The Minister in Greece ( MacVeagh ) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 3.]
Sir: With further reference to my despatches Nos. 260 of May 26th, 270 of June 9th, 289 of June 26th, and 295 of July 3d, I have the honor to enclose a copy of an Aide-Mémoire which I handed to the Foreign Minister at my first opportunity after his return from abroad, covering a conversation which I had with him as to the benefits to be derived under the new Tariff Reciprocity Act and the possibility that such benefits might be denied to Greece under existing conditions.
During our conversation, Mr. Maximos stressed with apparent anxiety the fact that the Greek Government has given careful and generally favorable answers to this Legation’s various protests of discrimination. I had anticipated such a reaction on his part and, as the Aide-Mémoire shows, I thanked him and assured him of our appreciation, but went on to say that the many difficulties of all sorts encountered by American trade under the present Greek system of control of imports by barter restrictions, import licenses and the like, seemed in their totality to constitute a very real form of discrimination and thus might be construed, in the words of the Tariff Act, “as tending to defeat the purpose of the Act,” thus excluding Greece from favorable consideration under its provisions. Mr. Maximos promised to consider carefully all that I said and to take my Aide-Mémoire under his personal advisement, deferring further conversations to a later date.
It is of course possible that the Foreign Minister’s reply to this démarche will only be a reiteration of his government’s official most-favored-nation attitude toward American trade. But inasmuch as he has expressed himself definitely as being in favor of a new commercial treaty with the United States, the knowledge on his part of how deeply we may explore the situation before considering such a [Page 564] treaty may render the administration of present Greek regulations more sensitive to American interests, and that in itself will be something gained.