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For your information, notes similar to this are being sent at once to the Governments of New Zealand 42 and the Union of South Africa.43 Accept [etc.]
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)
WASHINGTON, June 11, 1941.
MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: I refer to your note of April 4, 1941 ** transmitting a communication which you received from the Prime Minister of New Zealand relative to the possibility of increasing the outlet in the United States for export products of New Zealand. Reference is made also to your note of May 16, 1941 regarding the possibility of negotiating a supplementary trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom, a copy of which, it is understood, has been transmitted to the Government of New Zealand. I would appreciate it if you would inform the Government of New Zealand that it appears that the negotiation of a trade agreement between the United States and New Zealand would be the best practical manner of increasing the export of New Zealand products to the United States. As I have previously informed you, in reply to your note of May 16, 1941, I share your view that a series of agreements between the United States and various British Empire Governments, on the lines proposed, would make a contribution of vital significance not only to the solution of some of the difficulties created by the war but also to the reconstruction of world trade on a sound and liberal basis. I feel strongly that if world trade is to be reconstructed on a sound basis, the fundamental problems must be attacked now while circumstances are perhaps uniquely favorable for a reasonable solution. Furthermore, it is believed a trade agreement between the United States and New Zealand could, in itself, provide important benefits to both countries.
This Government envisages discussions between the United States and the various British Empire Governments along the lines of those which culminated in 1938 in trade agreements between the United States and the United Kingdom and between the United States and Canada. It appears, however, that it would be inadvisable to undertake formal negotiations for a trade agreement between the United States and New Zealand prior to a detailed confidential examination of questions bearing on the practical feasibility of successful negotia-.
42 See infra.
Note to the Government of the Union of South Africa was the same, mutatis mutandis, as the note here printed.
tions. Under present circumstances, it would be particularly undesirable to commence definitive negotiations without the maximum possible assurance that such negotiations would be concluded successfully in the shortest possible time. I should also mention that United States trade-agreement procedure requires that public notice be given of intention to negotiate and that an opportunity be given all interested parties to express their views in writing and at public hearings prior to the undertaking of any formal negotiations or any definitive commitments. While exploratory talks would naturally have to be on an ad referendum basis so as to insure that the highest quarters in both Governments are in agreement with the possible contents of a trade agreement, and also in order to conform with procedure required in the United States, I feel certain that both Governments would be in a better position to judge the situation after exploratory talks had reduced the generalities involved into comparatively definite terms.
This Government has already begun the necessary statistical and other work in preparation for such detailed exploratory discussions and hopes that the Government of New Zealand, if it is favorably inclined toward the general project, will initiate without delay such similar preparatory work as it considers necessary. It is hoped that at the appropriate time the Government of New Zealand will find it convenient to designate officials to carry on the proposed exploratory discussions at Washington.
For your information, notes similar to this are being sent at once to the Governments of Australia and the Union of South Africa. Sincerely yours, CORDELL HULL
The British Ambassador (Halifax) to the Acting Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, July 7, 1941.
MY DEAR MR. ACTING SECRETARY: With reference to the Secretary's letter of the 11th June, in which he asked me to inform the Government of New Zealand that the negotiation of a Trade Agreement between the United States and that Dominion would be the best practical manner of increasing the export of New Zealand products to the United States, I am writing to inform you, at the instance of H. M. Government in New Zealand, that they will be very glad to take part in the discussions suggested in Mr. Hull's letter under reference. They also ask me to inform you that the delegation under the Honourable F. Langstone, which is at present visiting the United States with a view inter alia to initiating negotiations for a Trade Agreement between the United States and New Zealand, includes Mr. J. D. P. Johnsen, an officer of the New Zealand Customs Depart
ment, which is normally responsible for conducting such negotiations. They hope, therefore, that the United States Government will find it convenient to arrange for discussions at an early date. They add that the preparatory work has been completed by the New Zealand representatives to enable exploratory discussions to commence. Believe me [etc.]
The Chargé in Australia (Minter) to the Secretary of State
CANBERRA, July 15, 1941-2 p. m. [Received July 15-9:47 a. m.]
33. Department's No. 22, June 25.45 Delegation sailing July 25 on SS Monterrey consists of Edwin McCarthy and J. Richardson of Commerce and Jacob Fletcher, A. C. Nolan and A. C. B. Edwards of Customs. Please request customs courtesies at Los Angeles.
