781.003/71a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Bullitt)

32. Unless you perceive some objection please present the following memorandum to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“The United States Government desires to express its appreciation to the French Government for its recent courtesy in authorizing the British Foreign Office to acquaint the American Embassy in London with the substance of a draft commercial treaty concerning Morocco now under negotiation. From the information communicated to this Government it appears that the French Government has under consideration the establishment of the quota principle in respect of Moroccan trade.

The French Government will recall that at the time the American Government expressed a willingness to enter into negotiations for a convention relating to capitulatory matters in Morocco, in a note handed to the French Chargé d’Affaires at Washington dated October 19, 1937,8 the desire was expressed for the simultaneous negotiation of a convention of commerce and navigation regarding Morocco. It is believed therefore that the French Government will not deem the present time inappropriate for the American Government to set forth certain considerations regarding the introduction of the quota principle in Morocco, with a view to the possible facilitation of subsequent negotiations between the two Governments.

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While the United States Government has not modified its view that the imposition of quotas and the introduction of similar restrictive systems are a hindrance to that normal and free development of international trade most conducive to the upbuilding of world economy, it is willing to take into account those circumstances where the establishment of quotas may be found of a compelling and exceptional nature. If, notwithstanding the position the United States has assumed generally in respect of quotas, the adoption of a quota system in Morocco on a limited list of articles to be agreed upon by the parties most concerned is looked upon with favor by other interested governments, the United States Government would not wish to appear unduly obstructive in the matter.

The United States is therefore prepared to acquiesce in the establishment of quotas on such a list of articles subject to the following conditions:

That no import or export prohibition, restriction, or license system, including import or customs quotas and other forms of quantitative regulations affecting the importation, sale or use of imported articles, shall be applied to articles originating in or destined for the United States of America which is other or more burdensome than that applied to the like articles originating in or destined for any other country, France included.
That any quota system which may be established in Morocco shall be limited to a specified list of articles.
That if a share of the total permitted importations of any article is allotted to any other country, France included, a share equivalent to the proportion of the total permitted importations of such article which was supplied by the United States of America during a previous representative period shall be allotted to the United States of America; and that such previous period shall be chosen separately for each of the articles included in the specified list and shall in each case be such as to assure that the United States will not be deprived of the share of the trade which it has enjoyed in the past or which it might reasonably be expected to enjoy in the future.

This Government would naturally be interested in and concerned with any arrangements relating to quotas which might be reached in the pending negotiations between the British and French Governments in respect of Morocco which might materially affect the trade interests of the United States in Morocco. Therefore, the United States would not unnaturally expect to be consulted in connection with the nature of any quota system the establishment of which may be contemplated in Morocco, with the selection of those articles to which quotas may be applied, and with the determination of the representative periods on which quota allocations to the various countries concerned will be based.”

Please send text of this telegram by air mail to Embassy at London as No. 28.