800.515/661: Telegram

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

3201. For Secretary of the Treasury from Casaday. Department’s 2378, April 14, midnight; Department’s 2537, April 21, 5 p.m.; Embassy’s 2905, April 27, 11 p.m.; Embassy’s 3033, May 1; and Embassy’s 3038, May 1, midnight.49

[Here follows detailed information regarding the appointment of experts by the Ministers of Finance of Norway and Yugoslavia for the informal preliminary conversations.]

The informal meeting of technical experts called by Dr. Beyen of the Netherlands Government was held today. With reference to my 2905 I report herewith that Beyen did send me a second, specific invitation which I accepted in the role of observer. In view of this, Waley decided that the British should also attend. Consequently at the meeting today Waley and Fraser50 were present in the role of observers, and Waley said he believed that, after all, it was better that both they and I had attended.

In addition to those already mentioned, the meeting was attended by representatives of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, USSR (observer only), and Yugoslavia. Possibly because of the presence of the UK and US observers the discussion [Page 1075] was very general and did not at any time assume the character of a searching analysis or detailed comparison of the currency proposals. There seemed to be general agreement that no final decisions or commitments on the currency proposals could be made until the longer terms problems of capital movements, loans or other arrangements for reconstruction and relief, and general trade and economic policies had been fully explored and some practical arrangements in these matters agreed upon. The presence of this sentiment at the meeting tends to confirm the statements made in the Financial News of May 1 as reported in my telegram 3033 of that date.

The meeting decided to make available to me and to Sir David Waley the memorandum prepared by Beyen, together with today’s minutes, for transmission by our respective channels to Washington, A copy of the memorandum is already being forwarded to you by air pouch and a copy of the minutes of today’s meeting will follow as soon as received.51

It is possible that if, as Waley suggested earlier, the British observers and I had declined to attend today’s meeting, the discussion might have assumed a different character. I am inclined to doubt this, although it must be admitted that the purpose in calling the meeting at this time is not entirely clear. During the past week the representatives of at least three of the governments told me they were puzzled on this score and two of them expressed the same feeling following the meeting today. [Casaday.]

  1. Telegrams Nos. 3033 and 3038 not printed.
  2. Presumably W. L. Fraser, Principal Assistant Secretary, British Treasury.
  3. Not printed.