560.M2/39: Telegram

The Chief of the American Delegation ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State

5. Fifth session, morning. I offered an amendment striking out word “third” in third line article 6 making brief statement embodying second paragraph your criticism, page 12, instruction 65, and pointing out that this amendment was in accord with interpretation contained page 24 document C.I.A.P.1.

President then called for debate on second group (see my 4, October 18, 10 p.m., reporting fourth session), article 2, some discussion [Page 269] in which I took no part on scope of article as to whether it refers purely to customs or other matters. Debate inconclusive and somewhat perfunctory.

  • Article 3. I introduced redraft of article and made brief statement following closely instructions your 65. While no exception was taken to the idea of incorporating in some form provisions of the convention of November 3, 1923, vigorous debate took place on subparagraph (e), French and Italian delegations opposing its inculsion on the ground that scope is too broad and would necessitate another conference to debate it. Austrians and Poles supported subparagraph (e) but Austrians desired elimination of phrase “having regard to the normal volume of trade of the respective countries in the particular class of goods in question.” Being requested by the President at the instigation of Dutch delegation to explain this phrase, I stated that it is not to be considered as a mathematical formula but as a principle which supplements the previous phrase “an equitable share of such importation or exportation.”
  • Article 11. No debate on this article. In view of the somewhat delicate position of America in this matter I preferred not to carry out in plenary session instruction on page 14 your 65 but to talk over matter informally with President pointing out our difficulty and requesting his cooperation. Will report results.

Chair announced no plenary session for afternoon but meetings of groups 1 and 2 of rapporteurs.