611.5531/741: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

47. Department’s 22, April 28, 6 p.m. At the urgent request of the Belgians, Culbertson remained in Brussels until May 3 when he departed for Paris. We feel that the able manner in which he conducted the conversations should greatly facilitate the Department’s task in reaching an agreement on the general provisions. He succeeded in persuading the representatives of the Foreign Office to withdraw their objections on many points to the American counter draft submitted to the Belgian Embassy at Washington in July 1937.11 He likewise induced them to maintain articles 5, 6 and 8 with some reservations. Articles 1 and 2 are still under discussion but it is understood that a provision binding charges in connection with importation is to be included.

Suetens explained that the modified Belgian proposals have to be submitted to the other interested departments and that certain supplementary information has to be obtained before the revision of the Belgian counter draft can be completed. As both Suetens and De Fontaine are leaving in a day or two for meeting of the representatives of the Oslo Powers to be held in Oslo beginning May 9 there will be unfortunately a delay which according to Suetens may easily amount to 3 weeks before despatch of the Belgian counter draft.

  1. Not printed.