The Minister in Venezuela ( Nicholson ) to the Secretary of State

No. 490

Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegram No. 71 of October 14,20 sent on behalf of the Commercial Attaché, in regard to the passage by the National Congress on October 13 of the new Venezuelan tariff bill. After its third reading in the Senate, the bill was considered jointly by that body and the Chamber of Deputies, with the result that all changes made by the former were approved. The Congress adjourned next day and the bill will become law after it has been signed [Page 977] by the President and printed in the Gaceta Oficial in about a week’s time.

Accurate information is still impossible to obtain as to the final rates on various articles of American manufacture, but there is no doubt that on many items of interest to the United States the import duties will be much higher than before. The Commercial Attaché is endeavoring to obtain a copy of the bill and will report thereon as soon as the official text becomes available. Meanwhile the Legation will bear in mind the oral assurances of the Minister of Hacienda that the rates of duty on some American products, particularly automobiles, will be reduced by the Federal Executive under Article 18 of the Tariff Law, and will seek an opportunity in due course of reminding the Minister of these assurances, should it appear desirable to do so.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There were several last minute editorials in Caracas newspapers protesting against the increase in duties on automobiles as a hindrance to the development of the country, but the failure of the local representatives of American motor car manufacturers to make a united stand, or even to voice objection as long as their competitors were hurt more than they, prevented proper consideration being given to such protests.

Respectfully yours,

Meredith Nicholson
  1. Not found in Department files.