Memorandum by Mr. Stephen Latchford, of the Treaty Division, of a Conversation With the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy (Sawada)
Mr. Sawada stated that the Japanese Embassy had been instructed by his Government to agree to the Department’s viewpoint with respect to all the questions raised by the Embassy, except the proposal that the first paragraph of Article VI be eliminated or amended so as to provide for the giving of notice before the lapse of the treaty. Mr. Sawada stated that his Government found it difficult to accept this paragraph as the stipulation therein that the treaty shall lapse upon the enactment of legislation or the rendering of a judicial decision inconsistent with the treaty was thought to be contrary to the principle, generally accepted in international practice, that a treaty should not be terminated by a unilateral act.
Mr. Sawada at first stated that it was the desire of his Government that the first paragraph of Article VI be eliminated. Mr. Barnes referred to the acceptance of a like paragraph by all the other Governments which have concluded liquor conventions with the United States. He stated that it has been the policy of this Government to have the text of the aforesaid paragraph included in all the liquor conventions, and that it was felt that this Government would not be warranted in agreeing to the elimination of the paragraph in the proposed treaty with Japan.
Mr. Sawada then stated that if the paragraph in question could not be eliminated, his Government proposed that it be so amended as to provide for the giving of notice prior to the lapse of the treaty. Mr. Barnes said he thought that there was but a remote possibility that the treaty would terminate in accordance with the first paragraph of Article VI, but that the termination of the treaty in accordance with this paragraph was not impossible. He informed Mr. Sawada that it was not considered to be practicable for this Government [Page 130]to undertake to give advance notice of a situation which would result in the lapse of the treaty in accordance with Article VI.
Mr. Sawada said that he thought that it was largely an academic question, and that the matter would again be taken up with his Government with a view to seeing whether it would agree to retain Article VI as worded in the original draft.
Mr. Sawada again mentioned the reference to the Panama Canal in Article III of the draft treaty, and stated that his Government desired to have the following words omitted from that Article: “such carriage shall be as now provided by law with respect to the transit of such liquors through the Panama Canal.” Mr. Barnes said that the elimination of the words quoted would be acceptable to this Government.
Mr. Sawada said that his Government desired to have an exchange of memoranda, at the time of the signing of the treaty, setting forth the understandings of the two Governments in regard to the interpretation of the treaty. Interpretive memoranda were drawn up and agreed to tentatively, with the understanding that Mr. Sawada would be informed later as to whether this Government would be willing to exchange interpretive memoranda at the time of the signing of the treaty.