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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)

United Kingdom ,   pp. 1-135 PDF (51.1 MB)


Page 5


UNITED KINGDOM
hoped that when its terms were published we would see that there was
no reason for such alarm: that no tariff rates had been raised. On the
contrary, their whole objective had been to lower the rates.
  I took the occasion to emphasize to Sir Francis the points you had
stressed to me in conversations by telephone, and which I had already
presented both to the Prime Minister and to Dr. Skelton. I said
that I felt sure he would agree with me that any individual trade agree-
ment, such as that for example between Great Britain and Canada,
could not for a moment compare in importance with the big objective
we had in view, namely, the broad program for economic rehabilitation
in the world and, through it, the restoration of conditions of perma-
nent peace. I went on to say that I felt it would be most unfortunate
if, at this critical juncture, any action should be taken by the British
and Canadian Governments which might give the impression that in-
stead of cooperating with us in endeavoring to bring about the elimina-
tion of those restrictions which are today stifling legitimate interna-
tional trade they were obstructing and impeding the broad program
for economic disarmament.
  Sir Francis again insisted that he felt sure the agreement they had
reached with the Canadian Government could not be interpreted as
a step backwards. On the contrary, he felt that when the agreement
was published it would be found to be a step in the right direction.
He admitted that he had as yet received no instructions from London
and that his only word thus far had been, as already stated, in the
form of a communication from Sir Ronald Lindsay.
  I have had no further word either from Mr. King or from Dr.
Skelton since my talks with them on January 16th and 17th last. In
my letter to the Chief of the Western European Division, dated Jan-
uary 18, 1937,9 I transmitted informally copies of memoranda of all
conversations, and on the morning of January 19th I telephoned the
text of an important statement made by the Prime Minister of Canada
in Parliament, issued in response to your desire, which I conveyed
to him, that he might see his way clear to stating the Canadian Gov-
ernment's position on this question officially and unequivocally.
  The text of the Prime Minister's statement, together with certain
comment regarding the circumstances under which it was issued,
was transmitted to the Department with my confidential despatch
No. 1117, dated January 19th last.10
  I shall not fail to keep you fully informed regarding any further
developments that may take place.
  I should mention that just before I left him Sir Francis stated that
he had heard that Mr. Walter Runciman, now in New York and who
  'Not found in Department files.
  1" Not printed.
5


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