662.116 Fruit/32

The Chargé in Germany (Gordon) to the Secretary of State

No. 1977

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 1972 of October 7,94 and my telegram No. 205 of today, concerning the imminent imposition of German import quotas on agricultural products, I have the honor to inform the Department further as follows:

Two days after I had made the further representations reported in that despatch, Dr. Dieckhoff told me that he had communicated these representations to officials directly concerned with the decision of this question, informing them of our very lively interest in the matter. As a result, Dr. Ritter now thought that it might be a good thing for Germany to discuss the matter with us, at least informally, before reaching a final decision.

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While Hitter felt it would be preferable to talk further here, there was the other consideration that, as the German Governmental Commission has visited the other countries concerned, it would be more logical to continue the discussion of the question with the State Department through the German Embassy in Washington. While making it clear that I was entirely at the disposal of the Foreign Office for further conversations, I rather encouraged the Washington idea inasmuch as I felt that if the Department could develop a fresh line of attack in addition to the arguments we had already presented here, it might prove most helpful at this juncture.

To bring up to date the developments in this matter set forth in my despatch No. 1972, it may further be reported that the German Governmental Commission—which is engaged in official discussions with interested European countries concerning the imposition of these quotas—after meeting with no success at The Hague went to Rome, where likewise the discussions did not proceed too smoothly. Preliminary negotiations, which were broadened to include questions of foreign exchange as well as of quotas, have now been terminated, with the apparent result that there is little hope of a definite solution of these questions being found, and that all that is at present envisaged by both parties is a short-term intermediary solution to hold good until the end of this year—during which period mutual concessions are to be made to obviate complete stagnation of payments between the two countries. It is further reported that the decisive negotiations are to take place this week, the questions of foreign exchange and contingents being discussed together at the wish of the Italian Government.

Respectfully yours,

George A. Gordon
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