Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

An aide-mémoire in a somewhat similar vein as that left with you by the Egyptian Minister on March 15, 1939, was presented to the Department last July18 both through the Egyptian Legation at Washington and the American Legation at Cairo. Shortly thereafter a subcommittee was appointed by the Trade Agreements Committee to study the possibilities of a trade agreement with Egypt but owing to the many complicating factors involved in the question of a reduction [Page 491] of the duty on imported long-staple cotton and the necessity for a field survey on the subject by officers of the Tariff Commission, these studies have made rather slow progress. The subcommittee, however, has now reached the final stages of its studies and it is expected that its report will be ready for presentation to the Trade Agreements Committee within the next week or two.

The Egyptian Minister has called on us from time to time and in each instance he has been informed as to the status of our studies. More recently the situation was discussed fully with Mr. Hawkins19 and it was decided that we should call in the Minister to inform him of our willingness to begin preliminary conversations and to outline to him the procedure we intended to follow in the event that the Trade Agreements Committee gave approval to our undertaking negotiations for a trade agreement with Egypt. It had been our intention to hold this conference one day this week, but, unfortunately, Mr. Hawkins, who was to be a participant, has been tied up on other pressing matters during the last few days. We are hopeful that it will be possible to arrange a conference with the Egyptian Minister during the early part of next week.

For the time being, at least, I do not believe that there is anything you need do personally in the matter.

Wallace Murray
  1. July 5, 1938, Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. ii, p. 705.
  2. Harry C. Hawkins, Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements.