The Italian Embassy to the Department of State


During the conversations which took place recently in Rome, full information was given to the Treasury Inspectors of the United States about the system of bounties awarded to the silk goods. The Italian technical authorities wish to stress the point that the system does not [Page 642] represent a bounty awarded to the exported silk goods and it is only intended to guarantee for these exporting industries the possibility of buying raw materials necessary for said industries at the normal international prices.

Therefore the measure recently taken by the American Authorities should be considered as unlawful and justifies a hint that from the American side there is a tendency to hinder the selling of Italian manufactured goods on the American market and consequently to reduce the bulk of our trade with the United States.

If this assumption is correct, the situation could not help reducing the bulk of the American goods bought by Italy. So much more so, as the balance of payments between Italy and the United States is considerably unfavourable to Italy.

The Italian Authorities would ask for the postponement of the enforcement of the measures recently taken by the Treasury Department and would like to discuss, as soon as possible, in the most friendly spirit, the whole problem of the commercial exchanges between Italy and America, in the frame of a system of treaties and agreements, which should take the place of the modus vivendi signed December 16, 1937, which, in the intentions of both signatory parties, was intended only to meet the requirements of a transitory and short situation.