Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. William T. Phillips of the Commodities Division

Participants: Mr. R. Keith Jopson—Commercial Secretary, British Embassy
Mr. B. F. Haley, CD
Mr. W. T. Phillips, CD

On May 4 Mr. Haley and I called on Mr. Jopson at the British Embassy to inform him of the present state of affairs relating to our internal negotiations regarding the proposed rubber agreement.

We informed Mr. Jopson fully of the opposition which has developed toward United States participation in the proposed rubber agreement. It was pointed out to him that the industrial representatives of United States rubber interests have a feeling that they have not been taken fully into the confidence of the Department and also that they are still apprehensive regarding the motives lying behind the invitation for United States participation in the proposed international rubber agreement.

Mr. Jopson suggested that several Department representatives accompanied by one or more industry representatives might profitably arrange a trip to London to discuss informally with the British and Dutch the type of problems with which the proposed international rubber committee would concern itself. Mr. Haley and I agreed with Mr. Jopson that it would dispel much of the apprehension of the rubber industry concerning any underlying motives behind the invitation for United States participation if such a delegation were to sit down with the British and Dutch and discuss the problem informally. It might also indicate to the industry that the Department does intend to keep the industry informed and intends to consult with representatives of the rubber industry in order to obtain their individual views. Mr. Jopson indicated that it would be impossible to exclude the Dutch from such discussions since they have been informed of all negotiations and have worked closely with the British on this matter.

It was proposed that a cable be prepared for transmission to the American Embassy in London describing the present state of affairs and that Mr. Jopson send a similar cable to his Government so that both sides might be fully aware of all developments and the reasons for our delay in answering the British proposal of January 14, 1944.21

The participants plan to meet again on May 5 since Mr. Jopson wishes us to review the cable which he plans to transmit to his Government.

  1. See despatch 13,301, January 14, from London, p. 952.