811.114 Josephine K./243

The Canadian Minister (Herridge) to the Secretary of State

No. 110

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your note of May 21st,16 transmitting copies of decrees16 entered by consent in favour of the United States in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Canadian vessel Josephine K. and its cargo of liquor.

I have been instructed in this connection to inform you that His Majesty’s Government in Canada fail to apprehend the relevance of this settlement to the issues raised in Mr. Wrong’s note No. 46 of March 16th, 1931. The contention then advanced was that the evidence taken during the investigation held by the Coast Guard clearly proved that the Josephine K. was at all times beyond an hour’s sailing distance from the shore and that her seizure on the high seas was not in accordance with the terms of Article II of the Convention of January 23rd, 1924 and was therefore illegal. No reply to this contention has as yet been received from the Government of the United States. Its validity is not in any way affected by a settlement agreed to privately by the owners of the vessel and cargo. Mr. Wrong in his note No. 148 of August 25th, 1931 stated that the Government of Canada was prepared to defer to the wishes of the Department of State in postponing consideration of the issues until a decision had been rendered by the United States District Court, on the explicit understanding that this Court was not the appropriate tribunal to make a final determination on the question of jurisdiction under the Convention.

I am desired to urge that the matter should now be dealt with without further delay. The widow and children of Captain Cluett, who was killed during the encounter, are in urgent need; and His Majesty’s Government in Canada are of the opinion that, in particular, [Page 88] the question of suitable reparation for his death should be settled at the earliest possible moment.

I have [etc.]

W. D. Herridge
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