611.6131/559: Telegram

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

110. Department’s 109, July 31, 7 p.m. Your 417, July 31, 10 p.m.

1. In the circumstances you should omit from the principal exchange [Page 830]of notes any reference to the possibility of the agreement’s being superseded by a more comprehensive commercial agreement.

2. Please obtain from the Soviet officials figures giving the amount, in thousands of dollars, of orders placed by the Soviet Union in the United States during each of the past agreement years, and for the first 10 or 11 months of the current agreement year. These figures are necessary for the Department’s and your own press releases and also for the record. We would also like to have a figure for Soviet imports from the United States in the calendar year 1938.

3. It is suggested that you follow the procedure used on previous occasions by supplying the American journalists in Moscow with the following pertinent data for Saturday28 morning newspapers. The Department will release texts and data here for same newspapers.

Notes have been exchanged between representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union extending for another year the commercial agreement signed in August 1937 and renewed in August 1938. As in the previous agreements, the Soviet Government has informed the American Government that the Soviet economic organizations intend to purchase during the next 12 months American goods to the value of at least $40,000,000. It may be noted in this connection that the Soviet Union has maintained its purchases from the United States above the guaranteed minima in each of the agreement years, having placed orders in the United States in the 1937–38 agreement year to the amount of ( ) and in the first ( ) months of the 1938–39 agreement year to the amount of ( ). (You should insert appropriate figures in the blanks).

Under the successive commercial agreements, United States imports from the Soviet Union increased to over 27 million dollars, in 1937. The decline which took place in 1938, to 23½ million dollars, accompanied the general decline in United States imports from all countries. It may be noted, however, that while total United States imports declined by over 35 percent in 1938 as compared with 1937, imports from the Soviet Union declined by less than 14 percent.

The United States continues in the new agreement its undertaking to extend unconditional-most-favored-nation treatment to the commerce of the Soviet Union. This means, of course, that the Soviet Union will continue to receive the benefits of the duties proclaimed by the President of the United States pursuant to trade agreements entered into under the authority of the Trade Agreements Act of June 12, 1934.

You may also wish to express gratification with the favorable development of trade between the two countries during the successive commercial agreements and the hope that the new agreement will result in further marked improvement in this trade.

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4. We suggest that proclamation by the President and approval by the Council of People’s Commissars take place on August 4. Please ascertain and report whether this date is satisfactory to the Soviet authorities.

5. Please telegraph immediately the following information concerning the Soviet signer of the notes: his full name, the name he will use in signing the notes, if different, and his title.

Welles
  1. August 5, 1939.