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

No. 13,301

Sir: Referring to Embassy’s despatch no. 12,190, dated November 12, 1943,9 with reference to the proposed International Rubber Agreement to take the place of the International Rubber Regulation Agreement after April 30, 1944, I have the honor to enclose a preliminary copy of a draft Agreement with, according to the Colonial Office, “the minimum alterations which would appear necessary to provide for the inclusion of the United States and other countries besides the United Kingdom, Netherlands and India.”

In connection with the attached draft reference is also made to the Embassy’s telegrams nos. 8797 and 8963, dated December 18 and December 24, 1943, respectively,10 concerning the four months’ extension of the International Rubber Regulation Agreement for the purpose of providing sufficient time for the United States and other possibly interested countries to consider the basis on which they might join in the new agreement.

Mr. S. Caine, Economic Adviser to the Colonial Office, in relaying the attached draft to the Embassy stated that:

“You will, I am sure, appreciate that this is a quite provisional document based on that which it had previously been contemplated [Page 953] that the three remaining signatories of the old Regulation Agreement should sign and that the question of other amendments in the draft to meet any points which may be raised on your side is entirely open to discussion.”

With reference to the inclusion of the U.S.S.R. as typical of other countries which might join the agreement, Mr. Caine states,

“I have included the U.S.S.R. as a typical other country only for purposes of illustration and not because a decision has been taken as to inclusion of Russia or for that matter that the matter has even been suggested to the Russians.”

In connection with the possibility of the U.S.S.R. joining an International Rubber Committee, however, Mr. P. H. Westermann, in charge of the Economic Department of the Netherlands Ministry for the Colonies, had a talk recently with Mr. N. Feonov of the Trade Delegation of the U.S.S.R. in the United Kingdom, on this subject. Mr. Feonov expressed definite interest in the possibility of the U.S.S.R. cooperating in the new rubber agreement and asked whether a draft of the contemplated new agreement could be forwarded for the information of his Government. Mr. Westermann replied as per the attached letter, dated January 5, 1944,11 which is forwarded for the strictly confidential information of the Department.

At a meeting in the Colonial Office today between Mr. G. L. M. Clauson, Head of the Economic Department of the Colonial Office, Mr. Caine, Sir Clifford Figg of the Colonial Office and Stanton12 and Lockwood13 of the Embassy, both Clauson and Caine emphasised that the attached draft could be altered as desired by the United States Government, and especially stressed that the proposed new agreement was in no sense a continuation of the present International Rubber Regulation Agreement, or a continuance of rubber restriction. They felt, however, that the Committee could serve a very valuable purpose in acting in a consultative and advisory capacity to the contracting Governments on international rubber problems and believe that the adherence of the United States is vital to the success of the new agreement.

The subject is one which Lockwood is anxious to discuss in detail with representatives of the Department and other interested agencies concerned on his return to the States soon after this despatch is received.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Don C. Bliss

Commercial Attaché
[Page 954]

British Draft of a New Rubber Agreement

The Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter referred to as the Government of the United Kingdom), India, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United States of America, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whereas the aforesaid Governments consider that it is desirable to conclude an Agreement to provide for consultation and information as regards rubber and rubber substitutes:

Have accordingly agreed as follows:

Article 1. (i) An international committee to be designated “The International Rubber Committee” (hereinafter referred to as “The Committee”) shall be constituted.

(ii) The functions of the Committee shall be:—

To collect information regarding rubber and rubber substitutes;
To study the problems of the rubber producing industry in relation to probable future needs;
To act in a consultative and advisory capacity to the contracting Governments on matters affecting the rubber producing industry;
Such other functions of a similar character as may from time to time be entrusted to it by the contracting Governments.

Article 2 The Committee may from time to time:—

consult with any institute or board concerned with rubber research; with representatives of consumers of rubber, and with such other persons or bodies, as the Committee consider it expedient to consult for the purpose of fulfilling the functions entrusted to it;
make reports and recommendations to the contracting Governments as they think fit;
issue or publish such information with regard to rubber and rubber substitutes as may from time to time seem expedient and desirable;
do all other lawful things as may be necessary, incidental or conducive to the carrying out of its functions.

Article 3. (i) The Committee shall be composed of members designated by the contracting Governments.

(ii) The contracting Governments shall appoint members as follows:

the government of the U.K. (Four) Members
Kingdom of the Netherlands (Three) Members
India (One) Member
U.S.A. ( ) Members
U.S.S.R. ( )

[Page 955]

(iii) The Governments of those countries having three or more members of the Committee may each appoint two substitute members, and the other contracting Governments may each appoint one substitute member. Substitute members may take the place of members appointed by their respective Governments when such members are unable to be present at meetings of the Committee.

(iv) The contracting Governments shall as soon as possible inform the Government of the United Kingdom of the first appointments made by them of members and substitute members. Thereafter the contracting Governments shall have the right to change all or any of their members or substitute members at any time on giving notice thereto to the Chairman of the Committee.

