The British Chargé (Mallet) to the Secretary of State 96

No. 305

Sir: I have the honour to inform you, on the instructions of His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that the [Page 731] attention of His Majesty’s Government has been drawn to the terms of the Act—Public No. 755—74th Congress which was approved on the 22nd June last,97 defining the jurisdiction of the United States coastguards.

2. It is observed that under the terms of the Bill United States coastguards are authorized “at any time to go on board of any vessel, subject to the jurisdiction, or to the operation of any law, of the United States, to address enquiries to those on board, to examine ships’ documents and papers, and to examine, inspect and search the vessel and use all necessary force to compel compliance.” In order to avoid the possibility of any misunderstanding I have been instructed to place on record that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom cannot recognize the right of the United States authorities to exercise any of the powers in question outside territorial waters proper over any vessel flying the British flag, except as provided for by the Convention between the United Kingdom and the United States of January 23rd, 1924.98

I have [etc.]

V. A. L. Mallet
  1. By note dated September 28, 1936, the Secretary of State acknowledged receipt of this communication.
  2. 49 Stat. 1820.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. i, p. 158.