File No. 17147/4B.

The Secretary of State to the Portuguese Minister.

Sir: Referring to the department’s note to your legation dated April 30, 1909, relative to the termination of the existing commercial agreements between the United States and Portugal and stating that a further communication on this subject would be made after the passage of legislative measures affecting the bases on which those agreements were concluded, I have now the honor to inform you that the new tariff law approved August 5, 1909, contains the following provisions respecting the commercial agreements of the United States: [Page 511]

That the President shall have power and it shall be his duty to give notice, within ten days after the passage of this act, to all foreign countries with which commercial agreements in conformity with the authority granted by section three of the act entitled “An act to provide revenue for the Government and to encourage the industries of the United States,” approved July twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, have been or shall have been entered into, of the intention of the United States to terminate such agreements at a time specified in such notice, which time shall in no case, except as hereinafter provided, be longer than the period of time specified in such agreements respectively for notice for their termination; and upon the expiration of the periods when such notice of termination shall become effective the suspension of duties provided for in such agreements shall be revoked, and thereafter importations from said countries shall be subject to no other conditions or rates of duty than those prescribed by this act and such other acts of Congress as may be continued in force: Provided, That until the expiration of the period when the notice of intention to terminate hereinbefore provided for shall have become effective, or until such date prior thereto as the high contracting parties may by mutual consent select, the terms of said commercial agreements shall remain in force: And provided further, That in the case of those commercial agreements or arrangements made in accordance with the provisions of section three of the tariff act of the United States approved July twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, which contain no stipulation in regard to their termination by diplomatic action, the President is authorized to give to the Governments concerned a notice of termination of six months, which notice shall date from April thirtieth, nineteen hundred and nine.

By the President’s direction, in pursuance of the above quoted provisions of law, I have the honor hereby to give through you to the Government of Portugal formal notice on behalf of the United States of the intended termination of the commercial agreements signed at Washington May 22, 1899, and on November 19, 1902, respectively, to take effect one year from the present date, namely, August 7, 1910, when the said agreements shall cease to be in force.

Accept, etc.,

P. C. Knox.