711.162/6: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Salvador ( Schuyler )

41. Your despatch No. 576, September 26, 1924, and No. 514, April 7, 1924. In the Legation’s note to the Minister of Foreign Affairs dated March 27, 1924,9 referring to the treaty of friendship, commerce and consular rights with Germany then and now awaiting ratification, it was stated that the Department had “decided to await the action of the Senate before entering into formal treaty proposals with other nations”. The Department intends to renew negotiations with El Salvador for a comprehensive treaty as soon as the German treaty is disposed of. The exchange of notes would, therefore, be a modus vivendi to remain in force until the treaty was concluded, and it would seem more appropriate not to set a fixed term. The Department would prefer, therefore, the provisions of the draft already submitted.

In view of the fact that the exchange of notes is not to be placed before the Senate for approval, the final clause is the essential feature of the third from the last paragraph of the draft note. That must be retained, but, provided the Government of El Salvador insists [Page 918] and will consent to sign promptly, you may alter the paragraph referred to so that it will read as follows:

“The present arrangement shall become operative on the day of signature and shall continue in force for two years, and thereafter until the expiration of six months after notice of its termination shall have been given by either party; but should either party be prevented by future action of its legislature from carrying out the terms of this arrangement, the obligations thereof shall thereupon lapse.”

You should not yourself mention the matter, but if requested by El Salvador you may agree to make the exchange of notes effective thirty or sixty days after, instead of on date of signature. [Paraphrase.] The Department must insist upon the specific exception of Cuba as stipulated in the draft, on account of the exclusive provisions of article VIII of the Cuban reciprocity treaty.10

With reference to the claim of Salvador that the modus vivendi would bring advantages to the United States without corresponding advantages to Salvador’s commerce, you may inform the Foreign Minister that the most-favored-nation treatment which the United States already accords to Salvador may be regarded under our policy as conditioned upon reciprocal treatment, and that under section 317 of the Tariff Act of 1922 the Executive is empowered to levy additional duties upon the products of nations which discriminate against the commerce of the United States. You should indicate that coffee, which is Salvador’s chief export, is at present on our free list, that on most of the other exports of Salvador the United States either imposes no duties at all or only comparatively light duties and for that reason it is only fair that Salvador should accord favorable treatment to American trade and agree at least not to discriminate against it. At your discretion you may add that this Government hopes Salvador will accord the United States most-favored-nation treatment because the United States would be most reluctant to be obliged to take under consideration the imposition of duties on coffee and other Salvadorean exports.

The Department would be pleased to have the negotiations expedited.

Keep the Department fully informed. [End paraphrase.]

  1. Note based on instructions in Department’s telegram No. 14, Mar. 26, 1924. p. 912.
  2. Signed at Habana, Dec. 11, 1902; Foreign Relations, 1903, p. 375.