Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Boal)
The Spanish Ambassador called, accompanied by Mr. Irujo of the Embassy. The Spanish Ambassador said that he was now ready to proceed with conversations on the eleven points of complaint against certain American methods of handling Spanish imports. He said he would telephone me in the course of this afternoon or tomorrow morning to say whether they had any preference as to which item of these eleven should first be taken up. The Ambassador then asked for a list of our preferences. I asked him what he meant as I had not heard any mention of any American list up to date. He said he understood that there would be certain things for which we wanted most-favored-nation treatment and that we could effect an arrangement or quid pro quo between his eleven points and things which we wanted to get in under most-favored-nation treatment in Spain. I told him that I thought it was a misapprehension, that we didn’t propose at this time to deal with the Spanish tariff difficulties at this end but were leaving that to Ambassador Laughlin, that I could say, however, that we had no authority to effect any such type of bargain, that we had been given most-favored-nation treatment by Spain but that treatment had been discontinued and that we expected it to be restored. I added that we understood from Ambassador Laughlin that the opening of the conversations on the eleven points of complaint submitted by the Spanish Government would be the time for a recommendation from the Ministry of Commerce to the Government to restore most-favored-nation treatment to the United States. The Ambassador said that that would be impossible under the new Spanish regulations. I said that we noted that Italy was obtaining most-favored-nation treatment during the conduct of commercial negotiations with the Spanish Government. The Ambassador said Italy was not receiving such treatment on all products. I said I had [Page 532] not heard there was any limitation as to what treatment Italy was getting. The Ambassador said that in any event he was prepared to go ahead with the conversations on the eleven points and we made an arrangement to meet at three o’clock on Thursday afternoon in my office with his two attachés and Mr. Irujo for the purpose of beginning these conversations.