Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Grady)

Mrs. Owen called on me by appointment November 28, 1934, to discuss the matter of a trade agreement with Denmark. I explained to her the inherent difficulties of a trade agreement with Denmark, which she seemed to understand, but she urged that we endeavor to make some kind of friendly gesture to Denmark which would affect the tendency, which she says is quite marked, for Denmark to discriminate against American trade.

I called her attention to the fact that the Trade Agreements Act provides for the generalization of concessions except to those countries which may be discriminating against our commerce. I indicated that our policy had not crystallized itself as yet as to the extent to which we would rigidly apply this section of the Act, but said that, in all likelihood, we would withhold generalizations from those countries which were not giving us, in effect, most-favored-nation treatment. She asked if Denmark would profit by concessions made to those countries we are now negotiating with, and I said there were a number of commodities on which we would, in all likelihood, make concessions that would interest Denmark, but emphasized the fact that [Page 128] generalizations to Denmark or any other country would be contingent upon substantial most-favored-nation treatment to our commerce. I told her that we were planning an extensive study of the discriminations of various countries against our commerce, and would announce those countries to which generalizations would not be extended with the announcement of our first European agreement, which probably would be Belgium.

She asked if she might confidentially indicate some of the items which would interest Denmark in the agreements we are now working on, and I said that if the matter was entirely confidential she might indicate specifically certain articles of interest to Denmark upon which duties will probably be reduced in connection with pending trade agreements. I stressed the necessity of such discussions on her part being entirely confidential and for the purpose of indicating to Denmark that, while we might not be able to make an agreement with that country in the near future, it still would, in all likelihood, assuming it did not discriminate against our commerce, receive collateral benefits from our trade agreements program.

H[enry] G[rady]