The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Greece (Skinner)

No. 351

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 1228 of January 23, 1930,3 in further relation to the proposed Extradition Treaty between the United States and Greece.

With respect to the matter of the costs involved in extradition cases in the United States, it may be pointed out that in its instruction No. 43 of June 30, 1927,3 the Department cited figures as to the charges incurred by foreign governments in three extradition proceedings conducted in the United States. It may be added that the Department’s records show that recently a statement of charges in the amount of $32.70 was sent to the Canadian Government and similar statements in the amounts of $81.84 and $172.82 were sent to the Mexican and Italian Governments, respectively. In this relation it should be pointed out that the last two statements mentioned were sent in cases where extradition was contested, and that the Italian case involved two fugitives from justice, for which reason the expenses involved were, of course, larger than if but one fugitive had been involved.

With regard to the matter of the cost of transportation, which was referred to by the Greek Foreign Office, it may be said that such cost would ordinarily be incurred after the surrendering of the fugitive to the agent of the demanding Government and, therefore, it would perhaps be unnecessary to refer to it in the Treaty. However, to [Page 374] avoid any possible confusion in this matter, the Department considers that it would be well to preface the provisions of Article IX of the Treaty by the following sentence: “The expense of transportation of the fugitive shall be borne by the government which has preferred the demand for extradition.”

Regarding the inquiry of the Foreign Office concerning the meaning of the following words contained in the present draft treaty, “the fugitive shall be surrendered in conformity to the forms of law prescribed in such cases,” reference may be made to the following provisions of Section 5270 of the revised statutes of the United States:

“Whenever there is a treaty or convention for extradition between the Government of the United States and any foreign government, any justice of the Supreme Court, circuit judge, district judge, commissioner, authorized so to do by any of the courts of the United States, or judge of a court of record of general jurisdiction of any State, may, upon complaint made under oath, charging any person found within the limits of any State, district, or Territory, with having committed within the jurisdiction of any such foreign government any of the crimes provided for by such treaty or convention, issue his warrant for the apprehension of the person so charged, that he may be brought before such justice, judge, or commissioner, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered.”

The complaint referred to in the provision of law just quoted would presumably be made by a consular officer of the demanding government acting under instructions from his government, and in this connection it should be pointed out that apparently consular officers of foreign governments, serving in the United States, experience no difficulty in making such a complaint.

Generally speaking, the Department has no objection to the changes in verbiage suggested by the Foreign Office. However, it considers that the suggested change in Article V apparently does not convey the exact idea which the Foreign Office had in mind. Therefore, it is suggested that after the word “either” contained in the third line of the article there be substituted for the words down to and including the word “committed” the following words: “the surrendering or demanding country.”

With regard to the suggested addition to Article III the Department considers that the last two words “or not” are superfluous and might well be omitted. Similarly, the Department believes those words might be omitted from the suggested addition to Article VIII, and that the word “if” contained in that article might well be changed to “whether.”

The change in provisions of Article XI of the draft treaty, to which the Department agreed in its instruction No. 310 of November 27, [Page 375] 1929, involves the omission of the fifth paragraph of that article, as set forth in the draft enclosed with your despatch under acknowledgment, as well as the fourth paragraph. In other words, the change agreed to by the Department would render the procedure in this country the same in cases of urgency as in other cases.

In like manner, the change in the provisions of Article IX of the draft treaty, which the Department suggested in its last-mentioned instruction, in an effort to meet the views of the Greek Government, would involve the elimination of Article XII of the draft treaty since the provisions contained in the latter article would be found in Article IX. This would, of course, involve the renumbering of the last two articles of the draft enclosed with your despatch.

To set forth clearly the changes above enumerated as desirable and also because of a few errors of transcription in the draft you enclose, the Department transmits to you herewith a further draft6 which it hopes will be found acceptable to the Greek Government, and result in the early conclusion of a Treaty.

Full powers will be sent to you for the signing of such a Treaty upon the receipt of your request therefor.

I am [etc.]

For the Acting Secretary of State:
G. Howland Shaw
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