No. 190 NAI DFA 7/73

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Washington DC, 4 MAY 1933

In a conversation I had with the Under-Secretary of State this morning, casual reference was made to the Treaties that have been negotiated by a number of countries in anticipation of the World Economic Conference. He said it was about time that they should bestir themselves and also conclude negotiations with other nations for treaties in the interest of American trade and commerce. The agreement concluded between Britain and Argentina which has been regarded with some disfavour here is likely to strengthen the hands of President Roosevelt when he asks Congress to grant him the extraordinary powers, which I have already outlined for you, in dealing with tariff treaties with foreign countries.

In view of President Roosevelt's outspoken suggestion to Senator Connolly and myself at the White House a month ago that something should be done in the line of a reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and the Saorstát and of the suggestion of the Under-Secretary of State this morning, I would urge again that the necessary steps be taken by us to prepare as early as possible a tentative draft of a trade agreement with the United States. This draft would, of course, be prepared in such a way as to make certain allowances for bargaining and the completion of the negotiations may have to await the result of the Economic Conference but being the first in the field would have undoubted advantages; besides the fact that the steps to negotiate such an agreement had gone beyond the preliminary stage at the date of the opening of the Economic Conference would be decidedly helpful to the United States and likely to strengthen our position in trade negotiations with other countries.

In these circumstances I would suggest that a draft agreement should be sent here with the least possible delay for submission to the Department of State as that would put the onus on them of opposing or whittling down some of our claims instead of their throwing the onus of doing so on us. I wish to repeat that the present time offers us an opportunity of negotiating with the United States which may not exist after the Economic Conference if this country is able to get satisfactory conditions from the larger powers.

[signed] M. MacWhite

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