The Chargé in Ecuador (Sparks) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 13.]
Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 182 of October 23, 1936, directing that I acknowledge the receipt of a note No. 134 of October 6, 1936, from the Ecuadorean Foreign Office with respect to the operations of American fishing vessels in the territorial waters and marginal seas of Ecuador, I have the honor to transmit herewith for the information of the Department a copy of my note No. 121 of October 31, 1936.
I have the honor further to report that at the regular diplomatic reception on Thursday, November 5th, I availed myself of the opportunity to express to the Foreign Minister the hope that his Government might find it possible to accept the contention of the American Government in the premises. He replied that he would look into the matter personally, but that he was in doubt with regard to the practice followed by the United States during prohibition when we exercised jurisdiction within twelve miles rather than the usually accepted three-mile limit. I explained that the United States has never asserted the right to exercise jurisdiction beyond the three-mile limit and that in the case in question we had sought, by the conclusion of conventions, the consent of individual maritime states to board their vessels within the distances specified therein solely for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the vessels were endeavoring to import intoxicating liquors into the United States in violation of the laws there in force. I considered it desirable to furnish the Minister a copy of one of these conventions, and I enclose herewith a copy of my third person note55 transmitting the convention concluded with Chile56 on this subject.