No. 231 NAI DFA 7/73

Extracts from a letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Washington DC, 24 August 1934

I saw the Acting Secretary of State today and sounded him as to the feasibility of beginning negotiations for a Trade Agreement between the United States and the Saorstát. He stated quite frankly that they were at the moment engaged in negotiating agreements with half a dozen Latin-American Countries and that Spain and Portugal had already intimated their desire to enter into negotiations but that until they had cleared the slate somewhat he could not anticipate that any progress would be made insofar as European Countries were concerned.

[matter omitted]

The Administration will naturally be somewhat reluctant in negotiating with the Saorstát at present as under the Most Favored Nation Provision of existing treaties any concessions made to us should apply equally to Britain, France, Germany, etc. It must be remembered also that America has practically nothing to gain in any trade agreement that could be reached with the Saorstát. Unless, therefore, we are prepared to make some concessions on our part to the United States it is unlikely that negotiations will lead anywhere. In a matter of this kind it may be taken for granted that the American negotiators will not be influenced by sentiment but will be guided rather by considerations purely material.

[signed] M. MacWhite

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