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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)

Belgium,   pp. 219-237 PDF (7.1 MB)


Page 224


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1937, VOLUME II
811.5531/723
  The Secretacy of State to the A?nbas8ador in Belgium (Gibson)
No. 28                            WASHINGTON, November 2, 1937.
  SIR: As you are aware, the trade agreement between the United
States and the Belgo-Luxemburg Economic Union, effected by an ex-
change of notes on February 27, 1935, does not include comprehensive
general provisions respecting the treatment which will be accorded by
each country to the other's trade. However, it was provided in the
exchange of notes that the agreement should be supplemented as soon
as possible by an agreement containing general provisions.
  The text of the United States standard draft of general provisions
was furnished to the Belgian Government during the negotiation of
the trade agreement, and a revised text was sent to the Belgian authori-
ties on June 27, 193a.7 Under date of March 31, 1936, the Belgian
Government, through its embassy in Washington, transmitted to the
Department the proposed text of an agreement, which, although based
in general upon the United States standard provisions, varied from
them in a number of important particulars. A mimeographed copy
of the Belgian proposals, with the corresponding Articles of the United
States standard provisions as submitted to the Belgian Government
shown in a parallel column, is enclosed herewith.8
  In view of the requirement under the Trade Agreements Act 9 that
public notice be given and that a public hearing be held with regard
to the negotiation of the supplementary agreement, the Department
felt that announcement at that time of intention to negotiate might re-
sult in pressure for the renegotiation of the entire trade agreement.
This view was communicated to the Belgian Embassy on August 11,
1936,10 with a suggestion that the negotiations be postponed until a
favorable opportunity presented itself. The Department desired,
however, to reach more or less definitive agreement with the Belgians
as to the text of the supplementary agreement in advance of any pub-
lic announcement, and, therefore, began informal discussions with the
Belgian Ambassador in January, 1937, with regard to the points of
difference between the two drafts.
  As a result of these conversations, the Belgian Ambassador requested
that the Department furnish him with the exact text of the changes
in the Belgian draft desired by the Departmemit and with a statement
of the reasons for the desired changes. This was done on July 9, 1937.
7 Letter of June 27, 1935, to the Belgian Ambassadlor, missing from Department
files.
8Not attached to file copy.
948 Stat. 943.
10 Foreign Relation8, 1936, vol. Ii, p. 10.
224


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