611.3931/70a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State24

127. As you may recall, under instruction from the Department the Legation at Ciudad Trujillo made representations on October 10 stating that this Government confidently expected that Dominican Government would grant equal treatment as respects revenue taxes to American goods similar in character to those identified by brand names in the recent Franco-Dominican trade agreement.

Since no answer was obtained despite numerous oral representations by our Minister and Chargé, the Legation, under instructions from the Department, again made formal representations inquiring when an answer might be obtained to our first representations on October 10. On December 7, a note was received by the Legation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs which was entirely unsatisfactory. It said that the Dominican Treasury had issued instructions to extend the exemptions and reductions granted in the Franco-Dominican treaty to the commerce of the United States, but in a final paragraph nullified any practical value by saying “but, when these exemptions and reductions have not been expressly made by the Convention to similar (apparently those not covered specifically by brand names) French products, they are not extended to those, nor will they likewise be extended to similar products of the United States of America.”

Meanwhile, Duggan had called in the Dominican Minister, had reiterated the representations made by our Legation, and had pointed out that our attitude towards possible trade agreement negotiations [Page 433] with the Dominican Republic could not but be greatly influenced by the Dominican attitude in this matter.

Although hesitant to add to your burden, I feel that our position would be greatly strengthened if you or Welles25 could have a friendly conversation with the Chief of the Dominican delegation,26 pointing out to him the disappointment of this Government at the failure of the Dominican Government to extend the most-favored-nation treatment clearly stipulated in the modus vivendi of 1924, and the inconsistency of the present policy of the Dominican Government with the resolution on equality of treatment. You may wish to inform him that the clearing up of this matter would facilitate our consideration of the possibility of a trade agreement with his country.

I may add that Schoenfeld, who has just left for his post, indicates that a word from you to the Chief of the Dominican delegation would carry considerably greater weight than would further representations to the Dominican Government either by him or to the Dominican Legation here.

  1. The Secretary of State was then at Buenos Aires as head of the American delegation to the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace.
  2. Sumner Welles, Assistant Secretary of State and delegate to the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace.
  3. Max Henriquez Ureña.