University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

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

Norway,   pp. 517-524 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 518

  In reply to a further inquiry from Mr. Morgenstierne, Mr. Sayro
said that he was doubtful of the chances of success of an attempt to
remove the whale oil tax by legislation, but that the State Department
would follow any legislation introduced with the same interest as it
had in the past.
   The Minister in Norway (Harriman) to the Secretary of State
No. 29 -                                 OSLO, September 10, 1937.
                                          [Received September 22.]
  SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that from what I
have learned in confidence from a strictly reliable source, I believe that
the Norwegian Government is now prepared, if invited, to commence
negotiations for a limited trade agreement.
  It is, I think, a fact that much of the opposition of the Industrial
Association (which is the most active opponent of a general agree-
ment) might be eliminated if Norway were asked to reduce its tariff
on, say, three articles only, for example automobiles, radios, and
fruits. There seems to be apprehension that a general reduction
would cover too large a field.
  In partial explanation of their attitude, I am informed that when
the Norwegian Government received the American Government's
invitation in September, 1934, to study the- possibility of a reciprocal
trade agreement,6 the Norwegian authorities felt that the excise tax
on whale oil should be repealed before negotiations- were opened, that
is, that they should start on the basis of things as they were before this
tax was imposed. Now, however, they are prepared not to -insist on
repeal of the tax. Renewal of the invitation to a trade agreement,
though, must come from the United States, through repeating the
offer of 1934.
  For tactical reasons it would be difficult for the Norwegian Govern-
ment to take the initiative because, as indicated above, very important
industrial interests are against any such negotiations. Any move
made first on the part of the Norwegian Government would subject
it to severe criticism by those antagonistic to a Treaty.
  Accordingly, in my view, this would seem to be the moment for us
to make another move which would probably be welcomed, not re-
buffed, and which might lead to a helpful modification of the com-
mercial relations of the United States and Norway.
  Respectfully yours,                      FLORENcE J. HARRIMAN
  See telegram No. 12, July 19, 1934, 6 p. m., to the Minister in Norway,
Retations, 1934, vol. II, p. 650.

Go up to Top of Page