The Belgian Embassy to the Department of State
The Belgian Government desires to proceed with the negotiations with the American Government for the revision of the Commercial Agreement of February 27th 1935. In view of present conditions which require the presence in Belgium of competent Belgian officials, to adapt the commercial relations of the country to the requirements of prevailing war conditions in Europe, it is impossible for them to come to Washington. The Belgian Government ventures to hope that it may be possible for the appropriate American officials to come to Belgium in order to submit the views of the American Government. The preliminary examination of these views should be made in Belgium, as it would require the collaboration of several Belgian administrative [Page 435] departments. The Belgian Government should like to be informed as soon as possible as to the American wishes in regard to reductions in the Belgian Tariff and the draft of the General Provisions. As the study of these subjects will require a certain amount of time, the Department of State will perhaps find it expedient to transmit their desiderata through the American Embassy at Brussels before the arrival of the delegation in Belgium. The Belgian Government will not be ready to begin the negotiations before the 15th of November. It would seem preferable, however, that they be postponed to a later date, as the commercial negotiations with certain belligerent countries are still under discussion.
If the negotiations commenced in Brussels should not reach a definite result, the Belgian Government would be glad to consider the possibility of continuing them and ultimately, concluding them, in Washington.