651.116/355: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Edge) to the Secretary of State

342. The following is the text in translation of a note received today from Monsieur Tardieu:

“As a temporary measure and pending a further and more complete agreement between France and the United States upon the subject, the following rules will be observed from today by the French Government in fixing any new quota or restriction upon any product imported from the United States or in renewing any existing quota or restriction:

A. In all matters relating to quotas and restrictions on importations the French Government will assure to the United States most favored nation treatment, it being understood that the distribution of quotas will depend upon the importations of each country.

B. The French Government accepts that the quota fixed for an American commodity shall not be reduced to an amount less than 10 percent of the total importation of that commodity during the year 1931 when the importation from the United States during the same year 1931 has been equal to or greater than 10 percent. Should it be inferior to 10 percent of the total importation the quota will be fixed at the level of the 1931 importation from the United States. The provisions of the present paragraph do not apply to quotas relating to agricultural or fishery products.

C. The French Government will offer representatives of American industries the opportunity of taking part in conversations between industrials relating to the fixing of quotas when these quotas will be of special interest to American importations into France.

In order to avoid undue importations and the retroactive measures which these may involve, the French Government reserves the possibility of taking for the duration of these conversations precautionary measures limiting foreign importations to the figures reached during the corresponding period of 1931.

The fixing of quotas on agricultural products is not the subject of preliminary private conversations between the interested parties of different countries.

D. Goods en route at the time a quota concerning them is published will not be subject to any embargo. They will be charged against the said quota and, if they exceed it, against the future quotas.

E. The French Government has no objection to the institution of a satisfactory license system for the allocation of industrial quotas among the various importers of the commodities subject to restriction, it being understood that the administration of this system will be intrusted to an organization authorized thereto by the American Government and approved by the French Government and that the latter reserves the right to resume its liberty of action should licenses not be allocated in such a way as to maintain channels of the trade concerned, it being further understood that this organization will [Page 233] have access to the appropriate French officials to insure the smooth operation of the licensing system.

In so far as agricultural products are concerned the French Government will maintain the license system now administered by the Ministry of Agriculture.

F. The French Government will hold at the disposal of importers monthly statistics showing the status of importations subject to quotas at Paris at the National Office of Foreign Commerce; at Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Le Havre and Marseille at the office of the Chamber of Commerce”.