Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

The Japanese Chargé d’Affaires came in to see me at his request. He had on his mind the fact that his Government had raised the question of export licenses for certain machine tools, and had called to the attention of the Department the fact that certain kinds of machine tools, notably cutters and grinders, were not listed as requiring licenses. Nevertheless, shipments of these tools had been held up.

He now pointed out that in the recent circular to collectors of customs, they were directed not to permit export of tool and cutter grinders until further notice. In other words, though licenses were not required, the collectors of customs were nevertheless not permitted to allow these tools to go forward.

I said I would have the matter looked into, but I called the Counselor’s attention to the fact that export of these articles was at all times dominated by our needs for national defense. If the Defense Commission felt such tools were needed, they would undoubtedly require them to be licensed; and, as had happened when the Act was first passed, the first step is to hold up shipment pending a more or less careful examination. I could not, therefore, assure him that arrangements would be made prior to December 10 permitting these tools to go forward. I did agree, however, that the Department would look into the matter.

Attached is the memorandum handed me by the Japanese Counselor.30

A. A. Berle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.