150.071 Control/181

The Belgian Ambassador (May) to the Secretary of State

No. 1812

Mr. Secretary of State: The King’s Embassy had the honor, in the course of the month of January, 1932,12 of inviting Your Excellency’s sympathetic attention to certain provisions of a bill entitled “A Bill to Provide for the Deportation of Certain Alien Seamen and for other Purposes”.

The enactment of this bill threatened to create serious difficulties for the Belgian vessels frequenting American ports. Furthermore, it seemed to be in opposition to customs generally accepted in international law.

This law was not voted at the time, but since then, a new bill, sponsored by Mr. Dies, a member of the House of Representatives, is said [Page 763] to have been submitted to the examination of the Senate Immigration Committee.

I have been instructed and I have the honor to recall to Your Excellency how regrettable would be any measure prejudicing the prerogatives of our maritime legislation, particularly in so far as concerns composition of our crews. Such legislation could not, indeed, be subjected to other rules than those provided by the Belgian laws and regulations in force.

I would, therefore, be particularly grateful to Your Excellency for whatever you might find it possible to do with a view of taking into account objections of my Government.

I take this opportunity [etc.]

Paul May