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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

Italy,   pp. 435-506 PDF (27.1 MB)

Page 489

pires, i. e., December 15, 1937, and the date on which the proposed
new treaty comes into force. He added that unless the temporary
arrangement were signed on December 15 there would be a period
during which commercial relations would not be based upon treaty
provisions. Mr. Sayre said a telegram covering certain points which
remained to be settled before the temporary arrangement could be
signed had been prepared and was ready for transmission to our
Embassy in Rome. He said these points arose in connection with the
Precis of interpretation of certain provisions of Article VIII, and he
felt that a complete understanding between the two Governments in
respect of that article should be reached before the temporary arrange-
ment was signed. Mr. Sayre indicated that the differences between
the two Governments in respect of the Precis were such that they
probably could be worked out without much difficulty. He said the
two major points at issue were (1) the question of what is meant by a
"representative period" and (2) the question of what constitutes
most-favored-nation treatment in respect of rates of exchanges. He
mentioned several other minor differences but said he thought there
would be no disagreement on these. Mr. Sayre expressed the hope
that the Italian Foreign Office would find itself in agreement with
our views on the two major points and that the temporary arrange-
ment could be signed on December 15.
  The Ambassador said it was his understanding that if the temporary
arrangement were not signed on December 15th, it would be necessary
for the President to issue a proclamation withholding generalization
of customs duties to imports from Italy and he expressed considerable
concern about this. Mr. Sayre reiterated that he was hopeful the
agreement could be signed on December 15, but indicated rather clearly
that if it were not signed on that date this Government would hesitate
to take any action during the few days following which would alter
the present status of trade relations. He then referred to the friendly
relations between the two countries and went on to point out that the
Department fully realized the difficulties involved in reaching an
agreement within the short time that remains.
  The Italian Ambassador expressed gratification over this statement
and said he would cable his Government at once the substance of what
Mr. Sayre had told him and say that every effort was being made by
this Government to have the temporary arrangement signed before the
old treaty expires. Mr. Sayre said he would have the telegram trans-
mitted immediately and would also send a flash to the Embassy ad-
vising of its coming. The Italian Ambassador seemed to be fully satis-
fied with the statements made by Mr. Sayre.
982609-54  32

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