Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Culbertson) to the Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Hawkins)

Mr. Hawkins: You will recall that I received last week a letter from Orme Wilson in Brussels, in which Wilson stated that it might not be earlier than the end of August or the first part of September before the Belgians gave us a definitive list for publication in the notice of intention to negotiate. We agreed that if we did not get out notice of negotiation before that time we would be running too much into the new year in the negotiations for comfort, in so far as Congress was concerned. I telephoned de Gruben8 and told him that I had received this letter from Wilson and that we were a bit concerned about the time involved, and that I was wondering whether his Government really understood the time involved between announcement of intention to negotiate and the actual negotiations. I told him that I was afraid the authorities in Brussels were trying to determine at this stage the actual concessions which they would request. I indicated to him that we were anxious not to have these negotiations run into the [Page 426] new year and that if we were not to receive the Belgian list until September, we might wish to reconsider the question.

De Gruben understood thoroughly what we had in mind and telegraphed his Foreign Office. He telephoned me this morning to say that he had received a telegram authorizing him to notify the Department of the Belgian Government’s “agreement on the suggested negotiations”. This telegram did not, however, include any information with regard to the list other than to say that detailed mail instructions were being sent from Brussels today.

I suggested that he might wire back and check whether these detailed instructions included the list which the Belgian Government would agree to for publication. He said that he would do this. I told him that in the meantime I felt we could go ahead with the machinery of getting ready to issue the notice of intention to negotiate, and that just as soon as the list is received publicity would be given to the matter.

  1. Baron Hervé de Gruben, Counselor of the Belgian Embassy.