641.0031/128a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )6

3683. On June 11 Magowan, Board of Trade Minister in the British Embassy, advised the Department in complete confidence that an informal meeting would open in London on June 15 between representatives of the British and Dominion Governments on the expert level for an exploratory discussion of postwar commercial policy. He said that no publicity would be given the meeting, that no agreements or commitments were expected and that the discussion would in general not cover details. The purpose was rather to discuss in a preliminary way the broad approach which should be taken in matters of commercial policy. He believed that in general the subjects for discussion were those which had been dealt with by Section III of the Food Conference7 (the facilitation and improvement of distribution) along the lines set by the Conference but with a view to taking them up with us on a more concrete basis. He also believed the discussion would include the possibility of supplementary trade agreements with us, now that the Trade Agreements Act had been renewed.8

The British Government will no doubt wish to keep us closely and currently informed of the progress of these exploratory talks and you are authorized to take such steps as you consider appropriate to ensure effective liaison with the participants, including the designation of an observer should the British Government so desire.

  1. Text of this telegram quoted in messages of the same date to Australia (No. 246), New Zealand (No. 182), Union of South Africa (No. 122), and Canada (No. A–121), with instructions to keep the Department advised of any pertinent developments.
  2. For correspondence regarding the conference held at Hot Springs, Va., May 18–June 3, 1943, see pp. 820 ff.
  3. The Trade Agreements Act of June 12, 1934, was extended by Joint Resolution, June 7, 1943; 57 Stat. 125.