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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

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

Page 68

the fear of war and the vested interests which had grown up behind the
control systems, relax their barriers in order to obtain a larger share
of current trade. He expressed full agreement with Secretary Hull's
view that it was important that Great Britain and the United States
should take the lead in facilitating the removal of obstructions to freer
trade, and he also concurred in the urgency of the need of action.
                                   W[ILLIAM] W. B[uTRWORTH]
     Memorandum by the Assi8tant Secretary of State (Sayre)
                               [WASHINGTON,] September 23, 1937.
  Mr. Mallet and Major Heywood called to see me with regard to the
British trade agreement. They informed me of their conversation
with the Secretary yesterday when they had brought in Sir Frederick
Phillips to see him. Mr. Mallet began by saying that he wanted to
clear up what seemed like a possible misunderstanding which arose out
of his conversation with the Secretary. He said that it was his own
understanding that the next move in the British-American trade
agreement must come from the United States. He went on to say that
owing to the fact that Great Britain could not go further with the
negotiations until Canada had relinquished its preferential rights
under the Ottawa Agreement, it now remained with the United States
to secure the consent of Canada to such a relinquishment. He under-
stood, however, from yesterday's conversation that the Secretary took
a different viewpoint and this is what he wished to clear up.
  I replied to Mr. Mallet that I was glad to tell him in confidence that
confidential conversations had taken place between my Government
and the Canadian Government. I went on to say that the heart of the
difficulty was due to the inescapable fact that politically we would be
blown higher than a kite if we should undertake negotiations or even
conversations with an agricultural country to which we would have to
give agricultural concessions before we had assurance of a thorough-
going and satisfactory trade agreement with such an industrial coun-
try as Great Britain through which to enlarge our agricultural export
markets. I said that we could not afford to live in a fool's paradise,
that we must be realistic and look facts in the face, that it would be
folly to negotiate a trade agreement only to see it blown to pieces by a
sufficient political opposition generated by failure to keep political
conditions in mind. For this reason I said that whatever our desires
might be it would be utterly impossible to announce negotiations with
Canada or even to enter into detailed conversations concerning com-

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