711.689 Entry, Residence and Establishment/1

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Greece (MacVeagh)

No. 240

Sir: By instruction No. 135, of March 2, 1928,1 the Department transmitted to the Honorable Robert P. Skinner, for submission to the Greek Foreign Office a draft of a treaty of friendship, commerce and consular rights. Detailed instructions commenting on the several articles of the draft were given to Mr. Skinner in the Department’s instruction No. 183 [153], of April 21, 1928.2

In his despatch No. 619, of June 26, 1928,2 Mr. Skinner informed the Department of the views of the Chief of the Treaty Section of the Foreign Office on the draft, and requested further instructions of the Department in the light of these views. By despatch No. 630, of July 6, 1928,2 Mr. Skinner supplied the Department with further points relating to the views of the Greek Government with respect to the draft treaty.

Consideration of the Greek Government’s views, by the various interested departments of the Government of the United States was not completed until early in 1932, at which time a draft instruction in reply to Mr. Skinner’s despatches No. 619 and No. 630 was prepared. However, before this instruction could be dispatched to the Legation, Greek commercial policy had been revised under the stress of existing conditions in favor of controlled imports and exports. The Department therefore concluded that the time was not auspicious for the continuance of the negotiations looking to the conclusion of the treaty under consideration.

Other controlling factors in this decision were the existence of the exchange of notes between the United States and Greece, of December [Page 306] 9, 1924,3 according mutual unconditional most-favored-nation treatment in customs matters, but which could be cancelled on one month’s notice, and the fact that the Consular Convention of 19024 was still in force. Furthermore, although no treaty was in existence governing matters of establishment and residence, it appeared that Greece was according most-favored-nation treatment to the United States in this respect as well as in customs matters.

Recently, however, the Department’s attention has again been drawn to the treaty situation with Greece by the fact that under the laws for the control of the sale of alcoholic beverages enacted by certain of the states, and notably by the State of New York and by the State of Washington, only those aliens enjoying the right to engage in commerce in the United States by virtue of treaty provisions, can obtain licenses to sell alcoholic beverages in the states concerned. In several instances Greek nationals have in fact been refused liquor licenses because of the non-existence of treaty provisions operating to exempt them from the stipulations of state laws excluding aliens from engaging in the sale of alcoholic beverages.

In view of this situation it seems obvious that the relations between the United States and Greece with respect to establishment and residence should be regularized without delay by a treaty: otherwise, the inability of Greek nationals in certain states to obtain liquor licenses may result in action by the Greek Government detrimental to American citizens in Greece. It is, therefore, the Department’s desire that you point out to the Foreign Office the apparent need for a treaty of establishment and residence between the two states. If the Greek Government is favorable to the proposal you should submit the enclosed draft treaty5 as a basis for the negotiations.

You will observe that this draft provides for most-favored-nation treatment with respect to entry, establishment and residence. In the event that the treaty of commerce and navigation of July 16, 1926, between Great Britain and Greece6 is no longer in force, you should so inform the Department and await further instructions before approaching the Foreign Office under this instruction.

Upon the receipt of a telegram from you reporting that the Greek Government agrees in principle to the early conclusion of a treaty of entry, establishment and residence and that you have submitted the enclosed draft as a basis for negotiation, the Department will take the necessary steps to provide you with full powers. You should, of [Page 307] course, understand that no treaty is to be signed by you until the final text thereof has been approved by the Department.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips
  1. Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. iii, p. 19.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. ii, p. 279.
  6. Signed November 19/December 2, 1902, ibid., 1903, p. 565.
  7. Not printed; it was substantially the same as text of final treaty.
  8. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxi, p. 15.