611.6131/320: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt)

142. Your 243, June 19, 10 p.m.

Department desires that you make every effort to persuade Soviet Government to accept proposal contained in second paragraph its 81, April 2 [22], 8 p.m. instead of Litvinov’s proposal for general most-favored-nation treatment based on American-Czechoslovak agreement, For reasons set forth in part 2 of Department’s 111, May 27, 6 p.m., which you are authorized to bring to the attention of the Soviet Government, Department is unable to agree to incorporate in exchange of notes with Soviet Union provision for general most-favored-nation treatment as incorporated in exchange of notes with Czechoslovakia. You should state that the considerations set forth in the above-mentioned telegram were not of practical importance in the case of Czechoslovakia as coal is not imported from that country.
For your confidential information. In the event that the Soviet Government should insist on a general most-favored-nation clause it would be necessary for the Department to make an exception with respect to the tax imposed on coal from the Soviet Union. For reasons of general foreign trade policy the Department desires to avoid employing the general most-favored-nation clause when an exception of this sort is necessary.
Parts 2 and 3 of Litvinoff’s draft are acceptable to the Department. Words “Union of” should, of course, be inserted before “Soviet Socialist” in part 2.
Draft of supplementary letter is acceptable to the Department which assumes that Soviet Government has no objection to the publication of this letter. Department desires insertion of word “American” before the phrase “goods to the value of $30,000,000.”
Department does not desire to make provisions of part 1 of draft note reciprocal.
Wherever the United States is mentioned in the agreement use full title “United States of America.”
It is important to expedite action since question of generalization of tariff reductions to Soviet Union must be settled prior to proclamation of trade agreement with Brazil which it is hoped will be ratified by Brazilian Government in the very near future, perhaps this week.29
  1. Brazil ratified this agreement November 30, 1935.