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Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The Minister of Canada20 came in by his own appointment, his ostensible purpose being to hand me a letter with regard to the visit of Lord and Lady Tweedsmuir to this country.21 (A separate memorandum has been made of this part of the conversation.)22

The Minister then said he had no other business unless he should refer to the pending tax convention between the United States and Canada now before the Senate for ratification. He soon made it clear that his Government was definitely interested in the early ratification of this convention. I said to him that it had not been in my mind at any time to take steps which would be materially disappointing to the Canadian Government in view of the fact that the treaty had been negotiated and sent to the Senate by the President for ratification during my visit to South America and prior to my return; that for a time after my return I was hopelessly overwhelmed with emergency problems of a major character; that without unreasonable delay I had selected a committee of experts to make a careful study of the tax relationship between the two countries with a view to ascertaining whether tax arrangements on a broader and what to the outside world would appear to be a less discriminatory basis might be worked out and carried into effect by mutual agreement; that this study had now progressed virtually to a conclusion and that probably no other alternative suggestion could satisfactorily be made at present; that in any event there was no purpose unduly to delay action on the convention pending in the Senate, and that I should within a few days hope to communicate further with the Canadian Minister. I then added it was natural that the matter of chief concern would be the psychology created by this tax proposal just at the stage when this government and others were making earnest appeals to governments everywhere to abandon discriminatory practices and methods and as quickly as possible get on a basis of equality of treatment towards each other; that in any event it was my disposition not to cease efforts until every [Page 178] discriminatory practice of my government, including that with Cuba, had been abolished and abandoned; that this was the only way we could successfully urge other governments to take these steps so necessary and indispensable to the restoration of international trade; that employment was the one great firm basis of economic well-being, military disarmament, and peace. The Minister concurred in the foregoing but still held out for this tax ratification. He also referred to the earnest fight he and others were making for a loosening up of British Empire economic policies, adding that Sir Edward Beatty23 had gone away from Washington entirely favorable to our viewpoint, although belonging to the reactionary group in Canada.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Sir Herbert Marler.
  2. The Governor General of Canada and Lady Tweedsmuir visited the United States March 30–April 1, 1937; see Department of State, Press Releases, April 3, 1937, p. 193.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Sir Edward W. Beatty, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway; vice president of Canadian Airways.