611.5231/415: Telegram

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

17. Department’s number 13, April 28, 3 p.m.6 After numerous conferences with the Foreign Office urging prompt action, I was informed last night by Acting Foreign Minister that he favored and believed that he could induce the Treaty Board to agree to an indefinite extension of present commercial arrangement. He said definitely that the Spanish Government could grant no new concessions of any kind to any government and suggested that in the proposed exchange of notes the following phraseology be used: “it is agreed that the present arrangement shall not end on May 5th next but shall continue in force indefinitely subject to termination upon 3 months’ notice by either party.”

When I urged full acceptance of the Department’s proposal the Acting Minister pointed out that personally neither he nor the Treaty Board had much objection, saying there were only two or three smaller items which would be affected but that legal restrictions prevented them from making now or in future any new reductions under 20 percent below the second column.

Our commercial attaché informs me that the only item of commercial importance to the United States is crude sulphur, Italy and Germany paying 27 pesetas the 100 kilos and the United States 30 pesetas; other advantages he states are few and are of little or no importance.

I believe if I insisted I could obtain prorogation one year and indefinitely thereafter if the Department desired it, but Spanish officials would prefer indefinite arrangement with a 3 months’ clause without any time specified. I have been promised official answer in a couple of days. Treaty Board meets today. Please instruct whether procedure suggested in first paragraph is satisfactory.

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