The Chargé in Spain (Crosby) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 20—4:57 p.m.]
39. Reference my No. 37, May 9, 3 p.m.; at his request I called on the Undersecretary of State this morning who, while explaining [Page 547] the difficult situation in which his Government would find itself by granting us most-favored-nation treatment and receiving no specific concessions for Spanish products in return, handed me an informal memorandum of which the following is a translation:
“The pressure exercised by the 400 winegrowers of Almeria who have been in Madrid, the publicity given to their efforts, the justice of their demands and the grave crisis which they are going through make it difficult for the Government of the Republic to concede most-favored-nation treatment to the products in the list which the Government of the United States will present while, in exchange for this important concession on our part, so beneficial for North America, the admission of the Almeria grape into that country (even under the phytopathological regimen similar to that applied to Florida and Argentina) and the concessions for cork, are not granted.”
From the outset the Ministry of State has evinced its good faith and desire to settle the matter to our satisfaction. It seems to have encountered, however, difficulties in the carrying out of this policy particularly on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture which from the beginning appears to have been averse to granting us most-favored-nation treatment with no definite concessions in return and it was for this reason that Calderon urged the speedy submission by us of a list as outlined in my No. 36, May 6, 5 p.m. The changed attitude on the part of the Ministry of State is undoubtedly the result of the very recent protest of the Almeria winegrowers mentioned in the memorandum handed me by the Undersecretary of State and possibly that of other interested elements which has strengthened the Ministry of Agriculture’s objections. The Ministry of State also expresses apprehension that the matter of Spain’s trade grievances against us may, as a result of action on the part of the interests concerned, be aired in the Cortes which would place it in particular and the Government in general in the political untenable position of having granted us an important concession with nothing in return.