Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Moffat)


The French Ambassador called this afternoon on various matters:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7) The Ambassador then asked if there had been any further developments with regard to refusing the benefit of the Czech agreement10 rates to third parties. I told him that the lawyers had been doing a great deal of work on that matter, and that prevailing opinion was against giving to third parties the benefit of reductions in the Czechoslovak rates when no Czechoslovaks were profiting thereby. We took the position that the treaty was not dead, but dormant; in other words, it was suspended so long as conditions made it impossible for the Czechs to carry out their side of the bargain. The Ambassador intimated that he considered this ruling of the lawyers entirely logical. I pointed out, however, that many of the bindings, and possibly some of the reductions, had been rebound in other treaties, and that in such cases third countries would still get the benefit of the binding or reduction. The Ambassador said he was glad to know this, but hoped in any event it might be possible to negotiate a supplementary agreement between the United States and France.

Pierrepont Moffat
  1. Trade agreement between the United States and Czechoslovakia, signed March 7, 1938; for correspondence, see ibid., 1938, vol. ii, pp. 238 ff. For text of agreement, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 147, or 53 Stat. 2293.