Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Castle)

The German Ambassador said that he had word from Berlin that Wiley had intimated to the Foreign Office that we might make a definite protest on the putting into effect of the German Treaty with [Page 346] Austria and Rumania. He said that, in talking with Mr. Rogers sometime ago, Mr. Rogers had indicated to him that we did not very much like this Treaty, but that if it was going to help in the economic reconstruction of Central Europe, we very much hesitated to make a formal protest, that, however, we had the matter under consideration and might find it necessary to object. I told the Ambassador that we had not wanted to do anything which would hinder economic reconstruction in that part of the world, if this Treaty would really have such an effect, but that it definitely was contrary to the most-favored-nation principle and that the wording of the Treaty was such that it was, by no means, clear, that it was simply an emergency measure. The Ambassador said he regretted the wording because the purpose of the Treaty was exactly like the purpose of the Treaty between France and Austria,74 the only difference being that, in that case, there had been specified grades of wheat which are not produced in this country, it being, therefore, less objectionable from the point of view of general most-favored-nation treatment. The Ambassador said that he knew we had remained quiet about the German treaties because we knew that certain nations had definitely protested. He said that those protests have now been withdrawn and that inasmuch as this Treaty could hardly affect American trade, he hoped very much that we might find it possible somehow, for example, to make reservations in a note to him rather than absolutely refuse to agree. He said that he was very much afraid such absolute refusal would create a very bad reaction in his part of the world. I told him I would take this matter up with the people who have it in charge and would at least pass on his suggestions.

W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. The reference apparently is to the commercial agreement of May 16, 1928; see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxxxviii, p. 21.