No. 182 NAI DFA 7/73

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

Washington DC, 28 March 1933

I1 accompanied Senator Connolly2 to the White House yesterday on his official call on President Roosevelt by whom we were most cordially received.

After referring briefly to certain matters, the President said that something ought to be done in the line of a reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and the Free State. 'It would be impossible for me' he continued 'to enter into any kind of a reciprocal treaty with any country in regard to agricultural products as our own farmers would not stand for it. Besides, it seems to be the policy of every country nowadays to be self contained as far as possible in this respect. There are, however, many things such as woollens, homespun, linens, lace, etc. in the manufacture of which you Irish are un-excelled and for which there should be a demand here.'

This statement by President Roosevelt should not be lost sight of. I am of the opinion that immediate action ought to be taken to negotiate an agreement such as he indicated as the conditions may not be so favourable at a later date, not that the friendship of the Administration is likely to change in regard to the Saorstát, but circumstances may arise, over which they have no control, that would make it more difficult. To this purpose the Department of Industry and Commerce should prepare data covering our trade with the United States and vice versa during the last five or six years, and sight should not be lost of the fact that within the next decade the Saorstát may be in a position to export articles, the manufacture of which is now negligible or non-existent. All industrial potentialities should have due consideration in negotiating a trade treaty particularly in a country so little industralized as the Saorstát.

[signed] M. MacWhite

1 Marginal note: 'copy to I&C and Agriculture Finance. S.M. 10/4/33'.

2 Senator Joseph Connolly'.

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