The Ambassador in Peru (Dearing) to the Secretary of State

No. 4822

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction No. 946 of November 11, 1936, concerning the recently signed Commercial Agreement between Great Britain and Peru, and to report that the draft note transmitted to the Embassy with the aforementioned Instruction was prepared in final form and forwarded to the Foreign Office. (For completion of the Department’s file a copy of this note, No. 1200 of November 18, 1936 is enclosed.)44

In reply to the Department’s inquiry as to whether the secret supplementary agreements discussed during the negotiations for the Commercial Agreement were finally executed, I have to inform the Department that it has not been possible to secure a direct statement from the Foreign Office in regard to this phase of the matter.

The question of the secret supplementary agreement was taken up with Dr. Bellido of the Foreign Office. He insisted that he did not know of any secret supplementary agreement, until he was informed that this Embassy had knowledge that an agreement was under discussion during these negotiations, granting preference to bids from British manufacturers, providing conditions were equal in regard to quality, as well as price and payment terms. Dr. Bellido thereupon replied that an agreement of this kind would give more apparent than real advantages as it was unlikely that conditions in such cases would ever be equal as to price, quality, etc., and that, therefore, the British would benefit little by such an arrangement.

This attitude on the part of Dr. Bellido may be taken as an indication that such an agreement may exist. In this connection it will be recalled, as reported in the Embassy’s despatch No. 4682 of August 21, 1936, that Dr. Ulloa, who was Foreign Minister at that time, admitted that an agreement of this nature had been under discussion during the negotiations; and also that the British Minister to Peru made a similar admission to Commercial Attaché Greenup. (See weekly report No. 13 of September 26, 1936 to the Department of Commerce from the Commercial Attaché.)

Dr. Bellido then went on to say that the Commercial Agreement between Peru and Great Britain has not as yet been ratified and very probably would not be ratified,—only Articles 4 and 5 concerning tariff concessions remaining in force,—as the Constituent Assembly would doubtlessly not meet again before December 8, 1936, when its term [Page 926] expires. He added that treaty ratification was one of the powers of Article 123 of the Constitution which has not been delegated to President Benavides by Law No. 8463 of November 14, 1936,45 (See Embassy’s despatch No. 4812 of November 15, 193646) for the three year period he is to continue in office.

Respectfully yours,

Fred Morris Dearing
  1. Not printed.
  2. Peru, Laws, Statutes, etc., Anuario de la Legislación Peruana (Lima, 1936), vol. xxviii, p. 363.
  3. Not printed.