The Ambassador in Argentina ( Bliss ) to the Secretary of State 1

No. 18

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 68 of August 18, 1926,2 relative to a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights of which the central principle would be an unconditional most-favored-nation clause, which would replace the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation of 1853 originally entered into between the Government of the United States and the Argentine Confederation.3 The Department of State further informed the Embassy on June 21, 1927,2 of the attitude adopted by various South American countries towards this subject. The Embassy had made various oral requests of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs relative to the development of Argentine opinion upon the advisability of entering into negotiations for such a Treaty. The utter failure of the legal division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to place the question upon its proper basis is set forth in Embassy’s Despatch No. 351 of July 27, 1927.2

The Embassy is now in receipt of a note with an enclosed protocol from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs dated September 8, a copy and translation of which are transmitted herewith. The salient features appear: 1, the reference to the reported visit of American Commissioners to investigate the cost of production (of flaxseed and corn, is to be understood), and 2, the desire of the Argentine Government to sign a protocol allowing either party signatory to the Treaty of 1853 to denounce that Treaty at any time upon a notification of six months.

The appended protocol should be taken, I believe, as an indication that the Argentine Government is not at this moment desirous of entering into negotiations for a new Treaty containing an unconditional [Page 422] most-favored-nation clause. Their expressed wish to place in the Treaty of 1853 an addition granting this right of denunciation might prove detrimental to the United States, should it be ratified, inasmuch as it would provide an avenue of attack to those nations which are in active commercial competition with the United States, by enabling foreign pressure to bring about an abrogation of the Treaty.

I have the honor to call the Department’s attention to the Embassy’s despatch No. 372 of August 18, 1927,4 which transmitted a portion of the annual report of the Argentine Embassy at Washington, which contains pertinent facts concerning the attitude to be adopted at this time by Argentina regarding negotiations for a new Commercial Treaty with the United States.

I have [etc.]

Robert Woods Bliss

The Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Gallardo ) to the American Chargé ( Cable )5

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: As I had the pleasure of informing the Embassy under your worthy charge in my note of December 2 last, my Government has considered with the greatest care the American proposal of September 17 with reference to the negotiation of a new Treaty of Commerce between the United States and the Republic.

The desire of the American Government to direct its commercial policy in accordance with modern principles is shared by the Argentine Government. Without doubt you know the statements which the commercial and industrial organizations of Argentina have made on separate occasions requesting a complete revision of our system of treaties, which according to these petitions should begin with the general denunciation of all the conventions now in force.

The legislature has supported these desires of the public and in obedience thereto has appointed a parliamentary commission whose duty it is to study the conventions now in force and to give advice with respect either to the approval or alteration of the principles upon which they are based. Although the commission has not at this date rendered a definite report, the Executive Power believes that, whatever may be its future decision, the moment has arrived to prepare the ground for the modifications which will certainly be [Page 423] suggested, and above all to create the diplomatic resources which would provide the means to readjust the treaties questioned by public opinion and fortunately rejected even from a theoretical standpoint, as inefficient and obsolete, by certain of the contracting States with whom we are bound by them, as for example in the present instance by the American Foreign Office, which offers the new formula referred to in the above mentioned note of September 17, 1926.

In view of the foregoing and with the desire to obviate unavoidable differences of interpretation which the new forms of international commerce and its official control might advance with respect to the enforcement of the Treaty of Commerce of 1853, as for instance, the opinion which I presented to the Embassy under your worthy charge in the Memorandum of July 19 last, with reference to the reported visit to the Republic of an American commission to investigate the cost of production, I have the pleasure to request you to enquire of your Government the views which it might entertain in regard to the signing of an additional protocol similar to the one which accompanies this note.

Please accept [etc.]

Angel Gallardo

Draft of a Proposed Additional Protocol

In order to complete the Treaty of Friendship Commerce and Navigation between the Argentine Federation and the United States of America, of July 26 [27], 1853, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Nation, Dr. Angel Gallardo, and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, being duly authorized by their respective Governments with ample and sufficient full powers which have been exchanged in due form on this occasion, have agreed to add to the said Treaty the following article:

“The present Treaty will continue indefinitely in force for the contracting powers as long as it is not denounced by the Government of either of them. This denunciation may be made at any time six months in advance of the date on which the Treaty shall cease to be effective.

“In witness to which the representatives sign the present additional article, at Buenos Aires, the . . . . day of . . . . . . of the year 1927, and affix their respective seals.”

  1. Date of receipt not known.
  2. Not printed.
  3. William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. i, p. 20.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Note addressed to the Chargé Ambassador Bliss, however, had arrived at his post and assumed charge on August 31.