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Article 7 of the Convention provides for the establishment of a Central International Office placed under the control of the League of Nations, for the purpose of collecting and preserving documents exchanged by the Contracting Parties, pertaining to the application of certain provisions of the Convention. This Article also requires that each of the Contracting Parties shall publish an annual report showing the quantities of spirituous beverages imported or manufactured in the territories concerned and the duties levied and that a copy of this report shall be sent to the Central International Office and to the Secretary General of the League of Nations. The provisions of Article 7 obviously would have no application to the United States.
Article 8 provides that in the event of any dispute arising between parties to the Convention relating to the application of the Convention which cannot be settled by negotiation, the dispute shall be submitted to an arbitral tribunal in conformity with the Covenant of the League of Nations. As this country is not a member of the League of Nations, it is suggested that in giving its advice and consent to ratification the Senate may desire to make a reservation providing for arbitral reference to some other tribunal.
The United States is a party to the Convention for the Regulation of the Importation of Spirituous Liquors into certain regions of Africa, signed at Brussels on June 8, 1899, and to the Convention signed at Brussels on November 3, 1906, revising the duties imposed by the Brussels convention of June 8, 1899.55 Chapter VI of the Act of Brussels of July 2, 1890, for the repression of the African slave trade,56 to which the United States is also a party, provides for the restriction of traffic in spirituous liquors.
The first paragraph of Article 11 of the Convention Relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa, signed at Saint Germain-en-Laye on September 10, 1919, which is the subject of the present report, abrogates the provisions of former general international conventions relating to the matters dealt with in the present convention insofar as they are binding between the powers which are parties to the present convention. Such provisions of those international acts are therefore no longer in force between Belgium, the British Empire, France, Japan and Portugal although they are still in force as respects the United States.
While the present Convention would in its application impose definite obligations only upon States having colonial possessions in Africa, it is in harmony with the attitude of the United States with respect to the liquor traffic in Africa as expressed in the earlier con
For texts of treaties of 1899 and 1906, see Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1909, vol. II, pp. 1993 and 2205.
Ibid., p. 1964.
ventions. It is believed that this Government should continue to give its moral support to efforts to safeguard the natives of Africa from the dangers of uncontrolled liquor traffic. By ratification of the present Convention it would place its relationship to those matters on the basis now subsisting between Belgium, the British Em. pire, France, Japan and Portugal in place of the provisions of the older acts which have been so largely abandoned. It is recommended, therefore, that the Senate be requested to give its advice and consent to ratification of the Convention, subject to a reservation in respect of the arbitration of disputes.
Accordingly, it is recommended that, if this course meets with your approval, the Senate be requested to take suitable action advising and consenting to ratification of the Convention of 1919 Relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa subject to a reservation that the United States reserves the right to submit any dispute in which it may be concerned, relating to the application of the Convention, by agreement with the other parties and in accordance with the constitutional procedure of each State to a court of arbitration constituted in accordance with The Hague Convention of October 18, 1907,57 or to some other court of arbitration. Respect fully submitted,
FRANK B. KELLOGG WASHINGTON, May 22, 1928.
Draft of a Letter From President Coolidge to the Senate 58
To The SENATE: To the end that I may receive the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the Convention Relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa, signed at Saint Germain-en-Laye on September 10, 1919.
I further transmit for the information of the Senate a report from the Secretary of State recommending that this Convention be ratified with a reservation in regard to arbitral procedure.
Article 8 provides for the submission of disputes arising with respect to the application of the Convention to an arbitral tribunal in conformity with the provisions of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Secretary of State feels that this Government should not be bound by the procedure provided for in that Article and suggests the adoption of a reservation to the effect that any disputes in which the United States may be concerned, relating to the application of the Convention, shall be submitted by agreement with the other parties and in accordance with their constitutional procedure
to a court of arbitration constituted in accordance with The Hague Convention of October 18, 1907, or to some other court of arbitration.
I concur in the recommendation made by the Secretary of State.
Treaty Series No. 779
Convention Relating to the Liquor Traffic in Africa, Signed at Saint
Germain-en-Laye, September 10, 1919 59 The United States of America, Belgium, the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan and Portugal;
Whereas it is necessary to continue in the African territories placed under their administration the struggle against the dangers of alcoholism which they have maintained by subjecting spirits to constantly increasing duties;
Whereas, further, it is necessary to prohibit the importation of distilled beverages rendered more especially dangerous to the native populations by the nature of the products entering into their composition or by the opportunities which a low price gives for their extended use;
Whereas, finally, the restrictions placed on the importation of spirits would be of no effect unless the local manufacture of distilled beverages was at the same time strictly controlled;
Have appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
Who, having communicated their full powers found in good and due form,
Have agreed as follows:
The High Contracting Parties undertake to apply the following measures for the restriction of the liquor traffic in the territories which are or may be subjected to their control throughout the whole of the continent of Africa, with the exception of Algiers, Tunis, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and the Union of South Africa.
