711.522/38: Telegram

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


46. From Hackworth:

This morning I had an informal meeting with Lago, the president of the treaty commission, who raised the following objections to the draft:

Its complexity; each subject will have to be handled by different offices or departments, and for this reason negotiations will be greatly delayed.
The Spanish tariff law runs counter to the most-favored-nation clause for imports.

Lago stated that it would not be possible for the treaty commission to take on the increased work of new negotiations with the United States (the commission deals with all commercial matters) as it is already working fifteen hours a day and can not stop the negotiations which are pending with other countries; he named particularly Belgium, Germany, and Italy. His attitude seemed to reflect the indifference and fixed point of view which it is said has characterized the negotiations with other countries. He had not, apparently, been apprised of the attitude of the Minister of State, who expressed a willingness to proceed with negotiations. Lago will discuss the matter again with the Foreign Minister and will give his answer at the meeting on Thursday. I am hoping that the attitude of the Minister may change the situation favorably.

In view of the fact that our greatest leverage in the negotiations is the desire of the Spanish Government to arrive at a prompt solution of the ship’s stores problem, would it not be more to our advantage to delay presentation of the draft of a treaty that was transmitted in Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 27, June 9, 4 p.m.8 until the Spanish Government shows an inclination to negotiate the treaty? If not, I suggest that the Spanish Government be given clearly to understand that the signing by us of a ship’s stores treaty depends entirely upon the prior conclusion of a treaty of amity and commerce.