The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 10—4:06 p.m.]
1228. Reference Department’s telegram No. 490, December 2, 2  p.m.23 The substance of this telegram was conveyed to the Director [Page 98] of Commercial Affairs of the Foreign Office for his information it being explained how the matter arose.
The Foreign Office has now replied by an aide-mémoire taking up the various points contained in the Department’s telegram. A copy of this aide-mémoire is being transmitted to the Department by pouch.25 In the aide-mémoire the Foreign Office attempts to refute the position taken by the Department.
From the aide-mémoire and also from the conversation had by the Acting Commercial Attaché with the Director of Commercial Accords (Embassy’s telegram 1221, December 9, 7 p.m.25) it is apparent that neither the Foreign Office nor Commercial Accords intends to take any steps on general lines looking towards relief in the present situation. With regard to specific items some relief might be obtained but only by granting a quid pro quo.
The Foreign Office has informed us that it has sent an instruction to the French Ambassador in Washington to inform the Department that certain quotas for 1936 [have?] not been entirely used and that the French Government is willing to grant during 1937 to us the unused portions of some of these quotas if we will grant them duty reductions on a specified list of French products. The Embassy has obtained a copy of this note and the Acting Commercial Attaché is making a comparative study of imports and quotas through October of the items offered by the French in order that the Department may be informed as to the importance or lack of importance of these offers.