The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Norway (Patterson)
Washington, December 3, 1936—2 p.m.
30. Legation’s No. 61, November 17, 11 a.m. For your information:
- The Norwegian Minister called at the Department on November 18 and orally expressed the earnest desire of his Government to enter into negotiations as soon as possible with a view to concluding a limited trade agreement as soon as possible after January 1st and in any case before the end of the whaling season. The Minister amplified the request during subsequent conversations, asking that the American Government indicate a few agricultural exports to Norway on which concessions were desired.
- On November 28 the Minister was informed that this Government would not be in a position to enter into conversations regarding a trade agreement with Norway until the renewal of the Trade Agreement Act by Congress. He was also informed of the objection in our opinion to a limited agreement as contrasted to a general agreement, and was reminded that the present interest in negotiating an agreement is the first displayed by the Norwegian Government since our intimation in July 1934 that we were prepared to discuss the possibilities of an agreement with Norway.10
- We propose to continue to give careful consideration and study to the terms of a possible agreement with Norway in the hope that such studies will serve greatly to expedite the progress of any preliminary conversations which might later be undertaken with the Norwegian Minister and, eventually, the conclusion of a trade agreement should a basis for such an agreement be developed. In the meantime, no publicity whatever should be given to the fact that we are undertaking such studies as publicity might give rise to premature conclusions in both countries and cause unnecessary disturbance to the trade.