The Chargé in Argentina (White) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 11, 1932.]
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 1463, of December 23, in regard to apparent departures from the interpretation of the most favored nation clauses of the Argentine treaties of commerce and amity, such as that with the United States, as being unconditional, I have the honor to state that my German colleague has supplied me with further information of interest. He told me that he had heard on good authority that the French Ambassador had approached the Minister for Foreign Affairs and informed him that his Government desired to give especially favored treatment to the cereals of the Danubian countries and desired that the Argentine Government should view such special treatment not as a violation of the most favored nation clause, but as an exception, so to speak, sui generis. As Dr. Bioy was not disposed to admit such an interpretation, the French Ambassador then stated that his Government was prepared if necessary to denounce the treaty. This however did not suit the Foreign Minister either: which confirmed my German colleague in the impression he had previously held, that the Argentine, while possibly desirous of making exceptions to the most favored nation clause, does not wish to denounce the treaties.
He further told me that his own Government had instructed him discreetly to support the French in this matter of special treatment to the Danubian countries, leaving it, however, to the French to take initiative. As this information was given to me in the strictest confidence it will take me some time to corroborate this statement from other sources: I have however no reason to suppose that it is otherwise than correct.[Page 384]
The terms of the French treaty are (in translation):—
Article 8 of the Treaty of the tenth of July, 1853,7 in regard to free navigation of the Rivers Paraná and Uruguay—
The principal object for which the Rivers Paraná and Uruguay are declared free for the commerce of the world, being the development of the commercial relations of the countries bordering on the Rivers and of favoring immigration, it is agreed that no favor or immunity whatsoever shall be accorded to the flag or commerce of another nation which shall not be equally extended to the commerce and flag of the French.
Additional Commercial Convention to the Treaty of the tenth of July, 1853—8
Article 1. According to the terms of the Treaty of the tenth of July, 1853, no favor or immunity whatsoever shall be conceded in the Argentine Republic to the flag or commerce of any other nation which shall not equally be conceded to the commerce and flag of the French, all favors or immunities conceded in France to the flag or commerce of another nation shall be equally extended to the commerce and flag of the Argentine. It is understood that by reason of the application of this disposition and that of Article 8 of the Treaty of 1853, the nationals, products and ships of each of the two countries will have the right in the other without restriction, to the treatment of the most favored nation, especially in the matter of tariffs.
While I shall again approach the Minister for Foreign Affairs in regard to the discrimination in favor of South American pine, it would not be unnatural that, in view of the approaching change of government, this Ministry should be disposed to leave a matter of this importance to the coming government.