840.50/3593½: Telegram

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

2170. The replies to be made by the Prime Minister to the President’s letters on economic machinery and on the Combined Boards are still under discussion by his advisers. Ronald indicated slight changes in the position outlined in Embassy’s 1973 March 10. Owing to lack of time the suggestion to open discussions at once between the Foreign Office and the State Department on the subject matter to be covered in international economic discussions and bring them to a conclusion during the Under Secretary’s visit is not now practicable, and as a substitute the British may suggest that preliminary discussions should be held with the Under Secretary during his visit but that conclusions be postponed until the visit of the British technicians to Washington to continue the informal Article VII talks. Ronald thought the British would be ready to resume these talks early in May.

In addition Ronald thought that in the Prime Minister’s reply the establishment of a steering committee would be accepted in principle but it might be suggested that it should not be set up until tentative decisions had been reached during the talks in May on the scope of the subject matter to be discussed.