The Secretary of State to the Minister in El Salvador (Corrigan)

No. 139

Sir: With reference to your despatch No. 248 of May 13, 1935, advising the Department that you had presented Schedule I of the proposed trade agreement to the Salvadoran Government on May 3, 1935, and that the Foreign Minister had informed you his Government [Page 547] would require about two months to study the proposals, you are now requested to make appropriate arrangements with the Foreign Minister to the end that the Salvadoran Government authorize a person or persons with whom you can work out in direct negotiations the schedules and general provisions of the proposed agreement. Please make it clear to the Salvadoran Government that you will be negotiating on an ad referendum basis, i. e. subject to the approval of the Department.

It is assumed that the Salvadoran negotiators will have the benefit of the studies carried on since our draft Schedule I was presented and will thus be in a position to indicate with little delay exactly how far the Salvadoran Government will be prepared to go in granting our desiderata.

The Country Committee report on Schedule I will supply you with adequate information on the diversified group of important American exports to El Salvador on which concessions are desired. The commodity analyses in this report are arranged according to the relative importance attached to them, i. e. a concession on hog lard (page one) is relatively the most important, and a concession on metal office furniture (page ninety-one) is of relatively the least importance. The Department will, of course, endeavor to clarify any points on which you have doubt or on which you desire further information.

The Department suggests that in the direct negotiations you present one after another, or in such manner as you deem most appropriate, the various requests for concessions outlined in the mimeographed report on Schedule I, starting at the beginning of the report. Please keep in mind the great importance attached to concessions of any kind on flour and lard. If the Salvadoran negotiators are unwilling to accept any concession either in the form indicated in the report or in any form at all, you should then drop such items and proceed with others.

In the trade agreement with Haiti, conditional concessions on certain items were granted by Haiti to become effective when Haiti’s budget expenditure reaches a certain figure. The Department does not desire you, however, at this stage of the negotiations, to propose concessions with a conditional feature involved. Later, if it proves necessary to resort to this expedient, and particularly if the Salvadoran negotiators themselves suggest some such formula, further consideration will be given the matter.

The Department is well aware of the difficulties involved in reaching a satisfactory agreement with El Salvador, but believes that direct negotiations will afford the best means of determining rapidly and with finality just how far El Salvador is prepared to go in meeting our desires. I therefore trust that you will exert every effort to work out the bases of an agreement on the best terms obtainable. Please [Page 548] keep the Department fully informed concerning all developments and submit Schedule I as agreeable to El Salvador as soon as possible for final review and approval by the Department.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis B. Sayre