Memorandum by the Economic Adviser (Feis)

Following upon the conversation I had with the Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires, he came in this afternoon and presented the attached note19 stating the intention of his Government to exert effort towards relaxing trade barriers and exchange controls.

I replied I was very glad to have this expression of intention and would call it to the Secretary’s attention at the earliest possible time.

I took occasion to tell him that we were distinctly conscious of the discriminations and inequalities to which American trade was now subject in Czechoslovakia, this having been called to the attention of his Government often. I said that the whole question was under reexamination now, with a view towards deciding whether we could continue the extension of most-favored-nation treatment on our part under these conditions. Therefore since he was going to communicate with his Government, I suggested that he bring this situation to his Government’s attention with the idea that if it was about to proceed with a plan of revising its trade restrictions, this might be a suitable and favorable opportunity for it to eliminate the discriminations to which American trade is now subject. He said he would certainly convey that suggestion.

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It is impossible to tell, when dealing with the Czechoslovak Chargé, whether he really understands what is under discussion or not. I did my best to safeguard the conversation by repeating over everything I said at least three times.

  1. Infra.