Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Culbertson)
Mr. Wijkman5 came in yesterday afternoon and discussed in a rambling way several points with regard to the commercial treaty which seemed to be worrying his Government, or at least he made out that his Government was wondering about them.
- Mr. Wijkman inquired whether we would be prepared to go ahead with discussions or whether we wished to await the outcome of [Page 711]pending legislation in Congress. I told him that of course all those people in the Department who would be involved in the negotiations were actively engaged in matters pertaining to that legislation and I felt would not, for the time being at least, be prepared to undertake negotiations. I told him, however, that my own personal feeling was that the going forward of these negotiations would not necessarily depend upon the outcome of the legislation in Congress, since it would appear that the agreement in substance would be the same whether it was in the form of a treaty or of an executive agreement.
- Mr. Wijkman again raised a question which he had discussed on several occasions with Mr. Hawkins6 and with me, namely, whether the treaty would be the general type of treaty, or whether it would be broken down into two categories, one being an agreement in respect of rates, and the other involving the undertakings usually found in all general commercial treaties. I told him that if the Swedish Government wanted to negotiate a general treaty, we would probably wish to have two documents since a general treaty might run for a number of years, and under any agreement with regard to rates we would necessarily wish to be in a position to regain our liberty of action within a fairly reasonable length of time.
- American anti-dumping legislation seems to be worrying the Swedes and after a long drawn out statement on Mr. Wijkman’s part I told him that I was, of course, not familiar with all the details of our anti-dumping legislation or the customs regulations drawn up with regard to it. I said that if he wanted he could submit to me in an entirely personal and informal way a memorandum outlining the points which were causing the Swedish Government concern. I told him that I would see whether it was possible to obtain information for him which would clarify the points which he had in mind. I indicated clearly that I would only undertake this on an informal personal basis and that no commitment of any sort would be involved.
- Mr. Wijkman raised the question of some Government regulation which provides that the Government agencies in buying supplies must buy American made goods and if possible goods made from American raw materials. He said that this requirement might also extend to purchases made by state Governments in those cases where the Federal Government had advanced a percentage of the funds used for such purchases. I told him that I did not know anything about that particular point, and that he might add it to his memorandum and I would see just what is involved in it.
- The Swedes are apparently worried about paragraph 3 (e) of the National Recovery Act and may seek some general commitment [Page 712]on our part with regard to the restrictions which are possible under that section.
- Mr. Wijkman suggested that the Swedish Government would probably wish to have some sort of a statement made at the time a treaty is sighed to the effect that this Government in reaching an agreement with the Swedish Government has taken into consideration the liberal customs policy which is in force in Sweden. The idea seems to be one of assisting the Government in getting ratification of any agreement by the Swedish Parliament. I told Mr. Wijkman that that was of course a matter involving considerable policy and was, at any rate, one which would not come under consideration until we had reached an agreement or could clearly see that an agreement was possible.