The Minister in Portugal (South) to the Secretary of State

No. 294

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 105 of July 10 [11], 1930, enclosing a copy and translation of a note from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, dated July 8, 1930,2 and to previous correspondence [Page 966] on the subject of flag discrimination, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of the Diário do Govêrno of February 3, 1931, Series II [I], No. 28, containing the text of Decree No. 19,306 of January 30, 1931, (of which I also enclose a translation),5 whereby the Portuguese Government undertakes, prior to June 30, 1931, to extend national treatment in respect of maritime and port dues to foreign merchant vessels in the ports of Portugal and of the adjacent islands. This concession has been obtained primarily through the vigorous and tactful insistence of the British Ambassador, Sir Francis Lindley, acting under his Government’s instructions. Unfortunately, the decree does not affect the other measures of discrimination complained of by the maritime Powers—the rebates on import duties granted to all goods imported into national ports, including those of the colonies, in Portuguese bottoms, and the inequality of treatment accorded to foreign merchant vessels in the ports of the colonies in respect of maritime and port dues. Despite our earnest representations and those of the other maritime Powers, the Portuguese Government has shown no inclination to do away with these discriminatory practices, with the result that it would now appear to be incumbent upon the aforesaid Powers to consult each other with a view to the adoption of effective retaliatory measures.

Respectfully yours,

J. G. South
  1. For despatch and note, see ibid., pp. 784785.
  2. Not printed.