The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ireland (Cudahy)

No. 18

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s instruction dated October 4, 1937, and to your despatch, no. 23, dated October 27, 1937, in regard to the sale in this country of sweepstakes tickets.

I now enclose a copy of a letter dated January 22, 1938, together with its enclosure, from the Chief Inspector of the Post Office Department,17 which are self-explanatory.

You are requested to see Mr. Walshe again and endeavor to ascertain whether the Irish Government intends to take some action which would prevent the solicitation in this country of the purchase of these tickets. You might point out that if it is a matter of the wording of the law, amity might dictate a modification of the law to meet the contingency. Some instances of such cooperation by foreign governments in the enforcement of United States laws are cited below:

A law was enacted in Canada, effective May 30, 1930, prohibiting the exportation of alcoholic beverages to countries where its importation is forbidden.18 This action entailed considerable loss in revenue to the Canadian Government but resulted in preventing the further introduction of liquor into the United States contrary to our laws and was greatly appreciated by this Government.
Upon the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment the above-mentioned law was no longer applicable to the United States but in order to prevent surreptitious shipments of spirits to this country the Canadian Government further cooperated with this Government by prohibiting the removal of liquor from bonded warehouses for shipment to the United States unless invoices duly certified by American consular officers are first presented to the appropriate Canadian authorities showing that the spirits will be legally imported.19
The Belgian Government, by a decree effective August 1, 1936, cooperated with this Government to prevent the exportation of alcohol from Belgium destined for illicit importation into the United States. The decree specifies that alcohol intended for exportation from Belgium must be shipped on vessels belonging to regular steamship lines sailing from a Belgian port, or on vessels having a minimum tonnage of 3,000 tons and transporting at the same time other merchandise of an amount equal in quantity to the gross weight of the alcohol on board, and, furthermore, the alcohol must be shipped in metal containers of a capacity of not less than 100 liters each.20
In addition, several governments, including Cuba, Great Britain, France and Mexico have taken steps to require the giving of a bond for the production of a landing certificate covering cargoes of spirits in order to prevent their introduction into the United States contrary to the laws of this country.21
Cuba, furthermore, by a decree signed November 30, 1934, has prohibited the exportation of alcohol to any port or place believed to be used as a smuggling base.
Guatemalan customs officers at Puerto Barrios (the only port from which spirits destined for smuggling into the United States were shipped) were instructed that after June 11, 1936, they should neither receive nor clear alcohol or alcoholic beverages in transit.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles