Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. H. Gerald Smith of the Division of Trade Agreements
|Participants:||Señor Guillermo Gazitua, Counselor, Chilean Embassy|
Señor Gazitua called by appointment at Mr. Duggan’s office to discuss difficulties in connection with the announcement of trade-agreement negotiations between the United States and Chile, which had risen as a result of a request by the Chilean Government that the Department give assurances regarding the admission of the Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores to the West Coast shipping conference as a condition to assent by that Government to the announcement of trade-agreement negotiations.
The above question was discussed both in general and in relation to the time at which trade-agreement negotiations might be announced. With respect to the general question, Señor Gazitúa read in translation telegrams exchanged between him and his Government on the matter, as a result of which it was pointed out to him that [Page 419]he appeared in his messages to his Government to have gone beyond the statements which had been made to him during the past few days by various officers of the Department. It was again indicated clearly to Señor Gazitua that the matter was one which had to be settled in the first instance by the steamship lines concerned; that if the shipping conference at the hearings scheduled for October 3 rejected the application of the Chilean line for admission, the Maritime Commission would only then be in a position to review the case and any action by the Department would necessarily be limited to an expression of interest in the case and a request that the Commission expedite consideration of the matter.
In view of the fact that there appeared to be some doubt that the Chilean Government had received an accurate indication of the Department’s position in the shipping matter, the suggestion was made that perhaps an aide-mémoire or memorandum might be prepared setting forth correctly the Department’s position and that this might be initialed by both Señor Gazitúa and officers of the Department. (It was decided later, however, to have the matter cleared with the Chilean Government through our Embassy in Santiago.)
With respect to the immediate question of the time of the announcement once a definite understanding had been reached with the Chilean Government on the shipping matter and its relation to the announcement of the trade-agreement negotiations, it was agreed that the announcement would have to be delayed until the shipping matter was settled.