Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Kelley)

Conversation: The Secretary of the Finnish Legation, Dr. Sigurd von Numers;
The Honorable Francis B. Sayre;
Mr. Robert F. Kelley.

Mr. Sayre stated that this Government is now prepared to announce its intention to negotiate a reciprocal trade agreement with Finland [Page 146] and would like to make this announcement Wednesday, December 19, if it were agreeable to the Finnish Government. He said that this announcement would fix February 4 and 11 as the dates for the public hearings with regard to the agreement with Finland, and that towards the end of February the Department would be ready to enter into discussions with Finland. In this connection, he pointed out that, if the Finnish Government desired, we would be willing to arrange for an exchange of lists of commodities prior to the arrival of the Finnish expert in Washington.

Dr. von Numers said he would immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Minister, who was in New York, and then telegraph to Helsingfors. Mr. Sayre suggested that probably the best way to expedite action would be to telegraph that the American Government would announce on Wednesday its intention to negotiate an agreement with Finland unless it were advised prior to that date that this was not agreeable to the Finnish Government. Dr. von Numers said he thought that this was a good way to handle the matter.

R[obert] F. K[elley]