Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Constant Southworth of the Division of Trade Agreements

Baron de Gruben called by invitation at Mr. Hawkins’ office and was handed a copy of the attached memorandum15 in reply to the [Page 437] Belgian Embassy’s memorandum of October 24, 1939 expressing a desire to negotiate a new trade agreement. In response to Baron de Gruben’s question as to how soon a list of the concessions desired by the United States would be ready for Belgian consideration he was informed that we could probably have such a list ready in about three weeks. Baron de Gruben then said that in view of this estimate he would inform his government that the list would be ready to reach them by about December 1.

He stated that the Belgian Government is desirous of opening up markets in the United States for certain products not previously sent here by Belgium in important quantities. It is particularly desirous of obtaining various concessions previously granted to Czechoslovakia. It was pointed out to him that a number of the products on which we gave concessions in the Czechoslovak agreement are on the Belgian published list and also that as more and more trade agreements are negotiated Belgium will participate increasingly, through most-favored-nation treatment, from concessions on products in the Czechoslovak agreement. He replied that while he appreciated that fact he hoped that as many as possible of the Czechoslovak concessions would be granted Belgium direct.

In response to Baron de Gruben’s question as to whether it would be feasible for us to send a negotiator or negotiators to Belgium at the appropriate time Mr. Hawkins said that as far as he could see now it probably would be feasible to do so.

  1. Supra.