611.4131/1404a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Kennedy)

143. In our discussions with the British Trade Delegation, we have gone over both schedules for the purpose of determining whether sub-classifications or value brackets are necessary and what amount of emphasis each side places on particular products. There has been no discussion as yet of amounts of duty reduction which we may be able to offer British goods nor of British reductions on American goods other than those included on our “Must List.” The Embassy has a copy of this List29 and of the text of the British offers of November 5th last.30

We are having a great deal of discussion regarding lumber but no satisfactory solution is as yet in sight. The British Government refuses to subclassify Douglas Fir specifically and Canada will apparently block any material reduction unless the reduction is restricted to Douglas Fir and Southern Pine on the ground that Baltic timber would obtain the major benefit. Our lumber industry insists that nothing short of parity with Canada will do them any good. It is perhaps too early to comment on the British attitude toward other products on which we are seeking concessions.

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Beginning Monday next the Trade Agreements Committee will take up both schedules and submit definitive recommendations on them. We hope to complete that task next week. After that, things should move more rapidly.

Some progress has been made on the general provisions but much remains to be done.

  1. See “American Statement Regarding Concessions,” November 16, 1936, Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. i, p. 699.
  2. Ibid., 1937, vol. ii, p. 78.