Press Release Issued by the Department of State on April 13, 1931

By an exchange of various notes, an agreement has been concluded with the Government of Spain for the informal consideration by representatives of the United States and Spain of all outstanding diplomatic claims between the two governments. Mr. Luis Calderon, Commercial Counselor of the Spanish Embassy, has been delegated as the Spanish representative. Mr. Raymund T. Yingling, of the legal staff of the Department of State, is the American representative. Informal discussions of the claims will begin in the near future.

In accordance with the terms of the agreement, lists of claims have been exchanged by the two governments. Most of the Spanish claims arise from property damages alleged to have been caused by United States forces in East Florida in 1813. Other Spanish claims arise out of the Mexican War, the Civil War and the events following the Spanish American War. The claims of the United States are not readily classifiable but for the most part they concern alleged personal injuries, embargoes of property and damages to property in Cuba and other Spanish possessions. Most of the American claims are also very old and date from 1844 onward. Both governments [Page 1008] are now approaching the subject of these claims in a spirit of friendly cooperation with a view to reaching such a general settlement as has for nearly a century proved impossible.

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[The departure of King Alfonso from Spain on April 14, 1931, the establishment of a provisional government, and the subsequent transfer of Luis Calderon, the Spanish representative, to a post in Madrid, interrupted the informal discussions authorized by this agreement. In July 1931, the Spanish Government suggested informally that the negotiations be transferred to Madrid. The request was declined by the United States in September 1931. Since the latter date there has been no diplomatic action toward the settlement of these reciprocal claims.]