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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

France,   pp. 275-318 PDF (16.0 MB)

Page 276

  He said that he entirely agreed with me that the license system
had given rise to very great abuses and promised that he would look
into the matter immediately.
  I said that my Government had a whole series of other complaints
which could be given to him in detail by our excellent Acting Com-
mercial Attache, Mr. Reagan.
  Bastid then quoted a number of figures which he asserted showed
that the agreement was working more to the advantage of the United
States than to the advantage of France.
  He then said that he was most anxious to work out all difficulties
with the United States as soon as possible and to enlarge the scope
of our trade agreement. He asked me if I thought it advisable to
discuss these matters in Paris or in Washington. I replied that while
Mr. Reagan was exceedingly able I felt that I was so ill equipped
to handle discussions of this nature compared to the Department
of State that I believed it would be desirable to carry on the conver-
sations in Washington. I pointed out to him that his Commercial
Attache in Washington, Monsieur Garreau-Dombasle, was an espe-
cially able man with a perfect understanding of the possibilities and
impossibilities of negotiations with America.
  Bastid then went on to say that what interested him most at the
present time was not the somewhat picayune question of working
out small obstacles to the functioning of the satisfactory settlement
but the large question of whether or not the United States would agree
in principle to participate in a plan to provide economic outlets for
Germany if the French Government should be disposed to develop a
large scale comprehensive plan for this.
  I replied that it was a fixed practice of the United States never
to accept vague commitments in principle but to deal only with con-
crete proposals. He continued to press me for a reply and I ended our
conversation by saying that Americans were not in the habit of prom-
ising to get married until they had seen the face of the lady.
     The Charge' in France (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
No. 412                                      PARIS, March 8, 1937.
                                             [Received March 17.]
  Smn: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a note,4 dated
February 20, 1937, which, in accordance with the authorization con-
tained in the Department's telegram No. 62 of February 4, 9 p. mi.,4
  'Not printed.

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