The Minister in Nicaragua (Lane) to the Secretary of State

No. 209

Sir: Referring to my despatch No. 181 of April 24, 1934, regarding the proposed reciprocal trade agreement between the United States [Page 508] and Nicaragua, I have the honor to state that on May 3, the day following my return from San Salvador, I spoke to President Sacasa enquiring as to the possibility of initiating exploratory conversations. The President stated that he desired these conversations to proceed as soon as possible and that he would speak to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in this sense. Due to the Cabinet reorganization, as reported in my despatch No. 193 of May 4, 1934,13 and because of Doctor Argüello’s having been out of town on a short visit, I did not again broach the matter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs until May 11. At this meeting Doctor Argüello said that he had been studying the correspondence on the subject but had not yet had an opportunity to discuss the matter with Doctor Francisco Castro, the newly appointed Minister of Hacienda. As soon as he had a conversation with him, he promised to get in touch with me. Later that morning I called on all the newly appointed cabinet members in company with the Chief of Protocol, don Lisimaco Lacayo. At my interview with Doctor Castro, at which the Undersecretary of Hacienda, Doctor Luis Quesada was also present, I said that while I made the practice of dealing with the Nicaraguan Government officially through the President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I should always be glad to discuss informally matters of interest with Doctor Castro, as I had done with his predecessor. I added that I had taken up with the Minister for Foreign Affairs that same morning the possibility of our initiating exploratory conversations regarding a reciprocal trade agreement, my understanding being that Doctor Argüello was planning to discuss the matter with Doctor Castro. I said that I would be at Doctor Castro’s disposition in this or any other matter in which he might be interested.

Doctor Castro said that he was much interested in a possible reciprocal agreement and that he was studying the matter, but had as yet reached no definitive conclusions.

I shall keep this matter actively in the minds of the appropriate officials. From what I have been told by the President and by Doctor Henri De Bayle (when he was here in February of this year) I gather that the chief interest of the Nicaraguan Government is to obtain a market for its sugar and sugar product (rum) in the United States and, specifically, to obtain a quota of from 10,000 to 15,000 long tons per annum. Mr. Ignatius O’Reardon, an American citizen, manager of the Ingenio San Antonio, near Chichigalpa (the largest sugar hacienda in Nicaragua) informs me that a quota of 10,000 tons would cover Nicaraguan needs at the present time. The Department may wish to bear in mind this apparent interest of Nicaragua in a quota on the importation of sugar, to be used for bargaining purposes.

Respectfully yours,

Arthur Buss Lane
  1. Not printed.