Memorandum by the Secretary of State

After talking with the Japanese Ambassador on another subject,51 I inquired about the state of business generally in Japan. He replied [Page 958] that his country was going forward to a fair extent with its commercial affairs. I then referred to the reciprocity and general economic program this Government was promoting and urging upon other nations, and to the need for cooperation to the fullest extent from every possible source. I referred to the immense benefit the restoration of normal international trade would be to every trading country; and stated that any possible amount of trade development along the present bilateral and bartering methods with the network of obstructions accompanying them would be insignificant in the future, compared to the broad trade advantages which would result from the United States’ program which contemplated the restoration of 20 to 25 billions of dollars worth of international trade. I referred to the tremendous opposition there was from the selfish and extreme high tariff and extreme nationalistic groups in this country, and added that I appreciated the keen interest and sympathy which the Ambassador expressed for himself and his Government in the economic program of the United States.

I then referred to the attitude of the Argentine Government in pressing us rather strongly for an early and quick trade agreement.52 I said to the Ambassador that of course he could see how that added to our difficulties, in view of the fact that the Argentine was seeking to export to this country such commodities as wheat, flour, and meat, of which we ourselves had surpluses for export. I said that was not a natural or logical trade movement and that it only handicapped this broad program which was intended to give countries, as Argentina and Japan, and all others, like access to a fully restored international trade. I thought this comparison with Argentinian products might remind the Japanese Ambassador of the attitude of his Government in seeking to sell cotton cloth to the United States which is a larger exporter of that commodity.

The Ambassador repeatedly expressed great interest in our economic program and sympathy for us in the hard fight we were having, both on behalf of himself and his Government. He added parenthetically that there were some little trade matters arising from time to time between his Government and mine that he thought they could be worked out all right.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. A proposed consular convention; see pp. 1052 ff.
  2. See vol. iv, pp. 266 ff.