The Chargé in Spain (Benton) to the Secretary of State

No. 527

Sir: In confirmation of the Ambassador’s telegraphic despatch No. 94 of November 13th (12 noon), I have the honor to transmit herewith the copy of a Memorandum furnished the Embassy by Señor Calderon, the Chief of the Commercial Section in the Ministry of State, containing a list of what he terms Spain’s “trade grievances” against us, which, in the opinion of his Government, must be attended to before we can realize the advantages of the tariff reductions accorded France by the recent Franco-Spanish Commercial Agreement. A translation of the Memorandum is also enclosed.

Respectfully yours,

J. Webb Benton

Customs Duties and Restrictive Measures That Have Seriously Affected the Exportation of Spanish Products to the United States

Fresh Fruits. Of especial interest is the raising of the embargo on the entry of fresh fruits, notably grapes, which might be adjusted by the substitution of certificates issued by Spanish offices of vegetable pathology, to the effect that the shipments are exempt from the pest generally known as the Mediterranean fly, and said certificates to be visaed by the North American Consul should the Washington Government so require.
Cork Manufactures. Customs duties on these products are so high that Spanish exports of these manufactures decreased by 195,283 metric quintals with a value of 38,770,926 pesetas in the six months of 1930 as compared with the corresponding period of 1929.
Insulation Cork. This product has also suffered a decided decline since the entry into effect of the present North American tariff.
Stoppers. One of the most serious impediments that Spanish cork manufacturers encounter on their entry into the United States is the necessity for each cork to be stamped with the words “Made in Spain,” the suppression of which with the substitution therefor of a stamp on the package is of great importance.
Mineral Waters. Annulment of the measures that at present render impossible their entry into the United States.
Canned Goods. Peppers constituting the principal item of Spanish export of this class of products to the United States. The suppression of the sanitation methods adopted by the North American authorities is of importance, being based on their belonging to the “non-acid” class, whereas it is well-known and scientifically demonstrable that they belong to the “acid” group.
Removal of the obstacles imposed to our tinned-fish and reduction of the sanitary measures exclusively to glaring cases proven before the Spanish exporters or technicians appointed by them or before the Spanish Consular representatives.
Firearms. More favorable treatment for the entry of them and their parts would be desirable.
Garlic. Suppression of the sanitary measures that consist in determining that the straw of the “string” may contain germs harmful to stock, and when this is replaced by other vegetable fibers, the existence of other germs injurious to stock, is alleged.
Canary Island Potatoes. Permission for the entry of these tubercles packed in sawdust or cork as is done for fresh tomatoes from the Canaries; special importance being attached to this request.
Finally, it would be desirable that guaranty be given for prohibition in the United States of usage, in packing California-grapes and native onions, of such denominations as “Valencia” and “Almeria Grapes” which are freely employed on cards bearing the national Spanish colors and figures, in order that the consumer may believe that the said products come from Spain; against which usage the Spanish Government has repeatedly protested without any result whatsoever.