Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. H. Gerald Smith of the Division of Commercial Policy and Agreements
Señor Chavez called at his request to leave a translation of a memorandum23 which he had received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lima, regarding the requests by the United States for concessions in the proposed trade agreement on products imported into Peru from the United States. This memorandum pointed out that the increase of 20 percent in basic Peruvian customs duties of December 22, 1941, was already in effect when the Department of State issued its public announcement on December 2924 of intention to negotiate with Peru. For this reason, as well as the fact that the increase in duties was merely for the purpose of compensating for depreciation in the sol, it was hoped that the United States would not insist on using the tariff rates in effect prior to December 22, 1941 as a basis for the concessions requested of the Peruvian Government.
I did not attempt to go into the question in any detail with Señor Chavez. I told him that we hoped that by the end of the current week to place in his hands our final request list, which would involve the addition of a few items to the list already given to the Peruvian Government, and I thought that we would probably make our requests on the same basis as the preliminary list. We could then, when we had arrived at the actual stage of the negotiations, consider the memorandum from the Peruvian Government in relation to our entire request list. I added that it might be confusing if we presented additional items on a different basis than the preliminary requests which had been made earlier.
Señor Chavez said that he had received yesterday a telegram from his Government requesting him to come to Lima by plane in the immediate future in order to be available for consultation regarding certain problems raised by the concessions requested by the United States, particularly those involving preferences by Peru to Chile. [Page 679] Señor Chavez indicated that he would probably delay his departure for a few days until he had received our final request list.