740.00119 (Potsdam)/5–2446

No. 547
Briefing Book Paper
top secret

Civil Aviation MattersGreat Britain

[Editor’s Note.—In this Briefing Book paper the Department of State recommended that the President discuss the following questions with the British Prime Minister with a view to reaching an agreement with the United Kingdom concerning them: (a) British efforts to prevent the development of American international air transport in Europe and the Near and Middle East; (b) British efforts to prevent the sale of American aircraft in sterling areas; (c) United States readiness to negotiate with the United Kingdom a bilateral air-transport agreement which would permit the aircraft of each nation to serve the territory of the other on mutually satisfactory terms; and (d) the civil aviation provisions of the peace treaties for Germany, Italy, and Japan.

With respect to the first of these questions, the Department called the President’s attention to a note of April 18, 1945, to the British Embassy at Washington1 (to which the Embassy had not yet made a final reply2), in which it had been stated that the United States Government “would welcome assurances that the British Government will not oppose the efforts of the United States to acquire landing rights at this time in the Near and Middle East for United States commercial air services.”

The Department’s Briefing Book paper reaffirmed support for the “five freedoms” agreement signed on December 7, 1944, at the International Civil Aviation Conference held at Chicago,3 and defined the “five freedoms” as follows: “(1) right to fly non-stop over another country; (2) right to land for non-traffic purposes; (3) right to carry traffic from homeland to other countries; (4) right to bring back such traffic to the homeland; (5) right to carry ‘pick-up’ traffic between intermediate countries.” It was pointed out to the President that the United Kingdom had accepted only the “two freedoms” agreement,4 involving the first two freedoms enumerated above, and that [Page 822] the British Government had used its influence with other nations, particularly in the Near East, to persuade them to adopt the British position.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. See document No. 548, infra.
  3. Executive Agreement Series No. 488; 59 Stat. (2) 1701.
  4. Opened for signature at Chicago on December 7, 1944, and signed on that date by representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom (Executive Agreement Series No. 487; 59 Stat. (2) 1693).