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

No. 431

Sir: The Department has received your Legation’s despatch No. 1433 of July 16, 19306 in further relation to the proposed Extradition Treaty between the United States and Greece.

The Department accepts the suggestions made by the Greek Foreign Office for the following amendments of Article 2 of the draft treaty:

The definition of murder in paragraph 1;

The substitution in paragraph 2 of the following crime for the one contained in the draft: “Malicious wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm with premeditation”;

The raising of the age limit in paragraph 3 from 12 to 15 years;

The elimination of the definitions of the crimes of burglary and larceny as contained in paragraphs 9 and 11 respectively;

The elimination from paragraph 20 of the offense—“subornation of perjury.”

Respecting the proposed combination of paragraphs 9, 10, and 18, it may be observed that the offenses respectively covered by these paragraphs constitute separate and distinct crimes according to the laws [Page 376] of the United States and that, therefore, the Department would not desire to have them combined in a single paragraph.

Concerning the suggested addition to paragraph 23 of Article 2, it may be said that the Department has no objection in principle to such addition but considers that it should be stated in the following terms:—“and other dependent persons, provided that the crime or offense is punishable by the laws of both countries”.

With relation to the suggested change in paragraph 27 of Article 2, it may be observed that the Department would have no objection to limiting the force of the paragraph so as to require as a prerequisite for extradition in the cases covered thereby that the penalty involved should be not less than a fixed term of imprisonment. However, the Department is not clear as to the force and effect of the distinction which the Foreign Office apparently attempts to draw between the case of a person condemned for a crime and one merely charged with a crime. Moreover, it is not perceived why such a distinction should be drawn. Accordingly, the Department desires further light upon the proposal of the Greek Government with respect to this matter.

The Department would prefer that Article 7 of the draft treaty should remain in its present form so as to provide that a criminal claimed by two or more Powers shall be delivered to the State whose demand is first received. This would obviate possibly embarrassing situations which might arise should the Greek proposal be adopted and the surrendering State be left free to choose the Power to which the criminal should be delivered. Presumably a choice made under such circumstances would require careful consideration of the relative gravity of the crimes charged, and the choice when made might arouse resentment in the country whose request should be refused. Therefore, the Department desires you to endeavor to persuade the Greek Government to accept this Article as contained in the present draft.

Regarding the suggested addition to Article 8, it may be stated that the Department would be willing to make such an addition and considers that it might properly be expressed in the following language: “except in cases where such citizenship has been obtained after the perpetration of the crime for which extradition is sought”. It will be noted that this excludes the language of the Greek proposal apparently designed to make an exception only in the case where nationality was acquired with a view to defrauding the law. It would apparently be very difficult to reach a definite conclusion in a given case that citizenship was acquired for the purpose mentioned, and it is believed that it would be better to make a broad exception for all cases where citizenship was acquired in the surrendering country after the perpetration of the crime in question.

The Department has no objection to agreeing that the Greek Government shall be accorded most-favored-nation treatment with respect [Page 377] to the provisions of Articles 9 and 11 of the Treaty and considers that an agreement to this effect might properly be contained in an exchange of notes at the time of signing the Treaty.

In view of the fact that the Department has not been able to agree to all of the changes suggested by the Greek Government, it has been thought inadvisable to enclose with this instruction a modified draft of the Treaty. However, since most of the Greek suggestions have been met, the Department is hopeful that you will be able to persuade the Greek Government to refrain from pressing its suggestions in the few cases where they have not been accepted, and upon being so informed, by telegraph or otherwise, will Send to your Legation promptly a modified draft of the Treaty and full powers for signing.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
J. P. Cotton
  1. Not printed.