The Secretary of State to the Minister in Persia (Hart)

No. 198

Sir: The Department refers to your despatch No. 1203 of August 11, 1932,14 regarding discrimination against American trade with Persia resulting from the Perso-Soviet Convention of October 27, 1931, and to your despatch No. 1202 of August 8, 1932,14 in which you discuss the question as to whether Article 8f2 of the new Persian trade monopoly law accords American trade with Persia facilities equivalent to those accorded Soviet trade by the Convention just mentioned.

A careful examination of the new foreign trade monopoly law has led the Department to the conclusion that neither Article 8f2 above referred to nor any other provision of the law in question affords American trade with Persia facilities equivalent to those granted to Russian trade under the terms of the Perso-Soviet Convention. [Page 809] While due note has been taken of the lack of any disposition on the part of your colleagues to protest at the apparent violation of their countries’ most-favored-nation rights in Persia, the Department is in agreement with you that this Government should file with the Persian Government a formal statement of its position in the matter. There is accordingly enclosed a draft of a first-person-note which, unless you perceive some objection, you should now present to the Minister for Foreign Affairs15 as a further expression of this Government’s views on the subject.

In this connection, the Department’s attention has been drawn by the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce to certain other privileges said to be accorded to Soviet importers in Persia which are held to be discriminatory by American automotive interests. It is alleged that under Article 10(4) of the Perso-Soviet Convention, import licenses in so far as they may be required by Soviet importers are valid at all Persian customs ports, whereas import licenses issued to non-Soviet importers are limited to specific ports of entry. Furthermore, it is said, Soviet importers are granted the privilege of leaving their goods in the Persian customs for an indefinite period free of demurrage charges, while all other importers are required to pay the regular fees in this connection.

If you should find that these assertions are founded in fact and that they constitute additional discrimination against American trade with Persia, you may if you deem it advisable incorporate a reference thereto in the above mentioned draft note to the Persian Government. The Department does not contemplate instructing you further in this matter for the present, and although it has no objection to your discussing with the Persian authorities at any appropriate opportunity the question of discrimination against American trade, it does not desire you to make additional formal representations on the subject of the Perso-Soviet Convention without prior instructions.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Same as note No. 411, January 5, 1933, p. 811.