611.60F31/531: Telegram

The Minister in Czechoslovakia (Carr) to the Secretary of State

73. Your 49, December 11 [12] 4 p.m. Last night I called on the Chief of the Economic Section of the Foreign Office, presented him an aide-mémoire embodying the substance of your telegram and adding oral explanations and arguments in favor of granting your request for suppression of import permit requirements and quantitative limitations upon certain products. Minister Friedmann referred to the three groups in your preliminary list of August and said he understood our demands for quantitative restrictions would revolve around the point of determining quotas for American commodities involved and that his delegation had full authority to negotiate on that basis. I pointed out that a cardinal principle in your policy was the gradual [Page 253] removal of artificial trade barriers and that you desired Czechoslovakia to make a contribution by modification of her import permit requirements and suppression of quantitative restrictions on a limited number of articles. He replied that in principle he favored this but in practice it was impossible in view of the economic position of Czechoslovakia’s neighbors mentioning Germany and the central and southern European countries which necessitates trade being conducted on a controlled exchange basis through import permits and quantitative restrictions. Hence, he said it was absolutely out of the question for Czechoslovakia to give up this system. He had no report from the delegation and if none comes will telegraph for one today.

Your telegram relates to suppression of import permits and quantitative limitations whereas confidential memorandum enclosed with your 209 of September 15, 1937,23 seems to relate to suppression of import permits on certain items but not to suppression of quantitative limitations. Foreign Office view except as to permits does not therefore conflict with confidential memorandum as we understand. Please clarify.

  1. Instruction not printed; memorandum not found in Department files.