611.5231/629: Telegram

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

6. We have made a sincere effort to answer the Spanish memorandum on “grievances”4 and while this Government will in any case give sympathetic attention to whatever points in connection with our memorandum of January 16 Señor de Irujo may raise, you will appreciate that this Government is under increasing pressure as a result of the continuation of Spanish tariff discrimination, and the Department is in an increasingly difficult position in view of our not yet having supplemented your initial representations with a formal protest. I think that we made it sufficiently clear in our memorandum that, since we at present grant most favored nation treatment, Spain can only expect, generally speaking, a clarification and/or modification of administrative procedure as a result of the proposed conferences. I am therefore of the opinion that, entirely without prejudice to these conversations, we must expect to receive forthwith from Spain most favored nation treatment in return if we are going to be able to continue to accord her products the benefits of our own most favorable rates.

Please carefully weigh the foregoing and telegraph me at the earliest possible moment your opinion as to the desirability of seeking an interview with the head of the Foreign Office and Calderon, in which, putting the case to them frankly on approximately the above basis, you would add that unless Spain can give us most favored nation treatment at once, you would reluctantly be forced to submit your Government’s formal protest, the text of which you might state you had already received.

  1. See despatch No. 527, November 17, 1931, from the Chargé in Spain, Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. ii, p. 1001.