711.60 f 2/4: Telegram

The Minister in Czechoslovakia ( Einstein ) to the Secretary of State

39. Your instruction No. 131. Pending further advice I hesitate to transmit draft of treaty for the following reasons: No provision is made therein to cover import license system utilized here to restrict imports (see British treaty2 transmitted in my despatch 493,3 article 2, paragraphs 4 and 5). The most-favored-nation clause is not held to apply to articles which require import licenses and the commercial treaties negotiated here have included lists of “contingents” specifying amounts for which importation will be granted. Great Britain in recent treaty, though protected by most-favored-nation provision, has been obliged to append a detailed contingent list. Department’s attention is also invited to the antidumping clause of British treaty. Article 3 [1] the new treaty with France4 provides among other reductions for 45 per cent duty on motor cars. As this enters into force September 1st and will be granted only to countries with conventions, the Czechoslovak Government suggests urgency of making immediate temporary arrangements by exchange of notes to avoid penalizing our imports. I submit as possible basis for consideration the following tentative draft of note which meets with the approval of the Minister of Commerce and the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs:

“Pending the conclusion of the treaty of amity and commerce which it is the desire of my government to negotiate with the Government of Czechoslovakia, I trust that it may be agreeable to Your Excellency for all commercial relations between our two countries to be on the basis of the most-favored-nation provisions. Until satisfactory arrangements can be made for the importation of American merchandise, it is understood that this will be subjected to a fair assessment both as regards valuation and amount of imports, particularly in the case of motor cars.”

Please advise at earliest convenience Department’s wishes. I can have consul to prepare list of import requirements. Actual negotiation of the treaty will not be possible for some time owing to extended absence of Doctor Benedicites [Beneš] and of specialist on commercial treaties.

  1. Great Britain, Cmd. 2254, Treaty Series 35 (1924): Treaty of Commerce between the United Kingdom and the Czechoslovak Republic and Accompanying Declaration, signed at London July 14, 1923.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Commercial convention between France and Czechoslovakia, signed at Paris, Aug. 17, 1923; League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 44, p. 21.