Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Minister of Egypt called and proceeded to refer to previous conversations about the possibility of a trade agreement between our two countries. He had informed his Government that Mr. Hawkins had stated to him that, on account of the war, any definite consideration of a trade agreement would probably have to be deferred; he then added that, if we were negotiating trade agreements with Argentina and Chile,30 and perhaps other countries, he would be obliged to explain to his country the seeming change in the situation.

I replied that, in ordinary circumstances, we would be interested in discussing the possibilities of a trade agreement, but that the war in Europe had resulted in the dislocation and complete regimentation of most phases of finance and commerce on the part of the belligerents and many other countries in Europe seeking to safeguard their domestic economy; that these developments, coupled with the danger to shipping, had militated very definitely against further satisfactory consideration of trade agreements with countries beyond the seas.

I finally said that I would be glad to confer with Dr. Grady31 and Mr. Hawkins, in order to ascertain whether there was anything further to be said to the Minister about this matter, and, in such event, we would be glad to get in touch with him. I implied that Dr. Grady or Mr. Hawkins would get in touch with him, as a matter of courtesy, and tell him that we had given further and full consideration to what he had said, and that nothing in the way of immediate steps were quite feasible, but that we would keep all phases of the matter in mind, pending more seasonable conditions for the discussion of trade agreements, with European countries in particular.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. See vol. v, sections on trade agreements under Argentina and Chile.
  2. Henry Grady, Assistant Secretary of State.