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The Chargé in Costa Rica ( Collins ) to the Secretary of State

73. Violent newspaper controversy between ex-President Ricardo Jiménez and Minister of Hacienda Gurdián, in which trade agreement negotiations in Jiménez’ administration when Gurdián was Foreign Minister is major issue, threatens to dispel favorable psychological state we have created in the Government and to embroil the agreement in politics so that it will become highly contentious.

Further, there is posssibility that Gurdián will be so wrought up that we shall lose his influence. It is very important, not to say vital, that this situation should be terminated at the earliest moment possible by completion of agreement and public announcement that it has been completed and will be signed by Mr. Sack immediately upon arrival.

(1) I think I can get 55 centimos on lard without conceding on liquors and in view of urgent need for termination of negotiations I [Page 403] respectfully suggest advisability of agreeing immediately on this basis unless Department’s decision on liquors can be reached without further delay. (2) Am discussing pork and paper with Foreign Office today and will report results immediately.