Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., of the Division of European Affairs

The Minister of Norway called on Mr. Sayre this afternoon to pay his respects upon his return from leave of absence in Norway. After an exchange of the usual civilities, including a message of greeting which Mr. Morgenstierne brought to Mr. Sayre from Dr. Koht, the Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr. Morgenstierne said that during his visit he had discussed trade agreement possibilities with a number of people in Oslo. Dr. Koht had been particularly interested in our memorandum of June 29, 1938, regarding the possible basis for a trade agreement between the two countries. Mr. Morgenstierne said that Dr. Koht planned to discuss the entire trade agreement situation with the Norwegian Cabinet, and subsequently with the Foreign Relations Committee of the Storting. While the Storting does not meet until the first week in January, the Foreign Relations Committee may hold meetings before that date, and Dr. Koht thought that due to the many divergent Norwegian interests involved, all of which were represented in the Storting, it would be advisable to thrash the whole matter out in the Committee.

Mr. Sayre expressed gratification that the Norwegian Government planned to go into the matter so thoroughly and said that this Government of course continued its hope that a satisfactory basis for a broad agreement might be arrived at.

Mr. Sayre cautioned the Minister regarding the confidential nature of the Department’s memorandum of June 29, 1938, and Mr. Morgenstierne assured Mr. Sayre that although he was sure that his Foreign Office would treat the matter confidentially, he would again caution them in that respect.