611.4131/144: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Atherton) to the Secretary of State

79. I had an hour’s conversation with Eden this afternoon and outlined to him at length the views contained in your instruction 1130 of February 13. I read the instruction and memorandum from which he made extensive notes but I did not leave a copy with him at this time because I wished to avoid its passing into the hands of the Foreign Office experts who would merely write a technical appraisement.

While the Foreign Secretary was familiar with Burgin’s speech at Geneva, he was obviously unaware of the extent that British practice had deviated. Eden did say that in determining the British course of action in this matter there were many other allied considerations for discussion with the United States. I told him that the essential first and foremost was that the two countries as the two great trading nations should agree in principle to work for the abolition of trade barriers. Eden said he agreed with this and felt it was vital for the economic welfare of the world we should endeavor to accord our two views.

He asked me to express to you personally his appreciation that you had had your views directly presented to him, and that from the notes he had made he would at once proceed to take the matter up with the Foreign Office experts. Subsequent to that, and he hoped before his departure for Geneva on Sunday, he could discuss the situation with Runciman. This would enable Runciman to be prepared to discuss the matter again with Eden on his return from Geneva and as soon as possible thereafter the Foreign Secretary would send for me again and convey his further views.