The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received July 16, 9.30 p.m.]
3166. Department’s 2546, July 11, 4 p.m. We have carefully noted this cable and particularly the President’s positive view that all the Allied Governments and the United States were committed [Page 240] to remove all trade restrictions as soon as Germany ratified the treaty, and that the continuation of restrictions would [lay] the government making the restrictions open to the charge of bad faith. We shall make every effort to ensure the adoption and application of this position and indeed have already had occasion to express ourselves to this effect at meetings of the Supreme Economic Council and of its sections. It would however be very much appreciated if the Department would advise us in considerable detail as to the character of the control which the Department’s cable indicates is to be retained with respect to dyes, potash and chemicals. These commodities of course represent Germany’s principal available exports and we have already been embarrassed by inquiries from the British and French as to the basis for the restrictions which they understand we are to maintain against the export from Germany to the United States of this important group of commodities. We are not here aware of any protective legislation by Congress upon which these restrictions can be based and can only assume that they depend upon war legislation enacted to render effective the blockade of Germany. If so it is difficult for us to differentiate these restrictions from those the abandonment of which we have been urging upon our associates in order to give effect to our understanding as to the obligation assumed toward Germany and which understanding seems to be confirmed by the President’s statement in your cable.
You will therefore appreciate how greatly our position would be strengthened were we in a position to discuss our control of dyes, potash and chemicals with a full knowledge of the facts which would enable us to differentiate such control from that which the British and French desire to maintain and which superficially at least appears to be very similar in character. Dulles.