652.113 Auto/36: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain (Laughlin) to the Secretary of State


98. Relative to paragraph 4 of the Department’s 63, noon, 14th of November. The Spanish authorities contend that the modus vivendi is not contravened by their action. In my opinion, their argument is technically sound. For us the chief value of the modus vivendi lies in the fact that it serves to place the United States among the “paísesconvenios” which by the unrepealed decree of December 30, 1928, are entitled to second-column treatment. Rather than attempt to show a violation of the modus vivendi, our interests would be better served by an insistence that we accord the most favored treatment to Spain; therefore, we have the right to anticipate the same treatment from that Government. Without stating so in fact, the Franco-Spanish agreement really establishes a third tariff column which incorporates therein the annexed list (B?). No alteration of the two-column tariff system created by the decree of December 30, 1928, has been declared by Spain. Our argument might follow the line that inasmuch as that decree is still effective, the recent changes in the tariff should not be [Page 1001] construed to mean the establishment of another tariff column but the replacement of the present rates by different ones in the second column.