611.6531/450: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy ( Phillips ) to the Secretary of State

30. Department’s telegram No. 127, December 14, 7 p.m.3 Foreign Office’s reply dated January 27 explains that all quotas assigned United States for 1938 were distributed among competent trade organizations for allotment to importers entitled thereto and that consequently possible unused portions of quotas are due to market and price contingencies, namely, lack of demand on the part of importers or failure to make full use of licenses issued. It then states “in conformity with the general rules followed by the Royal Government in respect to the granting of quotas to foreign countries it is not possible to permit that unfilled portions of quotas not utilized in the year for which they were authorized be carried over into the following year”.

The note points out that import licenses are valid for 6 months from the date of issue and that their validity is not impaired by the [Page 624] ending of the calendar year and therefore that our request for extension beyond December 31 of licenses already issued is superfluous.

With respect to “goods in transit” the Italian authorities mistook this phrase to mean goods in transit through Italy. We shall take the first opportunity to clear up this misunderstanding although the question would now appear to have only academic importance in view of assurance regarding continuing validity of licenses issued near the close of the year occurred [sic] no cases of refusal to admit in transit at the end of the year have been brought to the Embassy’s notice.

Copy of note by next pouch.4

  1. Ibid., p. 581.
  2. Despatch No. 1275 of February 1, and enclosed copy of note, not printed.