811.114 St. Pierre-Miquelon/454: Telegram

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

67. Your No. 132, January 30, 2 p.m. Since “alcool de traite” apparently means ethyl alcohol of type commonly handled in bulk and similar to that which has in past been shipped from St. Pierre, could not second decree be changed to read “The decree of April 9, 1935, governing the exportation of alcohol from the Islands of St. Pierre-Miquelon is abrogated except insofar as concerns the exportation of ‘alcool de traite’,[”] provided our understanding of “alcool de traite” is correct? This would include alcohol now in warehouses and would not affect shipments of alcoholic beverages such as those mentioned your telegram No. 1194, December 4, 5 p.m.33 We presume you have explained to French authorities distinction we make between straight alcohol and alcoholic beverages. Since there is probably very little legitimate trade in straight or raw alcohol at St Pierre it does not seem unreasonable to insist that exportation of this commodity be prohibited or that it be exported only in compliance with provisions of present decree. If French cannot agree to either, importation should [Page 300] be restricted to normal requirements by imposition of quota or effective tax.

Treasury Department is gratified to note assurances given by Ministry of Colonies that it will not permit establishment of distilleries, as well as assurances by Foreign Office regarding additional modification, if necessary.

We are happy to note that you have explained the matter to Bonnet. Perhaps he might be able to persuade the authorities to prohibit or restrict the exportation of straight alcohol if you think it wise to ask him to do so.