811.114 St. Pierre-Miquelon/470: Telegram

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

103. Your No. 255, February 22, 4 p.m. Treasury Department objects to suggested modifications in definition of “alcool de traite” since they feel these would open the way for traffic in neutral spirits or plain alcohol in bulk containers. They call attention to fact that rum if imported in quantity into St. Pierre from Martinique would undoubtedly be for smuggling purposes, although conceding that smuggling of rum as such from St. Pierre would probably be directed at the maritime provinces of Canada rather than at the United States where the market for this beverage is comparatively small. They feel strongly that there would be no unfairness to the people of St. Pierre if the French should restrict the importation of alcohol and alcoholic beverages to such as are bottled and packaged under trade or brand names by reputable manufacturers, as contemplated by suggested definition.

They say, however, that if the French Government should insist upon an amendment of the proposed definition so as to permit the importation of rum into St. Pierre in bulk containers, this can more safely be done by preserving the definition as originally submitted and adding the following: “and not including rum when bottled or casked by reputable manufacturers and bearing justification of origin”. (Quaere: Should word “justification” your telegram be “appellation”?)