851.51/3–2746: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Caffery )


1595. Economic and financial discussions with French progressing on three main fronts:

Financial talks. Technical Committee (see our tel 1411 March 27) has been reviewing French statistics and report to top committee expected within week. Separate telegrams being sent commenting in more detail on Technical Committee conversations.
Lend-lease settlement. We are approaching agreement on basic figures. French figures on civilian inventory not yet satisfactory and expect new figures this week.
We have taken position that Normandie should be considered as reciprocal aid. French deny this position and want to use Normandie as bargaining counter for more ships. Believe satisfactory compromise can be reached, giving effect to both viewpoints.
More details on lend-lease settlement items will follow in later telegram.
Commercial policy. After preliminary talks, discussions commenced yesterday. Agenda for this committee consists of (a) all items (except taxation) included under commercial policy heading of tentative agenda of March 20 (airmailed to Merchant March 22), (b) item VII of tentative agenda and (c) item under which we hope to reach understanding that negotiations for comprehensive modern treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation will be undertaken as soon as possible. Separate progress reports will be sent from time to time.

Separate telegram being sent summarizing taxation conversations.