Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Grady)

The Egyptian Minister called, saying he had done so at the suggestion of Mr. Phillips.6 He announced that he was shortly leaving for his holiday and wished to ascertain what he might say to his Government regarding the prospects of an Egyptian agreement. He has on a number of occasions discussed this matter with me and there was nothing I could add to what I had told him before. He assumed that the approach of the elections would make unlikely the announcement of new countries with whom negotiations would be undertaken and I did not deny that his assumption might be correct. But what he wished to know particularly was our plans after the election. I said that we were working energetically on the program and would continue to do so and that, while there might not be many announcements as to countries in the immediate future, a great deal of work was being done [Page 12] in the preparation of trade agreement material in the various Departments of the Government. I said that we had considerable data on Egypt and that, while I could not advise him as to the precise date when an agreement might be announced, I would recommend that he ask his Government to prepare data so that when the time arrives, which I hope would be not too far distant, the consummation of an agreement would be expedited.

He wished me to give him for his confidential information some of our data that we have gathered together in regard to long-staple cotton. I explained that we could not very well give him confidential departmental material, but that if he would write us a letter, I would gather from the Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the Department of Agriculture as complete data on long-staple cotton as is available. He then asked that I give him informally a list of the things we would seek from Egypt that he might take back with him. He said that it was important that he have this as the new Egyptian Government was contemplating trade agreements with various countries and, as “a friend of America”, he wanted to be sure that nothing was done that would prejudice our trade interests in Egypt. I explained that we were not yet prepared to give him our desiderata but said that he and his Government could rather easily determine what our interests would be in a trade agreement from a glance at the trade figures of four or five years ago.

It was quite evident that he wished to go back to Egypt with something as a basis for indicating that he had started negotiations here. Although I gave him every encouragement I could without absolute commitments, I did not go beyond that point. I trust that he will not indicate to his Government that even preliminary negotiations have been started.

Henry F. Grady
  1. William Phillips, Under Secretary of State.