Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

The Egyptian Minister8 called me by telephone this morning to say that he had received a telegram from his Government inquiring [Page 487] as to the status of the studies which the Minister had been informed were being made by various interested departments and agencies of this Government with a view to ascertaining whether Egyptian requests for a reduction in the duty on long staple cotton could be given favorable consideration in connection with any eventual trade agreement with Egypt.

I reminded the Egyptian Minister of the conversation which took place in my office on December 8, 1938, the substance of which was set forth in a memorandum of that date,9 and assured him of the willingness of competent officials of this Department to lend their assistance in the matter under reference. The Minister thanked me and said he wanted to be able to assure his Government that every effort was being made at this end to push matters along, since otherwise he feared there might be a growing demand in Egypt for retaliatory measures against us because of our continued maintenance of the high duty on Egyptian long staple cotton.