McCarthy carries authority to discuss shipping supply and the like. This constitutes the ostensible reason for the visit.
Air mail report follows.
The Australian Minister (Casey) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, July 18, 1941. SIR: With reference to your note of June. 11th 1941, concerning the possibility of negotiating a trade agreement between the United States and the Commonwealth of Australia, I have the honour to inform you that a copy of your communication was forwarded to my Government, which has now instructed me to convey to you the following reply.
The Commonwealth Government greatly appreciates the invitation of the United States Government to designate Australian officials to carry out exploratory trade discussions in Washington. The Commonwealth Government shares the view of the United States Government that a trade agreement between the United States and Australia, as part of a series of agreements between the United States and the various British Empire Governments, would not only be of direct and substantial assistance in resolving special difficulties of exchange and commerce created by the present war, but would also be an important element in the reconstruction of world trade after the war on a liberal and mutually beneficial basis.
Not printed; it stated that the Department would be ready for discussions about August 1, 1941 (611.4731/433).
The Commonwealth Government believes that nothing but good can result from the examination now of some of the fundamental questions which it is already apparent will arise in connection with the problem of the restoration of international commerce after the war. It is, therefore, particularly gratified with the proposal that detailed trade discussions should take place, as these will provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas in this general direction. Moreover, the Commonwealth Government believes, in common with the United States Government, that a trade agreement between the United States and Australia concluded on such a basis would be to the mutual advantage of both countries.
In accordance with the invitation of the United States Government and in conformity with the procedure suggested, the Commonwealth Government, therefore, has designated for the exploratory conversations in Washington an official of the Australian Department of Commerce and an official of the Australian Department of Trade and Customs. It is proposed that these officials should reach Washington towards the end of August, provided this suggested date of arrival is convenient to the United States Government.46 In the meanwhile, the preparatory work necessary from the Australian side for the contemplated conversations is being undertaken.
I have [etc.]
The Minister in the Union of South Africa (Keena) to the Secretary
CAPETOWN, September 5, 1941-5 p.m. [Received 7:05 p. m.]
87. Referring to the Department's telegram No. 50, August 22, 8 p. m. A delegation consisting of Dr. P. R. Viljoen, Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry and John D. Heddon, former Commissioner of Customs, 1930-1940, with two or three assistants, will proceed to the United States by the first available steamer according to a Government decision taken yesterday.
They will probably sail from Capetown within the next few days. Details regarding route and probable date of arrival in the United States will be telegraphed as soon as possible.
Mr. Alan S. Watt of the Australian Legation, who drafted this note of July 18, telephoned the Department of State that the phrase "provided this suggested date of arrival is convenient" was merely rhetorical, as the Legation had been previously informed that it was all right. He also stated that he did not consider that the note called for any reply from the Department.
"Not printed; it indicated the readiness of the United States Government to commence exploratory talks regarding a trade agreement (611.48A31/82).
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Australia (Johnson)
WASHINGTON, September 10, 1941-9 p. m.
38. Exploratory trade-agreement discussions with the Australians are proceeding and as any leakage of information regarding details of the discussions would arouse such domestic opposition as might seriously jeopardize the whole project, please contact immediately the Prime Minister personally and emphasize in the strongest possible terms the importance of avoiding any such leakage.
The South African Minister (Close) to the Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, 11 September, 1941. The Minister of the Union of South Africa presents his compliments to the Honourable the Secretary of State and has the honour, with reference to the confidential discussions held between members of the Legation and the State Department in connection with a proposed Trade Agreement between the Union of South Africa and the United States of America, to state that the Government of the Union of South Africa has decided to send a delegation to the United States to conduct preliminary discussions in connection with the matter with representatives of the United States Government.
The delegation will be constituted as follows:
Delegate: Dr. P. R. Viljoen, Secretary for Agriculture and
Relations Committee of the Union of South
Advisers: Mr. J. von Eden, Chief Clerk and Statistician in the
Dr. A. J. Beyleveld, Economist in the Department
Mr. D. G. Malan, Economic Adviser in the Department of Commerce and Industries.
Mr. A. T. Brennan, Commercial Counsellor-designate to the South African Legation, Washington, should his services be required by the delegation.
The delegation will be under the general supervision and control of the Minister, and will not engage in any activity other than that indicated in the preceding paragraphs.
The delegation sailed for the United States from Cape Town on September 10th, 1941, by the S.S. President Grant and should there