Memorandum by the Economic Adviser (Feis)

Mr. Garreau-Dombasle came in to tell me that after some weeks’ stay in New York he was planning to leave for Paris and doubted whether he would return to Washington before his departure. He wanted to know the present status of the Franco-American negotiations regarding quota and other discrimination.

I informed him that the negotiations were temporarily in suspense. Despite the fact that the French authorities had shown a disposition to be conciliatory, this Department and the Department of Commerce felt doubtful as to whether the present French proposals represented adequate protection against discrimination or substantial meeting of [Page 230] the American position in the matter. However, the subject was still being studied here.

I then added that the question of discriminations apart from the quota system was causing an increasing amount of concern to us and that we might feel called upon to approach the French Government and seek a most-favored-nation treatment. He stated that he understood our position but that of course the French Government would have to show some concession received in return. He suggested that possibly a workable suggestion concession would be the embodiment as one article in a most-favored-nation treaty of provisions for protection of French dress models, et cetera, that would be copied in this country. The principle of such protection has been embodied in various bills that have been up in the American Congress for consideration, and France has made such arrangements with other countries. I promised that this matter would receive study, and I also promised that some time before his departure I would send him personally and unofficially a memorandum on the status of the whole trade negotiations with the French so that he might assist in bringing agreement if the matter was still open when he arrived in France.

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H[erbert] F[eis]