The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Moore)
Washington, June 13, 1923—4 p.m.
30. Your telegram no. 46 of June 12, 5 p.m. For Hackworth.
- The Department has noted the objections of the president of the treaty commission to the draft of the treaty of amity and commerce. The complexity of the proposed treaty is unavoidable.
- The Department has also noted the statement that Lago declares our most-favored-nation clause for imports to be directly opposed to the Spanish tariff law. You should inform the Spanish authorities at an appropriate time that under present laws of the [Page 850]United States the President is authorized to impose additional duties on imports coming from countries which discriminate in fact against commerce of this country. See section 317 of the tariff act.
- The Department hopes and believes that the attitude of the Foreign Minister may bring about a favorable change in the situation.
- The Department does not desire, if there is any way to avoid it, to condition this Government’s acceptance of the proposed treaty on sealed stores of liquor and cargo liquor which is destined for foreign ports upon Spain’s acceptance of the proposed treaty of amity and commerce, inasmuch as the Department is now offering the same treaty articles on liquor stores and cargo to France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.9 The proposed form of the treaty was communicated today to the Spanish Ambassador here as it had already been communicated to the diplomatic representatives of the countries mentioned above. If the Spanish Government proposes, however, to treat the commercial treaty with indifference or evinces a disposition to delay its execution, then this Government would not have the slightest reason to favor Spain in the matter of liquor on merchant vessels. We should have no hesitancy, therefore, in that event, in informing Spain that if her conduct were not agreeable to the maintenance of commercial relations with the United States substantially upon the basis stated in the commercial treaty, a basis which we believe to be entirely fair, we should not perceive any reason for relinquishing the stringency of the regulations which relate to liquor stores and cargo even were we to negotiate these treaties with other powers. That is to say, we expect to be dealt with in the same considerate manner that we are endeavoring to bring to these questions. From conversations with the Spanish Ambassador it is understood that the situation at present under the Treasury regulations regarding liquor on merchant ships is extremely burdensome on Spain in view of the fact that Spanish ships call at both American and foreign ports in the Caribbean in the course of the same voyages. We do not desire to take advantage of this situation in order to obtain any unreasonable arrangement; on the other hand, it is left to your discretion to make sure the proper safeguarding of American interests before the proposed treaty on liquor stores and cargo is signed.