611.5531/821a: Telegram

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

66. As indicated in the Department’s 60, September 13, 7 p.m., we have been going forward with our trade agreement preparations on the assumption that circumstances would permit the conclusion of a mutually beneficial agreement. We have not, of course, ignored the potentialities in the European situation as they may affect Belgium but since future developments must necessarily be largely a matter of conjecture we have not felt that we would be justified in suggesting any alteration in our original plans. Developments as set forth in your 137 and 138 of September 1812 tend to take us out of the field of conjecture and raise in our minds the question whether we should think of suspending our preparations until the situation has developed some degree of clarity.

We of course recognize that Belgium is at present in a difficult position and is not in all probability now able to say what it may or may not be in a position to do by way of trade agreement negotiations. However, we should like to know whether the Belgians are still going forward with their preparations and what they feel with reference to the feasibility of going forward as originally planned. Please talk over this whole question sympathetically with the appropriate authorities and in submitting your report we should appreciate receiving your own views. We are receiving inquiries as to our plans in regard to the negotiations and for that reason an early report would be helpful.

  1. For telegram No. 137, see Vol. i, p. 736; No. 138, not printed.