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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

Norway,   pp. 517-524 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 519

    Menmorandumn by the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)
                                 [WASHINGTON,] October 12, 1937.
  Mr. Morgenstierne came in to pay his respects and, in the course of
a friendly conversation, brought up the subject of a possible Norwe-
gian-American trade agreement. During the conversation he said
that, apart from whale oil, there were very few commodities as to
which Norway would like to improve the commercial treatment
accorded it by the United States. He felt, therefore, that if a trade
agreement were negotiated between the two countries it should cover
only a limited number of and comparatively few commodities. I said
to Mr. Morgenstierne, as I had told him on several occasions previously,
that in our experience a limited trade agreement seemed inadvisable.
A limited trade agreement would cost, to all practical intent, as much
time, effort and political burden as a comprehensive and thorough-
going trade agreement. I therefore expressed it, as my own personal
opinion, that if a trade agreement between the two countries should
be entered into it should be of a comprehensive nature, embracing
all those matters- as- to which adjustment was sought and on which
agreement could be reached. I added, however, that I expressed this
as my personal opinion and that, before venturing an official opinion,
I would want to have further study made of the present trade rela-
tionships between our two countries.
  I then went on to speak of Mr. Koht's 7 approaching visit to Wash-
ington. I asked Mr. Morgenstierne whether he would want to discuss
trade agreement matters and said that, if he did, in order not to waste
his time, we ought to be prepared and ought to be having a study made
of Norwegian-American trade before his arrival. Mr. Morgenstierne
said that he did not know whether Mr. Koht would desire to discuss
these matters or not. I suggested that Mr. Morgenstierne might
want to make inquiry so that if Mr. Koht should desire to enter into
general discussions as to whether or not there is ground for a trade
agreement between the two countries we could be fully prepared.
Upon Mr. Morgenstierne's inquiry, I said that we were not urging
conversations but merely wanted to be prepared in case Mr. Koht
should desire to discuss these matters. Mr. Morgenstierne promised
to find out and let me know.
                                          F [RANcIs] B. S[AYRE]
 7Halvdan Koht, Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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