The Chargé in Argentina ( Cox ) to the Secretary of State

No. 711

Sir: Referring to previous correspondence concerning the surcharge up to twenty per cent, on goods entering Argentina without previous permit, I saw the Minister for Foreign Affairs on May 9 and recalled to him the Embassy’s representations on this subject. Dr. Saavedra Lamas pointed to the impossibility from a political point of view of rescinding Government Decree No. 59118 and to precedents from other countries for the imposition without extended notice of new customs taxes. He referred to his friendship with Secretary Hull which he said prompted him to do what he could on this matter, and then suggested that I see Dr. Brebbia, the Under Secretary of Finance, with whom he had discussed the Embassy’s representations and who might be able to make some suggestions.

On May 13 the Commercial Attaché and I visited Dr. Brebbia. The latter stated to us that although Dr. Saavedra Lamas had spoken to him, there was nothing he could so [do?] in the matter and suggested that we see Dr. Pinedo, the Minister of Finance. I told Dr. Brebbia that we had already made efforts, without success, to see Dr. Pinedo shortly before the surcharge decree was put into effect, but that if he felt a discussion with the Minister of Finance would be helpful we would be glad to visit him.

In passing, Dr. Brebbia inquired whether the Commercial Attaché and I came to discuss any other subject and whether we had any information [Page 274] concerning the developments in the matter of the Argentine-United States trade treaty,10 to which we gave a negative reply.

Consequently, Dr. Brebbia arranged an appointment with the Minister of Finance for May 14, shortly before the meeting of the Chaco mediating group. Dr. Dye accompanied me. I enclose a memorandum11 prepared by the Commercial Attaché of our conversation with Dr. Pinedo.

The upshot of the meeting with the Minister of Finance was that upon the return from Chile of Dr. Gagneux, the head of the Exchange Control Office, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Gagneux and the Commercial Attaché would meet to reconsider the question of the value of Argentine exports to the United States, the dollar f. o. b. values of which since January 1, 1935, as declared before the American Consul General, are far in excess of the amounts credited by the Statistical Bureau here.

Respectfully yours,

Raymond E. Cox
  1. See pp. 266 ff.
  2. Not printed.