500.C1199/306: Telegram

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

367. Department’s telegram 162, November 18, 1 p.m. Stoppani informs me that he has arranged with the Chairman of the Economic Committee for Thompson’s attendance as Grady’s substitute. He hoped that Thompson would participate in the discussion. I replied that at present he was instructed merely to follow the discussion and report to Grady.40 I added that complete instructions from Grady were expected by mail.

I am mailing today a draft report on raw materials41 prepared by the Secretariat for the Committee’s consideration which contains a draft declaration of policy42 which it is suggested that the Council submit to Governments for their observations. In the light of the replies received a decision could be taken as to whether individual governments should make declarations along the lines suggested or whether a single text should be established and opened for signature.

The draft declaration sets forth the policy which the parties declare it is their intention to follow towards other states associating themselves with the declaration and is divided into three parts as follows: [Page 823]

A declaration that no prohibition or restrictions will be placed on the export of raw materials and that no export duties will be levied except of a fiscal character. An exception is made for temporary measures taken in extraordinary circumstances to safeguard vital interests. The declaration would also apply to colonies, protectorates, et cetera.
A declaration that foreigners would have equality in law and in fact with nationals in the production of raw materials. Exceptions are provided for the control of the exploitation of mineral resources and for laws and regulations concerning the admission, sojourn and settlement of foreigners and for the protection of the national labor market. It would also apply to colonies but makes special provision for obligations towards indigenous populations provided there is no discrimination between nationals and foreigners.
A declaration that as respects effective international regulation schemes which may be established concerning coal, petroleum, iron, copper, tin, rubber, timber, cotton and wool the Government in order to ensure that the schemes do not unduly interfere with the trade in raw materials nor unduly raise prices will either participate directly in the schemes or will obtain the necessary powers to exercise an effective supervision. It further provides for “effective representation” of consuming countries, for publicity and for the consideration of complaints.

These declarations would apply solely to industrial raw materials excluding foodstuff. The document contains an additional declaration taken mainly from Eden’s Assembly speech of September 20 containing an offer to consider specific complaints respecting abuses of colonial preference treatment.

Stoppani has written Grady urging that he send Thompson some indications as to the attitude he should take towards the draft. He said these could be quite general since the only decision the Committee could take would be to ask the Council to submit the draft to governments. If not already desired that Thompson endeavor directly or indirectly to influence the tenor of the report it would be helpful in addition to any specific observations Grady may wish to cable upon receipt of the document, to receive as soon as possible by mail any general comments or material readily available for background.

  1. The Consul was informed by telegram No. 163, November 24, that telegram No. 162, November 18, 1 p.m., was not intended to prevent Mr. Thompson from participating in the discussion as Mr. Grady’s substitute, and that general instructions from Mr. Grady had been mailed on November 23.
  2. League of Nations document B. 1004, Geneva, November 18; copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul at Geneva in his despatch No. 92 Political, November 23, not printed.
  3. “Draft Declaration Concerning (the Establishment of Permanent Guarantees in Regard to) Commercial Access to Raw Materials.”