660f.116 Auto/14

The Minister in Czechoslovakia (Einstein) to the Secretary of State

No. 1479

Sir: In reply to the Department’s Instruction No. 502 of the 12th ultimo regarding the subject of the Czechoslovak contingent system as applied to importations of automobiles and trucks, I have the honor to state that the arguments which the Department advances [Page 697] against the restrictions upon American cars have all been repeatedly utilized in the past by the Commercial Attaché and myself.

The firm intention of the Czechoslovak automobile manufacturers who have a determining voice in the policy of the Ministry of Commerce is to restrict the number of our cars and an eloquence and persuasiveness far greater than my own would hardly meet with more success than have attended the Legation’s best efforts unless accompanied by the hint of possible retaliation. Mr. Baldwin, the Commercial Attaché, a copy of whose letter to me in reply to the Department’s request, I enclose,36 concurs in this opinion. I may also state that the French who are close allies to the Czechoslovaks have told me on frequent occasions that they are unable to obtain any import or tariff concession in this country without offering a corresponding reward or threatening a punishment. In their negotiations for a new commercial treaty they are in fact demanding the abolition of the contingent system. I am informed by the French Commercial Attaché at Prague that the Czechs have offered to reduce the duty on cars if they in turn would waive their demand for the removal of the contingent but he thought it doubtful if his Government would be disposed to accept this offer as they are desirous of doing away with the entire contingent system.

The Department also asks for a report concerning the status of the proposed treaty of friendship, commerce and consular rights. I am informed that the Czechoslovak Government will very shortly send me their reply to the draft transmitted by the Legation.

I have [etc.]

Lewis Einstein
  1. Not printed.