560.M2/44: Telegram

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

8. Afternoon, first meeting, group 2.

Article 3. Discussion hinged on American amendment reported my 5, October 19, 2 p.m. Detailed information was requested on exact interpretation of phrases occurring in subparagraph (e) notably “equitable share”, “normal volume of trade” and last sentence. Delegation was embarrassed by lack of specific interpretation (see my 2, October 18, 1 p.m.16). Very determined opposition developed to subparagraph (e) in the present form, notably, that it involved principles of wider scope than contemplated in draft of convention and introduced the question of most-favored-nation to allocation of rations. French delegation which in plenary session had opposed American alteration in toto, finally offered compromise reading as follows:

“In the event that, during the application of the provisions of the present Conference, certain states should be led to maintain certain prohibitions and retain a few exceptions (French, derogations) in the form of licenses, the following rules shall apply: (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the United States proposal. Point (e) of this proposal shall be replaced by the following sentence:

‘The Conference did not express itself on the method of allocation of quotas, but expressed the opinion that an equitable allocation of these quotas is one of the essential conditions of equitable commercial treatment of the states’.”

The foregoing to be inserted in final act.

Convinced that we could not obtain full satisfaction on this article, I stated that I would refer this compromise to you, reserving the right to reopen the question in case your decision was unfavorable. The Department may prefer the phraseology which seems preferable to me, namely, to begin the last paragraph: “The Conference is of the opinion that an equitable allocation, et cetera”. If so I should nevertheless appreciate instructions as to whether I should accept the [Page 271] original phraseology in the event that I am unable to cause the adoption of this alteration. Furthermore, you may care to provide for the difficulty outlined on page 4, middle paragraph your 65, by insisting on the insertion after the word “quotas” of the words “to other contracting states”.

Request urgent reply as to the Department’s views on compromise and further information as to specific [omission].

  1. Not printed.