The Ambassador in Belgium (Morris) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 9.]
Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that during the course of a conversation which I had with Monsieur Paul Hymans, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on May 24, we discussed the question of the negotiation of a new commercial treaty between the United States and Belgium. Monsieur Hymans told me that he was not sufficiently conversant with the details of this subject to go into a lengthy discussion thereof but that his Ministry would prepare a memorandum outlining in brief Belgian grievances as regards American commercial policy.
On May 30 Baron Beyens, a young official at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, called on me at the direction of Monsieur Hymans and left with me the memorandum, copies of which I am enclosing [Page 73]for the Department’s information. I consider this document of such importance to the Department that I am forwarding copies of it without translation in order that it may go off in the pouch which leaves today.
Baron Beyens informed me that the Ministry felt there was a general need for increased trade between the two countries. I emphasized the harm to American trade and interests in Belgium which necessarily follows the application of import quotas affecting American imports here. I added that I felt there could be little improvement in trade relations between the two countries until Belgium showed a willingness to abolish quota restrictions as protectionist measures against the importation of American goods. Baron Beyens replied with the usual argument that quotas were necessary for the protection of the home market at the present time.
I respectfully suggest to the Department that it study the contents of the enclosed note, along with my despatches:6
- No. 124 of February 12, 1934
- No. 141 of March 5, 1934
- No. 153 of March 21, 1934
- No. 155 of March 26, 1934.
In this connection, Mr. Sussdorff, Counselor, undoubtedly discussed the situation with the Department earlier this month, and this despatch will supplement his discussions and bring the matter up to date. I am prepared to add any information which the Department may desire when I am in Washington the middle of June. A study of the information obtained from these discussions and from the material referred to above will furnish the Department with a complete picture of the trade situation between the two countries.
I believe the Belgians are sincerely interested in improving these relations and that every encouragement should be offered them to show that sympathetic consideration will be given any concrete offer which will remove restrictions and improve trade relations. I respectfully urge the Department to keep the Embassy informed of the details of any negotiations which may ensue. The situation is daily becoming more complicated by the application of new restrictions. In this connection I refer to my despatch No. 185 of May 17, 1934.7 The Embassy is in close touch with American interests here and therefore it is in a position to be of value to the Department in furnishing up to date information relating to restrictions on American trade.
- Despatches listed not printed.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Filed separately under 611.5531/31.↩
- For correspondence
concerning the Conference, held June 12–July 27, 1933, see
Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. i, pp. 452 ff.↩
- See League of Nations document C.203.M.1930.II (Geneva, April 15, 1930).↩
- For text and protocol, see Department of State, Treaty Information, Bulletin No. 37, October 1932, pp. 16–23.↩