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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
(1937)

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


Page 12


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 19 3 7, VOLUME II
disarmament. Each step in advancing each element of the program
must necessarily have to be adjusted to each other step, as nations may
develop increasing faith in each other's peaceful intentions and increas-
ing interest in the possibilities of cooperation. To the program every
nation would have to make its contribution and upon the government
of every nation rests the responsibility of playing its part. Further,
we pointed out that there seems to be no alternative course or program
for peaceful settlement and adjustment of the present steady drift
of Europe toward narrow trade policies, toward bitterness, strife, and
steadily increasing races in armaments and with militarism as the
central policy.
  We stated that in our view the British Empire has created through
some features of its Empire preferences the kind of excessive trade
barriers which are comparable with the excessive barriers and restric-
tions contained in the Smoot-Hawley tariff 24 and excessive tariff
structures of other nations of the world; that in urging or requiring
many nations with which it trades to conclude clearing arrangements,
compensation agreements, and discriminatory quota understandings,
Great Britain is violating the rule of equality of commercial treatment;
that there is a growing feeling in the United States, and elsewhere
that Great Britain is moving backward instead of forward in support
of a program for the restoration of normal economic relations between
nations, and instead of aiding is correspondingly obstructing the pro-
gram which this and an increasing number of other governments are
carrying forward; that it is utterly hopeless to contemplate the restora-
tion of the many normal and worthwhile international relationships,
political, economic, moral, or peace, unless the economic approach to
existing problems and conditions is vigorously pursued under the
leadership of our two countries; and hence that a failure of such leader-
ship with suitable program now will leave the entire international
situation moving steadily toward anarchy, with no plans to carry for-
ward a comprehensive program for peaceful rehabilitation generally
and for cooperation to restore moral concepts and the sanctity of
treaties.
  With regard to trade agreement we emphasized its desirability from
the point of view both of symbolizing community of basic views and
policies as between the two countries and of improving Anglo-
American trade relations. We pointed out that we were not opposed
to the principle of imperial preferences but we insisted that the
margins of preference should be such as not to cause artificial and
unreasonable diversion of trade. Accordingly, we indicated that
reductions in a number of rates bound in the Ottawa agreements are
I Tariff Act of 1930, 46 Stat. 590.
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