The provisions applicable to the continent of Africa shall also apply to the islands lying within 100 nautical miles of the coast.
The importation, distribution, sale and possession of trade spirits of every kind, and of beverages mixed with these spirits, are prohibited
Signed in French; English translation reprinted from the Department of State Treaty Series. Ratification advised by the Senate, with reservation, Feb. 28, 1929 (legislative day of Feb. 25) ; ratified by the President, Mar. 7. 1929; ratification of the United States deposited with the Government of the French Republic, Mar. 22, 1929; proclaimed by the President, Mar. 26, 1929.
in the area referred to in Article 1. The local Governments concerned will decide respectively which distilled beverages will be regarded in their territories as falling within the category of trade spirits. They will endeavor to establish a nomenclature and measures against fraud as uniform as possible.
The importation, distribution, sale and possession are also forbidden of distilled beverages containing essential oils or chemical products which are recognised as injurious to health, such as thuyone, star anise, benzoic aldehyde, salicylic ethers, hyssop and absinthe.
The local Governments concerned will likewise endeavor to establish by common agreement the nomenclature of those beverages whose importation, distribution, sale and possession according to the terms of this provision should be prohibited.
An import duty of not less than 800 francs per hectolitre of pure alcohol shall be levied upon all distilled beverages, other than those indicated in Articles 2 and 3, which are imported into the area referred to in Article 1, except in so far as the Italian colonies are concerned, where the duty may not be less than 600 francs.
The High Contracting Parties will prohibit the importation, distribution, sale and possession of spirituous liquors in those regions of the area referred to in Article 1 where their use has not been developed.
The above prohibition can be suspended only in the case of limited quantities destined for the consumption of non-native persons, and imported under the system and conditions determined by each Government.
The manufacture of distilled beverages of every kind is forbidden in the area referred to in Article 1.
The importation, distribution, sale and possession of stills and of all apparatus or portions of apparatus suitable for distillation of alcohol and the redistillation of brandies and spirits are forbidden in the same area, subject to the provisions of Article 6.
The provisions of the two preceding paragraphs do not apply to the Italian colonies; the manufacture of distilled beverages, other than those specified in Articles 2 and 3, will continue to be permitted therein, on condition that they are subject to an excise duty equal to the import duty established in Article 4.
The restrictions on the importation, distribution, sale, possession and manufacture of spirituous beverages do not apply to pharmaceutical alcohols intended for medical, surgical or pharmaceutical establishments. The importation, distribution, sale and possession are also permitted of:
(1) Testing stills, that is to say, the small apparatus in general use for laboratory experiments, which are employed intermittently, are not fitted with rectifying heads, and the capacity of whose retort does not exceed one litre;
(2) Apparatus or parts of apparatus intended for experiments in scientific institutions;
(3) Apparatus or parts of apparatus employed for definite purposes, other than the production of alcohol, by pharmacists holding a diploma, and by persons who can show good cause for the possession of such apparatus;
(4) Apparatus necessary for the manufacture of alcohol for industrial purposes, and employed by duly authorized persons, such manufacture being subject to the supervision established by the local administration.
The necessary permission in the foregoing cases will be granted by the local administration of the territory in which the stills, apparatus, or portions of apparatus are to be utilized.
A Central International Office, placed under the control of the League of Nations, shall be established for the purpose of collecting and preserving documents of all kinds exchanged by the High Contracting Parties with regard to the importation and manufacture of spirituous liquors under the conditions referred to in the present Convention.
Each of the High Contracting Parties shall publish an annual report showing the quantities of spirituous beverages imported or manufactured and the duties levied under Articles 4 and 5. A copy of this report shall be sent to the Central International Office and to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
The High Contracting Parties agree that if any dispute whatever should arise between them relating to the application of the present Convention which cannot be settled by negotiation, this dispute shall be submitted to an arbitral tribunal in conformity with the Covenant of the League of Nations.
The High Contracting Parties reserve the right of introducing into the present Convention by common agreement after a period of five years such modifications as may prove to be necessary.