Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)

The Norwegian Minister came in to see me to say that he had cabled to his Government, in connection with the approaching visit of Mr. Koht, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, in accordance with his promise of a few days ago, to inquire whether or not Mr. Koht would desire to enter into general conversations concerning a possible trade agreement. He said that he had just received a reply from Mr. Koht to the effect that neither the time nor the circumstances seemed to permit entering into formal discussions concerning a trade agreement but that he would like to discuss with entire informality the “necessary preliminaries” for such an agreement. The Norwegian Minister was a little uncertain how to translate the cable but interpreted it as meaning that Mr. Koht would not want to enter into technical or detailed discussions but would like to ascertain our point of view about the entering into possible negotiations looking toward a trade agreement.

I thanked the Minister and said that we should be very happy to follow Mr. Koht’s desires upon his arrival.

F[rancis] B. S[ayre]