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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1941. Europe

Iceland,   pp. 755-792 PDF (14.3 MB)

Page 759

ment with respect to the development of trade relations between Ice-
land and the United States. He remarked that the principal difference
seemed to lie in the greater emphasis which the United States Govern-
ment placed upon the continuation of Icelandic exports to Great Brit-
ain. Mr. Acheson then told the Icelandic Delegation that Mr. Berle,
Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. MacVeagh, newly appointed Amer-
ican Minister to Iceland, Mr. Atherton, Acting Chief of the Division
of European Affairs, and he himself would be principally concerned
with the negotiations with the Delegation in so far as the United States
is concerned. He stated that as a practical matter, however, it had been
decided that Mr. Cumming of the Division of European Affairs, Mr.
Curtis and Mr. Meltzer would begin conversations with the Delegation
with a view to assembling relevant factual data which would later
form the basis of negotiations looking toward a formal agreement be-
tween Iceland and the United States.
  The several members of the Icelandic Delegation expressed their
satisfaction with Mr. Acheson's suggestions as to the procedure to be
followed in conducting the negotiations and the meeting closed with
the usual amenities.
    The Icelandic Trade Delegation to the Department of State 7
  As a consequence of the fact that the United States has assumed the
protection of Iceland 8 in accordance with messages exchanged between
the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Iceland,9
the economic and commercial relations of the two countries are bound
to undergo a fundamental change.
  The war in Europe which now has lasted two years, has entirely
dislocated the foreign trade of Iceland and cut her off from markets,
on which her economic structure had depended to a great extent, and to
which needs the Icelandic export industries had adapted themselves.
Iceland has during the war depended upon Great Britain and the
United States for the sale of her products and the supply of her needs.
For obvious reasons Iceland must now more and more, as the war goes
on, depend upon the United States for supply of necessities for the sub-
sistence of the population and maintenance of her production, as well
as the marketing of her products.
  Great Britain has from the beginning of the war showed a friendly
and understanding attitude towards Iceland and exhibited her
7This memorandum was handed by Mr. Thor to Assistant Secretary of State
Acheson on August 23, 1941.
  See pp. 776 ff.
  9Hermann Jonasson.

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