611.3131/71: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Venezuela (Villard)

57. Your despatch No. 549, December 22. The Department authorizes you to inform the Venezuelan Foreign Minister orally and informally that this Government is now prepared to enter into preliminary conversations looking towards the conclusion of a reciprocal trade agreement as soon as the Venezuelan Government removes the existing discrimination against American commerce. You should qualify this statement, however, by saying that this Government before discussing possible schedules desires to limit the conversations to discussions of the general provisions of the agreement in order to ascertain whether the two Governments are in accord with respect to these. You should add that this Government desires that no publicity be given to such conversations, it being the intention of this Government to make a public announcement at an appropriate time in accordance with its customary procedure if a mutually satisfactory basis for an agreement is found.

Please keep the Department informed on developments by telegraph.