811.114 St. Pierre, Miquelon/197

The French Embassy to the Department of State


The French Government is disposed to give the American Government the following guarantees, as far as the application of a system of bonding to St. Pierre and Miquelon is concerned:

The issuance of clearances for the “high seas”, without indication of the port of destination, will be prohibited at St. Pierre.
No alcohol may be exported from the Colony on a vessel of less than 200 tons.
A bond will be required for all alcohol exported from St. Pierre. It is unnecessary to consider the application of this measure to transshipments or re-exportations of alcohol, these operations being prohibited in the Colony.

The bond, which will be fixed at 15 francs per liter, will be repaid only upon presentation to the authorities of St. Pierre of a certificate of debarkation issued by the customhouse of the port of destination and authenticated by the French Consul or Consular Agency in residence in that port or in the nearest town.

The bond will be repaid if the required certificate is presented within a period of six months counted from the time at which the spirituous [liquors]35 have been exported from St. Pierre. After that period, it shall pass to the Colony.

In case it should appear, after one year of operation, that the system contemplated would involve too heavy burdens for the Colony, the French Government reserves the right to modify it or put an end to it.

The decree necessary for putting the bond system into effect at St. Pierre has now been prepared by the Minister of the Colonies and the Governor of the Island. It will not be put into effect, however, until formal assurance has been given that the programs of cruises of the U. S. Lines provide for stops at St. Pierre.36 The necessary arrangements will be made at St. Pierre for facilitating these visits. In connection with this, the French authorities call attention to the fact that ships with a draft of 6.15 meters of water can enter the harbor; those of greater tonnage will have to anchor in the roadstead, but lighters will be placed at their disposal to facilitate their revictualling and the discharge of passengers.

  1. Brackets appear in the file translation.
  2. By telegram No. 69, February 27, noon, the Department had informed the Embassy in France that the condition imposed by the French had been met and that “The Under Secretary expects to see the French Ambassador at an early date to inform him of this and to request that appropriate steps now be taken by the French Government regarding St. Pierre.” (811.114 St. Pierre, Miquelon/174).