811.114 Canada/50672/7

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips) to the Assistant Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Hickerson)

Mr. Norman Armour called me on the telephone this afternoon to say that he had had a conversation with Doctor Skelton since my telephonic communication of this morning; Doctor Skelton was puzzled with regard to the words “practical assurance” in our inquiry sent through Hume Wrong; Doctor Skelton seemed to think that the best procedure would be for the Treasury to have a conference with representatives of the distillers so that the distillers would know precisely what was expected of them; I expressed some doubt as to whether this would be agreeable to the Treasury or conducive of settlement unless there was added to the procedure an agreement by the companies that they would come into our courts if an agreement resulting from the conference methods failed; the words “practical assurance” undoubtedly related to a reasonable bond, but the Canadians, of course, have no idea what the Treasury has in mind in this respect.

Mr. Armour told me that the Canadian Government would probably telegraph Hume Wrong tomorrow in the nature of a reply to my inquiries.

I expressed the hope that Mr. Armour could follow up the matter before these instructions were sent forward, in order to make certain that they were helpful and would be a step forward, indicating a desire to cooperate rather than the reverse and that, in order to delay further Senatorial action on the bill, it was absolutely necessary to show a desire to cooperate from Canadian sources. Mr. Armour said he would endeavor to do as requested.

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Doctor Skelton also said that he would like very much to have the names of the distilling companies against whom the Treasury desired to proceed and, inasmuch as Mr. Wrong has not this list, he suggested that we hand it to Mr. Wrong.

William Phillips

Canadian Firms Against Which the Treasury Department Has Claims

  • Distillers Corporation, Ltd.
  • Melchers Distilleries, Ltd.
  • Consolidated Distillers, Ltd.
  • Gooderham & Wortz, Ltd.
  • Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons, Ltd.
  • Hiram Walker & Sons, Ltd.
  • United Distillers, Ltd.