611.653/111: Telegram

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

238. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Exchange arranged to see Wait this morning before leaving Rome and after a general conversation at which both the Commercial Attaché and a Secretary of the Embassy were present Mr. Wait was put in touch with the appropriate federation authorities and will report the results of his investigations.

Guarnieri considered that the premium paid by the Italian Government to silk growers was analagous to the assistance given by the United States Government to cotton and wheat producers in the United States. He said should it become necessary to apply section 303 to silk products exported from Italy he might be constrained to adopt like measures with regard to American imports similarly assisted. He thought, however, that after careful study it could be shown that a just application of the intent of the law would obviate the necessity of our imposing countervailing duties.

He made it clear that if Italian imports to the United States were reduced on account of the Government’s action it would be necessary for him, on account of the Italian scarcity of foreign exchange, to reduce in a like amount American shipments to Italy since he could not afford to buy from a market in which he could not sell.