Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Castle)
The Spanish Ambassador came to talk with me, as an old friend, about the discussions which have been going on with regard to the admission of Spanish products to this country and to giving them most-favored-nation treatment.
I pointed out to him, as has been done before, that it was impossible to ask us under our system to furnish any list of products for which we wanted most-favored-nation treatment. I said that Mr. Laughlin had gathered from conversations that if we were able to meet the Spanish contention on some, at least, of the matters under discussion, Spain would then find it possible to continue most-favored-nation treatment. The Ambassador said he felt this was impossible, that it was really against the law for Spain to extend to any one general most-favored-nation treatment, but on the other hand he thought it might be possible for us to give a list of everything we exported to Spain which would then be given most-favored-nation treatment and that it could be understood that at any time if we had anything to add to this list, it would automatically be added. I told the Ambassador that there was a possibility that some formula might be worked out along these lines, but that it seemed to me very doubtful. I pointed out to him also the impossibility of meeting the Spanish contention as to the duty on certain Spanish imports except through examination by the Tariff Commission and told him I saw no reason why, if Spain felt it had a good case, it should not present these matters to the Commission. The Ambassador said that, so far as olive oil was concerned, he felt that the Americans were working more in favor of the Italians than in favor of the American product. I said that the Tariff Commission was a fact finding body and that I very much doubted whether the political influence which he suspected had anything to do with it, but that that, of course, was a matter which I could not discuss since the Tariff Commission was not under the Department of State.