The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Philip )

No. 72

Sir: With reference to your despatch No. 119 of February 26, 1936, you are informed that the Department considers the memorandum of the Chilean Foreign Office of February 19, 1936,17 to be a satisfactory assurance that the modus vivendi between the United States and Chile of September 28, 1931, is still in force notwithstanding the provisions [Page 320] of paragraph 3 thereof and Articles 11 and 12 of the Commercial Convention between Chile and France signed January 16, 1936.

It is believed however that inasmuch as the memorandum does not refer to the Embassy’s note No. 85 of February 8, 1936 to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,17a it should be acknowledged in order to complete the understanding. Accordingly, if in your opinion a formal note of acknowledgment would not embarrass the Foreign Office and if you perceive no other reason to the contrary, you are requested to address the following note to the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs dated February 19, 1936, in which it is stated that even though interpretation of Article 12 of the Commercial Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Chile and the Government of the Republic of France, signed January 16, 1936, as it relates to the provisions of paragraph 3 of the modus vivendi between the United States of America and the Republic of Chile, signed at Santiago September 28, 1931, is open to doubt, the Government of Chile, with a view to the best commercial relations with the United States, considers the said modus vivendi signed at Santiago September 28, 1931, to be in force.

“I am gratified to note also the statement that the Government of Chile is certain that before the commercial treaty with France, referred to above, is brought into force definitively (that is to say, after ratification and the formal exchange of ratifications), it will be possible to find a formula whereby commercial relations between the United States and Chile will be maintained on a basis of cordiality and equality.

“I avail myself, etc. etc.”

The Department has observed that the memorandum of the Foreign Office does not specifically limit the time during which our modus vivendi of September 28, 1931, will be extended. This has been taken into consideration in the foregoing draft. Moreover, the draft acknowledgment does not recognize that commercial relations with Chile have been maintained in the past on a basis of perfect equality. These observations, of course, should not be discussed with Chilean officials at this time.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis B. Sayre
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