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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

Norway,   pp. 517-524 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 520

     Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)
                                [WASHNGON,] October 14, 1937.
  The Norwegian Minister came in to see me to say that he had cabled
to his Government, in connection with the approaching visit of Mr.
Koht, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, in accordance with
his promise of a few days ago, to inquire whether or not Mr. Koht
would desire to enter into general conversations concerning a possible
trade agreement. He said that he had just received a reply from Mr.
Koht to the effect that neither the time nor the circumstances seemed
to permit entering into formal discussions concerning a trade agree-
ment but that he would like to discuss with entire informality the
"necessary preliminaries" for such an agreement. The Norwegian
Minister was a little uncertain how to translate the cable but inter-
preted it as meaning that Mr. Koht would not want to enter into
technical or detailed discussions but would like to ascertain our point
of view about the entering into possible negotiations looking toward a
trade agreement.
  I thanked the Minister and said that we should be very happy to
follow Mr. Koht's desires upon his arrival.
                                          F[RIANCIs] B. S[AYRE]
Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. John C. Ross of the Divison
                      of Trade Agreements
                                [WASHINGTON] October 28, 1937.
Participants: Dr. Halvdahn Koht, Foreign Minister of Norway
              Mr. Sayre.
Also Present: Mr. Morgenstierne, Norwegian Minister to the U. S.
              Mr. Cumming, European Division, and
              Mr. Ross, Division of Trade Agreements.
  Mr. Sayre opened the conversation by indicating that this Govern-
ment has been thinking for some time of the possibility of a trade
agreement between Norway and the United States. He stated that
for political as well as economic reasons it is thought that such a
trade agreement would be desirable. This is particularly true in
view of the closeness of relations between the Scandinavian peoples
and the people of the United States. Mr. Sayre said that as a result
of preliminary studies which have been made there would appear to
be an economic basis for a trade agreement between the two couil-
tries and that it was thought that this basis would exist even if whale
oil were not considered.

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