711.522/40: Telegram

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


31. Your telegram no. 48, June 15, 6 p.m. For Hackworth.

(1) The Department is gratified to learn that the Spanish authorities are beginning study of the treaty and that they will present their views within two weeks.

(2) The Department does not favor the taking of any steps inconsistent with the general plan for use of the unconditional most-favored-nation clause to which this Government is now committed.

You should say that the Government of the United States is definitely committed to the principle of equality of treatment, that it does not wish either to give or to receive preferences or special concessions, that it does not recognize any distinction that may be attempted to be drawn regarding the footing for negotiation between Spain and Great Britain and Spain and the United States, that Spain and Great Britain have accorded to each other what amounts in substance to most-favored-nation treatment, and that the Government of the United States believes that an agreement for unconditional most-favored-nation treatment is the simplest and most certain way to assure and advance harmonious commercial intercourse and to perpetuate the friendly relations which exist between Spain and the United States.

(3) Our new plan is deemed to be of such importance, whether it is initiated by a treaty with Spain or by one with some other state, that the success of its operation ought not to be jeoparded, and the prestige of this Government in its endeavor to utilize it ought not to be weakened by admitting at this stage of negotiation that it is possible the United States would accede to a proposal which is based on a different theory. We believe that the treaty of amity and commerce as it has been proposed offers some unusual advantages, with which you are familiar, to the foreign state which accepts it. The strength of our position as set forth in paragraph 4 of Department’s telegram no. 30, June 13, must be fully apparent to the Spanish Government.

(4) You are informed confidentially that if in a few days it develops that there is a dead-lock on the issue of the most-favored-nation clause, the Department will instruct you regarding the proposal of a temporary modus vivendi to care for the situation pending negotiations that may possibly be protracted.