611.61131/307: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Wiley)

79. Your 140, April 10, 2 p.m. Department desires that you propose as a substitute for the two drafts suggested by the Foreign Office, which for self-evident reasons are unsatisfactory to this Government, the following draft of an identic note to be exchanged between the Ambassador and the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs with reference to the question of the generalization of tariff concessions to the Soviet Union.

[For paraphrased text of the draft identic note as delivered to the Soviet Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, see telegram No. 81, April 22, 1935, 8 p.m., to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, infra.]

With regard to the exception made with regard to Cuba, you may state, if any question is raised with respect thereto, that an exception with regard to Cuba is made in all commercial agreements concluded by the United States. This can be readily confirmed by the Soviet authorities by consulting Department’s Treaty Series, which you may make available to them.

If objection is raised to the insertion in the note of the statement with regard to the amount of purchases during 1935, it is desired that you emphasize, without stating specifically that you are doing so under instructions from the Department, that such a statement is essential in order to enable the Department to meet the considerable opposition which has developed to the generalization of tariff concessions to the Soviet Union. While this opposition comprises elements with which you are familiar, a not unimportant role is being played by certain business interests, including manganese interests, which maintain that it is futile to generalize concessions to the Soviet Union since such action would not lead to increased market opportunities for American goods in the Soviet Union and consequently would not further the purpose of the trade agreements program. In these circumstances [Page 197] the Department desires to be in a position, when justifying the generalization of tariff concessions to the Soviet Union, to indicate specifically the increase in trade which will take place and not to be restricted to referring to a general commitment substantially to increase purchases.