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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 73

611.4181/399: Telegram
    The Amba88ador in the United Kingdom (Bingham) to the
                        Secretary of State
                                 LONDON, October 27, 1937-5 p. m.
                                             [Received 6: 22 p. m.]
  671. In the course of a luncheon conversation Sir William Brown,
Permanent Under Secretary of the Board of Trade, stated that a
memorandum had been put before the Cabinet which is meeting today
setting forth the status of Anglo-American trade interchanges and
requesting authority to define to the United States the British position
on pertinent individual items. Brown took the line that he was not at
all sure that the Cabinet would decide today inasmuch as Chamber-
lain, the staunchest protagonist for the agreement could not attend
due to an attack of gout and the fact that recent telegrams from the
British Embassy in Washington and High Commissioner in Ottawa
regarding the outcome of the Canada-United States interchanges had
caused considerable difficulties and in his opinion beclouded the situ-
ation. These telegrams had conveyed the following information:
  (1) That the Canada-United States discussions had, contrary to-
expectations, ranged over a very wide and extensive field and covered
the question of the Ottawa items (i. e. must list);
  (2) According to a statement Norman Robertson made to a mem-
ber of the High &mmissioner's staff in Ottawa there was now nothing
more that could be done for the next 3 or 4 weeks until after the in-
formation supplied by the Canadians in Washington had been di-
gested there;
  (3) The suggestion had been put forth to Chalkley by the Depart-
ment, of the possibility of negotiating in Washington with the United
Kingdom and the Dominions at the same time.
  As regards (1) Brown said that he feared this information might
have the effect of permitting the Cabinet to take the line of least re-
sistance, viz that there is little the United Kingdom can do if the
Americans and Canadians are attacking the matter themselves. In
reply it was strongly represented to Brown that the American Gov-
ernment's position was that it could not pay two for one in the matter
of concessions. Brown indicated that he thoroughly understood this;
consequently it was the more surprising to him that these discussions
had been so broadened. Nevertheless, in spite of these new develop-
ments, if the Cabinet approved, he hoped to lay proposals before the
American authorities which went further than he understood the
Canadians had gone. But his information regarding the Canadians'
statements was as yet imperfect. Brown also emphasized that Stan-
    982609-54  6

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