Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Deimel)
There is attached a note18 which the Czechoslovak Minister left at the Division yesterday in sequence to recent discussions which we have had with him.
The Minister said that he was submitting this with the authorization of his Government, as an acknowledgment to our note of last November, given to him at his request, in which our views were expressed regarding revision of the provisional commercial agreement of March 29, 1935. He agreed that this note called for no further acknowledgment on our part and that our note of last November remained under consideration. He added that when he returned home he would make very clear to the authorities in Prague that the actual treatment meted out to our trade would be of great importance in determining our action toward Czech trade.
The Minister’s purpose in submitting this note and in the discussions which have preceded it appears to have been a hope of obtaining a definite commitment from us not to suspend the application to Czech goods of the reduced duties proclaimed in connection with trade agreements, for a specified period. He has received no such assurances but, on the contrary, has been told that our action must be guided by the actual results of the representations we have been [Page 45] making in Prague and the treatment accorded our trade by his Government and also that we favor the conclusion of agreements providing for the reduction of trade barriers and for the treatment of trade upon a basis of equality and fair and equitable treatment, so formulated and administered that the treatment called for is clearly understood and applied without the necessity for recurrent representations in individual cases.
Thus, in effect, the present discussions have terminated in such a way as to leave the way open for the conclusion of a new and more satisfactory agreement whenever the time is ripe and in the meantime have provided us with a basis for representations, not only against treatment which we consider in violation of the existing agreement, as in the case of the representations which have been made through our Legation at Prague, but also with regard to discriminations against our trade which may be covered by the Danubian preference clause of the present agreement but which we may feel are excessive.