660f.116Auto/11: Telegram

The Chargé in Czechoslovakia (Gittings) to the Secretary of State

28. Your telegram 13, March 29, 7 p.m., and previous. Instructions carried out. Minister of Commerce himself has orally given me the following figures:

For the year November 5, 1925, to November 5, 1926, 1480 licenses were granted for American automobiles. Of these 800 were the original quota. The Minister said that excess of that year was unusual. He had just entered office and it brought down upon him wrath of the local manufacturers. From November 5, 1926, to November 5, 1927, Czechoslovakia granted American automobiles 1254 licenses. Of this number 800 were the original quota. From period from November 5, 1927, to November 5, 1928, there will be in all 1300 licenses. Of these 800 are the quota allowance and 500 extra have been provided for. This 500 begins March 1, 1928. Between November 5, 1927, and March 7, 1928, 744 licenses were issued. These were all drawn from the regular quota of 800, the remaining 56 quota licenses being granted subsequent to March 7, 1928.

Regarding these additional 500 licenses Minister of Commerce said that they had been provided for by [apparent omission] accord and that this could be considered assured. Of this 500 extra there were issued in March 84. For April the Minister said he had already signed 145. The allotment for May was not yet known but he thought it might approximate 120. The allotments for the remaining months are not determinable so far in advance except that he said they would of course be lower. The Minister remarked that [Page 702] monthly allotments and distribution among other dealers were based on two principles, one, regard for seasonal requirements, and, two, fulfilling in so far as possible needs of individual makes and individual local agents. He said that there were about 40 importers of American cars here. He added that monthly allotment and distribution were averaged up by a committee and were based on requests of automobile importers as balanced against quota. This committee makes its decisions towards the end of the month when the applications are all received and he himself does not know far in advance what the allotment or distribution is to be.

The Minister gave me the following figures of the total number of licenses issued to foreign countries for the year 1926–1927, November to November. France 507, Italy 692, Germany 303, Austria 340, United States 1254.

Minister stated as representing his purely personal hope that something further might be granted later in the year. He also expressed a hope that the convention on licensing at Geneva in July might be beneficial to American automobile interests. Commercial Attaché commenting on these figures separately, await his cable.