611.4131/1205: Telegram

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

97. Your 183, March 4, 3 p.m.20 Our first conversations with the British delegation21 dealt with the general provisions and with a [Page 20]formula which we proposed regarding concessions to the United States in the British Colonial Empire. Copies of the general provisions and the Colonial formula which we handed the British delegation are being sent to you by mail. After listening to our explanation of these documents the British delegation stated that they would communicate with London and discuss these questions in detail after receiving instructions.

We are now having daily meetings with the British delegation on Schedules 1 and 2, with the view to obtaining clarification of our respective requests, determining where subclassifications or value brackets are necessary, and finding out in general the emphasis which each side places on particular concessions. We have informed the British delegation that pending the conclusion of the oral hearings which start on March 14 we are not in a position to discuss proposed rates of duty on imports into the United States from the United Kingdom. The conversations have not yet proceeded to a point where it is possible to form much of an estimate of how far the United Kingdom is prepared to go in these negotiations.

We plan to send you periodic telegrams on the course of the negotiations and to keep you as fully and currently informed as possible. We shall of course send you copies of any documents exchanged between the delegations.

  1. Not printed; in this telegram the Chargé asked to be kept currently informed on trade agreement negotiations.
  2. The British delegation arrived in Washington on February 23, 1938. It consisted of the British Ambassador, Sir Ronald Lindsay, and A. E. Overton, Second Secretary of the Board of Trade, assisted by W. E. H. Rhydderch, N. E. Archer, F. Grant, J. A. Stirling, and G. L. Watkinson; and by H. O. Chalkley, Commercial Counselor of the British Embassy, as adviser to the delegation.