711.522/33: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain (Moore) to the Secretary of State


45. Today Hackworth5 was presented to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who stated that in view of the United States Supreme Court decision last April6 Spanish ships had nearly decided not to touch at American ports; he went on to say that the situation was most grave, and asked how could he, as Minister of State of Spain, negotiate a treaty of commerce with the United States when the latter’s ports were closed to the ships of his country? It was agreed, after difficult conversations with the Minister, that the treaty negotiations, this obstacle notwithstanding, were to be initiated, but the Minister stated categorically that the signing of the treaty would depend wholly upon the finding of an immediate solution to the question of permitting ship’s stores to enter territorial waters. The Minister would not entertain the suggestion that the next Congress might enact legislation to the end desired, nor be satisfied with an explanation of the constitutional status of the Supreme Court and the effect of the Court’s decisions.

Insofar as this treaty is concerned I wish to call the Department’s attention urgently to the seriousness of the situation.7

  1. Green H. Hackworth, Assistant to the Solicitor for the Department of State, sent to Madrid to assist Ambassador Moore.
  2. 262 U. S. 100.
  3. For Department’s replies, June 9, proposing a treaty with Spain on sealed stores of liquor and cargo liquor, see vol. i, pp. 149152.