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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

United Kingdom ,   pp. 1-135 PDF (51.1 MB)

Page 7

UNITED KINGDOM                7
upon that principle. Mr. Runciman's attitude, however, was that he
had been fighting for British liberal commercial policies and, as evi-
dence of this, he pulled out of his pocket and read to me excerpts from
his speech of last year declaring for lower trade barriers. He also
read excerpts from the stabilization agreement between the United
States, Great Britain and France,16 declaring that the language used
in connection with that agreement had been written by the Chancellor
of the Exchequer and that he felt gratified that the Chancellor had
been led to adopt such liberal language. Mr. Runciman said that he
had been fighting valiantly for liberal trade policies in the face of
severe opposition not only among various elements of the British
population but among his own colleagues....
  I then turned the conversation to our prospective trade agree-
ment and Mr. Runciman said he definitely wanted to go forward and
suggested that we get our experts together tomorrow and make all
the progress possible before his departure. I spoke again of the
political conditions which we face here, saying that in order to sup-
port an agreement we must obtain concessions on hog products, barley,
rice, fruits, tobacco, lumber and leather. I said that unless we could
obtain concessions on these seven commodities, it would be most diffi-
cult to obtain political support in this country for the agreement. I
also told him that before his arrival we had discussed these matters
with Mr. Chalkley 17 and that the obstacle to further progress seemed
to be the Ottawa Agreements '8 which gave binding preferences on
these commodities to the Dominions and which prevented Great
Britain from giving us real concessions on these commodities. Mr.
Runciman repeated what he had said to Secretary Hull and myself
earlier in the afternoon-that we would be pleased that in the new
Ottawa Agreement between the United Kingdom and Canada there
was a provision allowing adjustments to be made in even those com-
modities covered by the Ottawa Agreement. I asked him whether
this covered all commodities or only specified ones. He said that he
did not know. I said that I was delighted to hear of this provision
for it seemed to me to unlock the door which was blocking further
progress on a trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the
United States. (Note: In a later conversation with Mr. Helmore,'9
I learned that Mr. Runciman is apparently mistaken about the pro-
vision in the new Ottawa Agreement and that Great Britain is not
free to make adjustments without the consent of Canada.)
   See statement of the Secretary of the Treasury, September 25, 1936, Foreign
Relations, 1936, vol. I, p. 560.
"H. 0. Chalkley, Commercial Counselor of the British Embassy at Wash-
l British and Foreign State Papers, 1932, vol. cxxxv, pp. 161 if.
19J. R. C. Helmore, private secretary of Mr. Runciman.

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