Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. John R. Minter of the Division of Western European Affairs

[Present:] Mr. Dunn,3
Mr. H. O. Chalkley, British Commercial Counselor,
Mr. Minter.

On the occasion of Mr. Chalkley’s visit to the Western European Division on another matter we took the opportunity to relate to him the information we had received regarding the proposal to establish preferential duties in favor of Empire grown tobacco sent to Nigeria and the Gold Coast after the termination on October 22, 1936, of the Anglo-French Convention of 1898 which had provided for equal fiscal treatment in certain West African colonies.

We told Mr. Chalkley that the rehandling factories in Kentucky had built up over the past ten years a trade with those colonies now representing nearly $2,000,000 yearly. The present equipment was erected exclusively to accommodate the native trade there. The proposed differential would amount to from 12 to 14 cents per pound on this cheap tobacco. Our agricultural economists had informed the Department that such differential would definitely put these plants out of business. We hope, therefore, that some consideration will be given to the fatal effect which such differential would have upon those who had accommodated that trade for so many years.

  1. James Clement Dunn, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs.