811.114 St. Pierre-Miquelon/358a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Straus)

123. Following is text of proposed decree forwarded to Minister of Colonies April 5 by authorities at St. Pierre-Miquelon to replace decree of April 9, 1935, now in effect:

  • “Article 1. Decree of April 18, 1922, derogating decree of July 8, 1919, concerning whiskies and gins, and decree of July 29, 1926, derogating decree of July 8, 1919, concerning trois-six alcohol, are abrogated.
  • Article 2. Decree of April 9, 1935, remains in force only for exportations of foreign alcohols in storage at St. Pierre-Miquelon.
  • Article 3. A decree countersigned by the Minister of Colonies will regulate, should such a case arise, the installation of distilleries of alcohol in St. Pierre-Miquelon.
  • Article 4. All provisions to the contrary are abrogated.”

Above decree would prohibit importation foreign alcohols and whiskies and permit importation and exportation of all French alcoholic products.

Unless you perceive objection, please discuss matter informally with French authorities and state that we greatly appreciate the helpful cooperation which the French Government has given in the matter of preventing the use of St. Pierre-Miquelon as a smuggling base, that we hope it will be continued and that we do not believe they would wish to see the unscrupulous persons engaged in the smuggling traffic once more obtain a foothold at St. Pierre. In order to avoid such a contingency it would seem to be desirable to retain certain provisions of the present decree for all exports, namely, article 1, prohibiting clearance for the high seas, article 2, prohibiting clearance in vessels under 200 tons, and article 6, regarding liquors for ships’ stores. It would seem to be especially necessary, in order to prevent smuggling, that the landing certificate bond continue to be required for all shipments of alcohol from St. Pierre, regardless of its origin.

While the establishment of industries at St. Pierre-Miquelon is a domestic matter, the establishment of a distillery to manufacture alcohol would obviously be for the purpose of exporting it, as there is practically no demand at St. Pierre for this product. Any alcohol manufactured would therefore appear to be very likely intended for smuggling into the United States, where the illicit product made therefrom would compete with legitimate domestic and foreign liquors, including those of France.

The continued cooperation of the French Government in preventing the use of its territory so close to the shores of this country from again being used as a base for smuggling into the United States, would be greatly appreciated.

Telegraph reply for Treasury.