the territorial waters of the United States, I suggested that the Department might consider the insertion of the words “at the end of thirty days” in Article VI which provides that the Treaty shall automatically lapse in the event that either Party shall be prevented by judicial decision or legislative action from giving full effect to its provisions.

The Solicitor for the Department considers that it would be inadvisable for this Government to adopt the suggestion. If Congress should enact legislation in contravention of the provisions of the Treaty, the provision extending the life of the Treaty for a period of thirty days subsequent to the enactment of such legislation, would be rendered inoperative as municipal law of the United States unless the thirty day extension should be recognized in the Act of Congress itself. The enforcement of such a law before the expiration of the thirty days would result in a violation of the Treaty by the United States, which this Government desires to avoid.

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The observance of a thirty day extension in relation to judicial decisions conflicting with the Treaty would be even more difficult than its observance in relation to legislation.

For these reasons, and also in order that uniformity may not be departed from in the treaties which the United States is concluding in regard to the carriage of intoxicating liquors, of which twelve are now in force, it will be impracticable for this Government to agree to the insertion of the words “at the end of thirty days”.

Sincerely yours,

Charles M. Barnes