The Minister in Greece ( MacVeagh ) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs ( Murray )
[Received September 7.]
My Dear Mr. Murray: I have received your letter of August 3rd and shall be glad to act on your suggestion and bring to the attention of the Greek Government the guiding principles of our present commercial policy, particularly as expressed in the Tariff Reciprocity Act.
It is my belief that such a move may prove an excellent way to impress upon the Greek authorities the advisability of giving more careful attention to the problems of their trade with us. I do not expect that they will admit to the existence of any intentional discrimination against us. Indeed, the present Greek policy seems to involve not so much hostility to our interests as heedlessness of their importance, particularly when obvious immediate advantages appear in other quarters. Furthermore, the Government can certainly plead that when we bring up cases of actual discrimination it is not slow to acknowledge our most-favored-nation rights. I have, therefore, so far avoided anything in the nature of a general complaint. The British Minister tried such a move recently and received only a very pleasant reply meaning nothing in particular. Except when protesting individual instances, I have based my remarks to the Foreign Minister, so far as trade matters are concerned, squarely on the claims of the mutual interest of our two countries, in accordance with your dictum that our efforts should be directed rather to the restoration and increase of the total volume of trade than to fighting over who gets what little trade there is. But now that there is this definite new attitude in Washington, an understanding of it may quite possibly make the Greeks more careful not to see our interests suffer in minor as well as major instances, and also usefully prepare their minds for the conclusion of such a trade agreement as you mentioned in your letter of July 27th.