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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)

Australia,   pp. 136-159 PDF (9.0 MB)


Page 159


means" allowable by tariff revision in order to protect the Australian
position.
  During my conversation with the Prime Minister and with Moore I
found occasion to voice my belief that my Government had at all times
stood ready to conclude a modus ivivendi with mutual guarantees of
most favored nation treatment. In my talk with the Prime Minister he
made the same differentiation that Moore had made to me between most
favored nation treatment and most favored nation tariff treatment.
  If the Department is not inclined to enter into preliminary discus-
sions with Australia there are certainly technical grounds upon which
we could delay doing so. On the other hand if the Government of the
United States is inclined to accept in good faith what Australia has
already done to abolish discrimination in part and not question her
future intentions as expressed to me by the Prime Minister and Moore
and allow the Australian Government to send representatives to Wash-
ington to engage in informal discussions, we have unquestionably an
opportunity to create and perhaps maintain considerable good will
between the two countries. The Department's decision will be made
of course in the fuller light of facts unknown to me but I cannot help
feeling that if we now stand upon strict observance of the letter rather
than the principle of our policy of refusing to negotiate as long as
any form of discrimination exists, both the Government and the pub-
lic will be convinced that their good faith has been questioned result-
ing in a sense of humiliation and hurt and the swing of the pendulum
away from the United States will be far and very slow in returning.
  On Tuesday the Sydney Morning Herald gave inspired and inaccu-
rate publicity to my trip by seeing in it "the first direct step towards
the negotiation of a trade agreement between the United States of
America and Australia". This I regard as mere face saving on the
part of those responsible for a policy which is now generally under-
stood to be discredited.
                                                          WILSON
4611.4731/253: Telegram
The Consul General at Sydney (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
                               SYDNEY, December 29, 1937-4 p. m.
                               [Received December 29-8: 55 a. m.j
  Referring to section 3 of my cablegram of December 23. Using as a
basis import statistics of 1935-36 Squire estimates that 5.63 per cent
of our total trade is still being kept out. In other language 35.6 per
cent of goods previously prohibited are still prohibited after giving
the Commonwealth Government full credit for quotas on prohibited
items.
                                                          WILSON
159
AUSTRALIA


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