File No. 600.001/85a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Sharp)


2295. The following memorandum, dated May 17, has been handed to the Department by the British Embassy:

Questions connected with silk exports are about to be discussed by an inter-Allied conference which is to meet in Paris June 5.1 Among these questions is the problem of Italian thrown silk, which is still allowed to go free through Switzerland to Germany.

The reluctance of the Italians to ruin their largest industry is the main difficulty, but it is possible that this could be solved if compensating markets were found. It has been suggested that the United States might cooperate in finding a solution as they are the world’s largest silk consumers. The products of the Milan industry have some military importance, but the first consideration is, that while Italian silks pour through Switzerland it is absurd to detain silk exports to Scandinavia and Holland.

Would the United States Government be willing to instruct their representative at Paris to take part in the conference?

You are authorized to detail the most suitable member of the Embassy to attend this conference and frame a report to the Department thereon.

  1. The original memorandum suggested Rome as an alternative to Paris and set the date at “about May 25” (File No. 600.001/139). According to a notation on the telegram, the memorandum itself could not be found at the time the telegram was dictated, and the version here given was then received orally from the British Embassy.