(v) The Government of the United Kingdom shall convoke the first meeting of the Committee as soon as possible after the signature of the Agreement, and may do so as soon as they have been informed of the appointment of a sufficient number of members to constitute a quorum.

(vi) There shall be a quorum if not less than ( ) members are present.

(vii) Any contracting Government may at any time nominate persons to attend meetings of the Committee in a consultative capacity as advisers to their members either for the discussion of particular questions or generally. The names of persons so nominated as advisers (and the particular matters, if any, for which they have been so appointed) shall be communicated to the Chairman of the Committee. Such persons shall be entitled to attend meetings of the Committee and to take part in the discussions dealing with topics for which they have been nominated, but they shall not have the right to vote. The Committee, however, may decide that advisers shall be excluded from any meetings or any parts of meetings. Substitute members may also be appointed as advisers. No contracting Government shall appoint more than three persons to attend meetings of the Committee as advisers at any one time, unless the Chairman of the Committee should decide otherwise.

(viii) The Committee shall at its first meeting elect its Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Chairman and Vice Chairman shall not be members appointed by the same contracting Government.

(ix) Each member of the Committee shall have one vote and decisions may be taken by a majority of members present and voting. The Chairman shall have a vote as a member of the Committee and shall, if the votes are equally divided have a casting vote in his capacity as Chairman.

(x) The proceedings of the Committee shall be conducted in English.

[Page 956]

(xi) Save as provided in the preceding provisions of the present Article and by Article 5, the Committee may regulate its procedure in such manner as it thinks fit and adopt such rules and procedure as may seem to it to be necessary.

Article 4. The principal offices of the Committee shall be in London and, unless the Committee decides otherwise, its meetings shall be held in London. The Committee shall make such arrangements as may be necessary for office accommodation and may appoint and pay such officers and staff as may be required. The expenses of members, substitute members and advisers shall be defrayed entirely by the Government by whom they are designated.

Article 5. (i) The contracting Governments shall defray the expenses of the Committee in the same proportions as the number of members they are entitled to appoint under Article 3 (ii) bears to the total number of members which all the contracting Governments are entitled to appoint.

(ii) The contracting Governments will pay their financial contributions not later than three months after the date on which they are informed by the Committee of the amount of their contributions.

(iii) The Committee will draw up its first budget for the year 1944 and inform the contracting Governments of the amount of their contributions as soon as possible. Subsequently the Committee shall draw up its budget for each year and inform the Contracting Governments of the amount of their contributions not later than December 31 of the preceding year.

Article 6. The Contracting Governments will furnish to the Committee all reasonable information and assistance required by the Committee for the proper and efficient discharge of its functions, including such information as it has been customary to supply to the Regulations Committee.

Article 7. (i) Any Government (or national authority recognised by the contracting Governments) may accede to the present agreement, by a notification of accession addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom. The notification of accession shall take effect on January 1 following the conclusion of the Supplementary Agreement referred to in paragraph (ii) of this Article. The Government of the United Kingdom will inform the other contracting Governments of all notifications of accession.

(ii) No notification of accession shall become effective until a Supplementary Agreement has been concluded between the contracting Governments providing, in a manner acceptable to the acceding Government, for the following matters:—

The number of members and substitute members which the acceding Government may appoint to the Committee.
The proportion of the expenses of the Committee to be borne by the acceding Government.
The quorum of the Committee.
Any other matter which it is necessary or desirable to provide for in connection with the proposed accession.

(iii) The Supplementary Agreement shall make such amendments to Articles 3 and 5 of this Agreement as are necessary to give effect to its provisions.

Article 8. (i) Any contracting Government may denounce the present Agreement by a notice of termination addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom. Notice of termination shall take effect on the first January next following an interval of not less than three months from the date of the notification of termination. The Government of the United Kingdom will inform the other contracting Governments of all notifications of termination.

(ii) If by reason of denunciations the number of contracting Governments is reduced to less than two, the Committee shall be liquidated and its documents shall be deposited with the Government of the United Kingdom. Any balance of assets remaining after the discharge of all liabilities of the Committee shall be shared between the last two contracting Governments remaining parties to this Agreement in proportion to their respective contributions to its expenses. Similarly, if the liabilities of Committee are found upon liquidation to exceed the assets, the sum required to discharge fully the liabilities of the Committee shall be provided by the last two remaining contracting Governments in the same proportions.

Article 9. The present Agreement will come into force as from to-day’s date.

In witness whereof the Undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being authorised to this effect by their respective Governments, have signed the present Agreement and affixed thereto their seals.

Done at London this . . day of . . . . . 1943 in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom and of which duly certified copies shall be communicated by the Government of the United Kingdom to each of the other contracting Governments.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. William A. Stanton, Rubber Development Corp.; temporarily attached to the Embassy at London to assist the London Far East Emergency Rubber Committee.
  5. Warren S. Lockwood, Senior Economic Analyst of the Embassy at London.