Memorandum by Mr. Ellis O. Briggs, of the Division of Western European Affairs, of a Conversation Between the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Boal) and the Spanish Ambassador (Cárdenas)

The Ambassador called with reference to Spanish “trade grievances” to express the hope that discussions relative thereto, about which the American Ambassador at Madrid had delivered a memorandum in January last, might begin at as early a date as possible.

Mr. Boal stated that the Department of State had arranged with the Department of Agriculture and the Treasury, as well as with the Tariff Commission, so that experts were now available to discuss with representatives of the Spanish Embassy each of the eleven points of complaint outlined in the Spanish communication of November 1931. Mr. Boal said that if the Spanish Ambassador would indicate the order in which he desired to have these items taken up, we would arrange to have the experts from other Departments present to discuss them. The Ambassador said that he would give us this information and suggested that a preliminary meeting, without the experts of the other Departments, be held in the Department to which he would bring the members of his staff who will handle the Spanish end of the Washington discussions.

Mr. Boal then referred to the very great and increasing pressure to which the Department is being subjected as a result of the continuation of Spanish tariff discrimination against this country. He [Page 531] intimated that unless this discrimination ceased we should be forced to deliver a formal protest and that this might inevitably constitute the first link in a chain of action resulting in our having to apply our maximum scale of duties against Spanish products. He urged therefore that the Ambassador make this clear to his Government in the hopes that, as soon as the discussions in Washington have begun, the Spanish Government should cease to discriminate against our products.