Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Castle)

The French Ambassador said that he hoped the negotiations as to the French quota were going on successfully. He seemed to feel that France was willing to do what it could. In this connection he said that he wished it might be possible at this time not to talk merely about quotas, but to put through a treaty covering all matters of tariffs and trade. He said that, inasmuch as his Government was opposed to the general most-favored-nation principle, there might be some difficulty in working out a satisfactory treaty, but he felt that it was still possible because we need not use the term “general most-favored-nation” if we accomplished the same result. He said that, of course, as I knew, France always wanted some quid pro quo and he felt that there was one particular thing we could do which would have a great effect. This he said was contained in the Vestal Bill26 which gave protection to models, etc. He said that the fact that many French artistic models could not be copyrighted in this country created exceedingly bad feeling. He said he felt that the passage of a [Page 228] bill like the Vestal Bill would go a long way toward bringing the French to terms on any general commercial treaty.

The Ambassador said he was not speaking for his Government, but for himself in that he felt that the time would probably come when it would be wise to attempt at least to go as far as possible in the way of working out some final and definitive arrangement.

W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. The reference is to H. R. 138, “A bill amending the statutes of the United States to provide for copyright registration of designs”, introduced by Representative Albert H. Vestal, December 8, 1931, Congressional Record, vol. 75, pt. 1, p. 91.