The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Chile (Frost)
128. Your 166, September 30, 2 p.m. It is not possible for us now to get an announcement to the press for Sunday’s papers. The earliest practicable time for announcement would therefore be Monday forenoon, for immediate release. In order to clear the way as promptly as possible for simultaneous announcement here, at [Page 417]Santiago, and at Panama Monday morning, it is suggested that you telegraph Ortega’s proposed statement in order that we may send you a reply Sunday. If it is too lengthy to telegraph in full, please telegraph a summary with full quotations of any passages bearing upon the two following points.
As you know, it is a cardinal point in our procedure that no binding commitments are made regarding our tariff rates prior to our public hearings following announcement of intention to negotiate. It is therefore important that the Chilean announcement contain no statement or implication which might seem to indicate that any such commitments have been made. Of course they have not in fact been made.
The Chilean announcement should also not contain any statement or implication to the effect that the question of admitting the C. S. A. V.25 to the steamship conference has been made the subject of any understanding or commitment in connection with the announcement of trade agreement negotiations. Gazitúa was informed Wednesday that this shipping matter is a question entirely distinct from the question of trade agreement negotiations, and that so far as we are concerned the announcement of trade agreement negotiations cannot be made contingent upon a solution of the shipping question.
We have as a matter of fact facilitated Gazitúa’s direct contact with the Maritime Commission in connection with this shipping question. The C. S. A. V. presented its current application to the conference only on September 15. The conference has scheduled hearings for Monday or Tuesday, which is prompt action in the circumstances. If the conference should reject the application, the Commission would then be in a position to review the case, but until the conference has acted the Commission is not in a position to take action. Gazitúa was informed that in that event the Department would urge upon the Commission the desirability of prompt and full consideration of the case, but that it would not be appropriate for the Department to attempt to exert pressure upon an independent Government agency.
- Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores.↩