811.114 Belgium/258: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Belgium (Morris)

18. Your No. 29, May 22, 7 p.m. Belgian Ambassador called May 28 and left note20 stating that cooperation of Belgian authorities in Hillfern case “(translation) has been given up to the extreme limit of the powers under the legislation in force. However, as the measures [Page 421] taken have proved ineffective, the King’s Government is disposed to take up the study of a draft law authorizing the suppression of smuggling. For this purpose it would like to know the powers of the American Government in similar cases.” Copy follows.

Belgian Ambassador is evidently much concerned about the whole matter and stated he is doing everything he can and will continue to do so.

Inform Antwerp.

In view of above-mentioned note you should, unless you perceive objection, call at the Foreign Office and express gratification at the step it is now proposed to take; add that information desired by the Belgian Government as to American laws will be furnished as soon as possible, that considerable data on this general subject was furnished Baron Beyens of the Embassy staff when he called at the Department on February 29 last, that the Netherlands Government has already drafted legislation which will soon be introduced into the States General amending their present laws in order to exercise better control of shipments of alcohol from the Netherlands which are destined for smuggling into the United States and that you sincerely trust that the Belgian Government will speedily take action along similar lines, and that, in the meantime, everything possible will be done to prevent any further shipments of alcohol from leaving Antwerp which are intended for smuggling into this country.

  1. Supra.