Press Release Issued by the Department of State, January 27, 1937

At the press conference at the Department of State today the question was raised by a correspondent as to whether the Johnson Act applies to bonds of the Canadian Government. The Secretary of State replied as follows:

“I can only refer you to my statement of May 5, 1934, in which I quoted the opinion of the Attorney General in which he held that Canada did not come under the operation of the Johnson Act. This Department and all the other Departments of the Government have been carrying on under the authority of that decision ever since it was rendered.”

The opinion of the Attorney General of May 5, 1934, read in part as follows:6

“It has also been asked whether or not Canada, a member of the commonwealth of nations which compose the British Empire, is to be regarded as a political subdivision of Great Britain. The question should properly be answered in the negative, and this conclusion was suggested in Congress (Cong. Bee, vol. 78, p. 6195 [6052]), but it appears to be immaterial, in view of my conclusion above stated concerning the intention of Congress as applied to the obligations of political subdivisions. Canada, I believe, is not in default.”

  1. 37 Op. Atty. Gen. 512.