560.M2/49: Telegram

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


12. Your No. 15, October 21, 11 p.m. Rapporteurs’ draft of article 1 is satisfactory to Department.

Your No. 16, October 21, 12 p.m.

Department does not doubt correctness of thesis on which two members of Economic Committee insist, but nevertheless it wishes insertion at appropriate time and place of a provision such as Department suggested in instruction No. 65, October 6. As far as duties are concerned, Mr. Serruys’ proposition is satisfactory, though we should prefer “import duties” instead of “tariff measures”.
This disclaimer is not sufficient, however, to safeguard section 317 of Tariff Act, under the terms of which the President is authorized, should additional duties fail, to proclaim prohibitions. It follows that if article 6 be omitted, or be inapplicable, you should arrange as unobtrusively as possible for an exception, either in article 4 or somewhere else, to cover this contingency. Following wording is satisfactory to Department:21

“The following are not prohibited by the present agreement: Prohibitions or restrictions on the importation of goods to counteract measures of discrimination or unfair competition.”

Alternatively, this suggestion might be combined with that made by Serruys by insertion after “necessities” the following:21

“or measures to prevent or counteract dumping, discrimination or unfair competition, or to offset bounties or subsidies”.

Section 317 of Tariff Act is especially important at present by reason of its connection with present treaty negotiations with France.22 Accordingly, the Department cannot agree to any obligation that would weaken article 317 as an instrument with which commercial equality may be obtained. Closely observe Serruys’ attitude toward language calculated to except prohibitions which are made for retaliation against discrimination; and report observations to Department.

Your No. 17, October 23, 10 p.m. Department of Agriculture does not view substitute regarding standards as objectionable, as no change in substance is involved, and you may agree to it tentatively. Additional instructions will be sent you if, on further inquiry, objection appears.

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Department wishes you to send French text of document C. I. A. P.1., as well as several more copies of the English text.

  1. Quoted passage not paraphrased.
  2. Quoted passage not paraphrased.
  3. See vol. ii, pp. 631 ff.