800.796/543: Telegram

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

1258. Reference Department’s 1097, February 12, 7 p.m. and the Embassy’s 1084, February 8, 8 p.m. We believe that Lord Beaverbrook’s office is aware of the preliminary and exploratory nature of the conversations envisaged in the Department’s aide-mémoire of January 26 to the British Embassy in Washington. The proposed agenda for these discussions which the British are preparing is of a general nature. We are told that among the subjects they wish to discuss are the scope and desirability of establishing an international aviation regulatory body having certain economic as well as technical powers and the best means of avoiding destructive competition while giving free scope to the development of aviation.

With reference to the Embassy’s 1207, February 11, 11 p.m., we are informed by Beaverbrook’s two assistants that the submission of the proposed British agenda for approval in Washington has been held up because of the references to Canada in the aide-mémoire and because of Canada’s reported submission of a complete and detailed draft aviation agreement. They would like to know whether the United States has in mind that the proposed discussions will be three-cornered, that is, the United States, Great Britain and Canada. If so, they feel strongly that all of the Dominions should be included. They would much prefer to have the first preliminary discussions limited to the United States and Great Britain. (According to Stanton of Beaverbrook’s office, a possible satisfactory arrangement might be to have the discussions in Ottawa but with Canadians present as observers only.) The British seem to hope that the preliminary discussions will lead to agreement between the United States and them on general principles and that subsequently these principles will be agreed to by other nations.

It would be helpful to receive by telegraph a copy of the Department’s agenda suggested to the British since air mail usually takes 2 weeks.

Stanton and Masefield30 say they now feel Beaverbrook will be ready to begin discussions in about 5 weeks depending on how the problem with respect to Canada’s participation is solved.

  1. P. G. Masefield, Personal Adviser on Civil Aviation to the Lord Privy Seal.