The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received December 14.]
Subject: Apparent Contravention of our Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Consular Rights with Germany, by German Law of June 1, 1933, for the Decrease of Unemployment.
Sir: Referring to previous correspondence on the above subject, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the Embassy’s note No. 66 of September 23, 1933,5 sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in compliance with the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 114 of September 21. 6 p.m., and, in copy and translation, Note Verbale No. III A 3508, dated November 23, 1933, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, written in response to the Embassy’s note above referred to.…
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As it appeared desirable to secure a consensus of opinion of the officers of the Embassy and Consulate General most in touch with this situation, before the departure of Consul General Messersmith on leave for the United States, a conversation was held at the Embassy on December 1 at which Messrs. Messersmith and Beitz of the Consulate General, the Acting Commercial Attaché, and various members of the Embassy staff were present. Mr. Messersmith states that it was his opinion that the law of June 1, 1933, introduced undoubted discrimination against the sale of American goods in Germany and that American trade is still [Page 469] suffering from this discrimination. While urging that every possible effort should be made to further press this question of discrimination at the Foreign Office, Mr. Messersmith stated that he did not believe that any form of commercial retaliation should be resorted to at the present time. Apart from the usual risks with which such action would be fraught, Mr. Messersmith expressed the opinion that an obscure struggle for predominance is proceeding between the moderates and the extremists in the present German Government. The former realize the dangers and objections of tolerating discriminatory practices such as those introduced by the law of June 1, 1933, but that their hour has not yet come. The extremists, on the other hand, would be capable of resorting to combative measures with reckless alacrity. It was his opinion that the coming months would show which element was the stronger. Meantime, while keeping the question open by representations, our Government should avoid resorting to commercial retailiation. For the time being this point of view seems safe and conservative.
Counselor of Embassy