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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 74

ley had again today expressed to him his anxiety lest the United
States be unaware of his efforts to facilitate an, agreement.
  Incidentally, Brown referred to the Canadian allegation that they
had not been informed during the Imperial Conference in London
of the British willingness to release Canada from certain preferences
on British industrial products as compensation for Canada's releases
to Great Britain on certain Ottawa agricultural items. About a
month ago they had disposed of this matter once and for all by send-
ing to the High Commissioner in Canada for transmission to Macken-
zie King a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which this suggestion
was put forward; on seeing the record Mackenzie King had backed
down. Brown went on to say that they had been quite prepared to
bring all proper pressure to bear on Mackenzie King to facilitate ac-
tion but now the character of the Canadian-United States talks might
handicap them.
  As regards (2) Brown emphasized that in his view time was of
the essence and that he deplored such a delay as Robertson's remark
  (3) "An Ottawa Conference in Washington" he said frankly was
new idea to him and had filled him with "horror". He recounted
some length the difficulties of the Ottawa Conference itself, professing
to fear the manner in which the Dominions when gathered together
were able to logroll the United Kingdom into untenable positions and
added that if Australia and Canada should join forces they might
push the United Kingdom in the matter of concessions so far that the
whole structural framework might collapse. He went on to say that
he appreciated the special relationship existing between the United
States and Canada and why it was highly desirable that a supple-
mentary Canadian-United States agreement be reached. In his view,
concurrent negotiations with the other Dominions could hardly be re-
quired for the same reason.
  In conclusion Brown said he was "desperately afraid lest wires be
crossed and time fly by without concrete results eventuating". He
suggested another luncheon for Friday, at which time he hoped to be
able to clarify further the Cabinet's attitude.
  In a conversation with Ashton-Gwatkin 83 last evening he referred
to his recent travels and said that the proposed Anglo-American trade
agreement had taken on a "mystical quality" in central and south-
eastern Europe; that it was fast becoming in other countries a symbol
of vague but profound hopes. Brown likewise mentioned Ashton-
Gwatkin's statement and said that he had urged him to make Eden
use this line in today's Cabinet meeting.
 U Frank T. W. Ashton-Gwatkin, Counselor, British Foreign Office.

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