825.85/50: Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile ( Collier ) to the Secretary of State

136. Your 41, September 14, 2 p.m. Supplementing my 133, September 17, 11 a.m. Yesterday I had separate conversations with regard to ship subsidies with the President of the Republic, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Under Secretary, Chief of Diplomatic Section, prominent Senator, prominent Deputy on committee to which bill has been referred, German and French Ministers, Dutch and British Charges. First four apparently much impressed by my representations; diplomats mentioned have also made representations. Principal British opposition is due to their belief that preferential duties will favor American export trade. However, owing to bad effects of proposed bill on British service between Valparaiso and New York, they have same reasons for opposition to bill as Grace Line. I am informed from other sources that British Foreign Office called Chilean Minister to Great Britain to its office and made very strong representations to him. Possibly such action by you with Davilá17 would be helpful especially if there is a possibility of increase of duties by us to counteract effect of Chilean discrimination and bounties. I believe all persons connected with the Foreign Office [Page 533] believe bill as drafted most unwise. Under Secretary says he took my note18 in which I made strong representations against repayment Panama Canal dues and tariff preference and bounties to Minister of Finance who has promised him to reconsider bill. He made same promise to me when I saw him at suggestion of President of Republic. I am soon to have another long talk with him. I also talked with Delcourt, head of the Nitrate Bureau, and Simon, head of the Budget Bureau, both of them members of commission that recommended ship subsidy bill. Senator and Deputy with whom I talked believe bill as drafted very faulty … I feel confident before final passage provisions as to Canal tolls will be stricken out and there is strong probability that preferential duties will be eliminated and possibly bounties to ships and that instead there will be a lump sum subvention with provisions for diminution in case companies do not drum up commerce and get full cargoes. If section 317 of customs law19 is applicable, may be well for Department to let Dávila know of its existence even if inexpedient to intimate that it will be put into effect. I shall not relax my efforts although I have repeatedly urged reciprocity of treatment and have not hinted at reprisals even to counteract unfair discrimination.

  1. Chilean Ambassador at Washington, Oct. 6, 1927.
  2. Note No. 802, Sept. 12, enclosed with despatch No. 1184, Sept. 13, not printed; this note was based on Department’s telegram No. 37, Aug. 31, 6 p.m., p. 528.
  3. 42 Stat. 944.