The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Laughlin)
19. Your telegram No. 23, March 28, 3 p.m.6 In compliance with your urgent recommendations authority is granted for you to recall to the Foreign Office its promise to you that upon the inauguration of discussion of the Spanish complaints here, the Foreign Office would urge that most favored nation treatment be extended to all American products. This authorization is given you, however, on the understanding that unless these representations are promptly successful and we are in fact receiving most favored nation treatment before the date when you wish to leave, you yourself would wish to remain in Madrid for such time as may be necessary to see the case through. You will appreciate that to make the above representations and then leave before some positive result came of your initiative would prejudice the success of our case.[Page 534]
For your information. The presentation of the Spanish complaints will probably be concluded at two further meetings to be held on March 30 and 31. It will not be possible to state for several days thereafter exactly what this Government can do toward meeting the Spanish contentions, inasmuch as reports must be sent in by the various experts of other branches of the Government. With respect to complaints as to the height of our tariff the Spanish representatives understand perfectly well that the rates can only be changed either (1) by Congress or (2) by the President following an investigation of the Tariff Commission. From preliminary investigations it appears, however, that we may be able to do something for them on the complaints involving administrative regulations and/or procedure. Kindly do not communicate the substance of this paragraph to the Foreign Office since these matters will continue to be handled from Washington in order to leave the Embassy free to discuss only the question of Spanish tariff discrimination against us.
- Not printed.↩