665.116/214: Telegram

The Chargé in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

174. Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a note verbale dated August 18 received today requests the following be communicated to the American Government: [Page 598]

“The unfavorable state of the Italian trade balance, the deficit of which was considerable in the past and now tends constantly to increase, has led the Royal Government to study measures to check and reduce as far as possible its unfavorable balance of trade with foreign countries.

To this end the imports of certain commodities into Italy have under a provision now in course been placed on a quota system.

It should, however, be noted that in drawing up quotas the Royal Government has taken care to consider as far as possible the importance which Italian imports of the different commodities affected has had in the past and now has for each of the various countries concerned. The quotas are moreover restricted in fact to a very small number of commodities and are of a strictly general character in no manner discriminating against any country.

The quotas fixed refer to the whole calendar year: that is, shipments already imported between January 1, 1934, and the date the measure goes into effect are to be computed in the quota assigned for the period January 1–December 31, 1934.

The commodities imported from America to which the measure in question applies are shown in the enclosed table which also indicates the amount of the quota assigned for each commodity.”

Following quotas set forth in above-mentioned table: lard 10491 metric quintals; celluloid in bars, strips or sheets 5 metric quintals; worked celluloid unspecified 10 metric quintals; superphosphates (item 715 a 1) 69 tons; brushes of animal fiber described under tariff item 914 b 2—5 metric quintals.

Commercial Attaché points out that statistics show that lard imports from the United States already exceed quota set for this year. Mail despatch follows. Inform Commerce.