The Chargé in Uruguay (Reed) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 16.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to this Legation’s Despatch No. 297, of August 7 , 1936, subject: “Proposed increase of Uruguayan customs duties on galvanized iron sheets,” in which it was reported that, according to a local importer, the Uruguayan Government was contemplating increasing customs duties on galvanized iron sheets, and inquired whether the Department would approve of informally and verbally pointing out to the Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs that such increase would not seem to be in accord with the principles [Page 953] established in the Resolution on the Future Economic, Commercial and Tariff Policy adopted by the Seventh International Conference of American States at Montevideo in 1933; and to the Department’s Instruction of September 30, 1936 in reply, authorizing this Legation, should it appear likely that the Uruguayan Government would give favorable consideration to the proposed increase in customs duties, to informally express to the Minister for Foreign Affairs the hope of this Government that such action would at least be suspended until after the forthcoming Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace.
In the meantime, it has been learned that the application of a Uruguayan company for this increase in the duty on corrugated galvanized iron sheets has been rejected, since this particular duty is a specific one and can not be increased without special legislation. It is understood that such legislation has been requested and that a bill which would permit increases in specific duties has been introduced in the Chamber of Deputies. Until this bill has received legislative sanction and promulgation by the President, however, it is not deemed advisable to take up with the Minister for Foreign Affairs the possible increase of the duty on galvanized iron sheets. The possibility of such an increase will continue to receive the attention of this Legation, and, should such action seem desirable, the informal expression of opinion authorized by the Department will be conveyed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.