500.C1112/41a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Geneva (Gilbert)

115. Your telegrams 373, September 30, noon, and 382, October 1, noon and the Minister’s 373, October 1, 8 p.m. Our position in regard [Page 469] to discussions in Geneva concerning economic affairs is indicated by our reply to Saavedra Lamas. In substance it may be summarized as follows:

We believe it would be important that the representatives of the governments meeting at Geneva endorse and give support to the conclusions of the Economic Committee.
The next step would be the application of the principles embodied in that report. It seems to me that at the present time the best start in the way of application is action by the European governments taking the form of liberalization of quotas and relaxation of other types of restrictions by their own action or by bilateral agreements guided by the most-favored-nation principle.
In regard to any proposals for multilateral conversations, we should have to completely reserve our judgment until we could determine their possible usefulness and their possible political implications.

I send you this summary for your guidance in such discussions as you may have with the representatives of the other governments in Geneva and with the Secretariat and not for communication to them.