611.1831/91: Telegram

The Minister in Costa Rica ( Sack ) to the Secretary of State

16. Referring to Department’s telegram No. 10, February 19, 7 p.m., it is my interpretation of article No. XVI of the general provisions of the trade agreement that under its terms, article No. III of the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce of July 10th, 1851,5 would continue in force and this would have the effect of providing unconditional most-favored-nation treatment to citizens of the United States “in matters of commerce and navigation”. This, I understand, is the viewpoint of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I feel, therefore, that he may interpret your telegram as countenancing discrimination against American shipping companies in violation of the terms of article No. III of the existing treaty. If, however, he should interpret your telegram as rejecting his proposal then he will naturally inquire as to future attitude of the United States in assisting his Government in an effort to obtain relief from alleged discriminatory freight rates.

If this is the intention of the Department’s instruction, may I refer then to second sentence, paragraph 2 of my telegram No. 15, February 14 and also to my informal suggestions as reported in despatch No. 1013 of February 4? We feel that this Government will want some sort of promise of cooperation from the United States respecting clarification of these points before I inform Minister of Foreign Affairs of Department’s telegram No. 10.

  1. Hunter Miller (ed.), Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, vol. 5, p. 985.