The Secretary of State to the Minister in Portugal ( South )
23. Your mail despatch No. 459, September 21, 1931. The Department is in receipt of a note from the British Chargé d’Affaires ad interim here, stating that his Government is “anxious to secure the cooperation of the American Government with a view to effecting the removal of the customs discrimination practiced by the Portuguese Government in favor of Portuguese shippers”. The communication describes the provisions of Decree No. 20,304 and states that on September 26 last the British Chargé d’Affaires at Lisbon addressed a [Page 970] note to the Portuguese Government “expressing the disappointment of his Majesty’s Government that the first reductions should be twenty percent only (i. e. from ten percent to eight on imports, and from twenty percent to sixteen on exports) and requesting assurances that there should be further rebates to five percent and ten percent respectively within six months with the prospect of total abolition within another eighteen months, i. e. by October 15, 1933”.
Please comment by telegraph on this request, with particular reference to
- your opinion as to the general desirability of representations on our part at this time;
- prospects that they would be successful, and
- in the event that you believe we should take action, the form in which you think it could be expressed most effectively.