The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Bullitt)
444. Your 1016, October 17, 1 p.m.,17 and 1033, October 22, 1 p.m.17a In order to keep this question in an entirely informal channel, will you, if you perceive no objection to such a procedure, please ask Reagan18 to find occasion to call on Spinasse and, referring to Spinasse’s conversation with him, to inform Spinasse that this Government appreciates the spirit animating his proposals and that this Government is gratified to see the French Government adopting measures and laying plans for the adoption of more measures designed to bring about a lowering of barriers to trade; that while studies are naturally being made of the effects of devaluation upon Franco-American commerce, it is now too early to give any estimate either with regard to particular items or with regard to the trade as a whole of the effect of that devaluation; and that this Government is following with interest the measures which the French Government has already taken and proposes to take looking to additional relief for American exports to France.
In the light of our studies here and in the light of the general economic and financial set up, I feel that it would be a mistake for us at least at this time to make any specific requests even in reply to the French inquiry with regard to additional relief which the French Government might extend to American commerce.
We are of course following the situation very carefully here and will continue to study the matter. In addition to Reagan’s reports, Southard19 has also submitted several very helpful reports, and I [Page 97]hope that the Embassy will continue to keep the Department fully and currently informed in order that we might, after a reasonable period has elapsed, evaluate with some accuracy the effects of devaluation upon our commerce.