840.50/399⅜: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

2686. In answer to Department’s 2152, May 14, and in reference to my message 2570 [2750], May 11. This morning I informed Mr. Eden of your message of friendly welcome to Law and Ronald. Both he and Law were very appreciative, although Eden informed me that Law’s trip had been delayed a week because of the postponement of adjournment date of Parliament. He, as you know, is the Parliamentary Secretary.

Paragraph 2 of this message troubles me. I am, of course, aware that the Russians and others should not be made to feel that they were excluded from discussions on future commercial policy. If the men I suggested in my message 2570 [2750], May 11, were permitted to come on here for informal talks, in order to better understand British needs, I am certain that their journey could be handled so as to avoid any “suspicion that the British and ourselves are formulating a specific program for subsequent presentation to the others.”

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Although British thinking on financial problems has gotten down on paper, it has not been formalized by Cabinet decision beyond permission to engage in these discussions, and even then with the understanding that they in no way involve commitments. The formulation of ideas to date has been on a lower Government level, but it has involved the thinking of the ablest economists in England, and many outstanding Government experts. It was this group that helped us most when we were trying to press for article VII, and if we now shut them out of informal discussions, it will not help our cause, and it will adversely affect the standing of the Embassy here.

I want most earnestly to urge again sending a small group to undertake this preliminary survey which I understood in Washington was to be worked out, and so informed the British.