840.50/3–1245: Telegram

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

2555. Your 1685, March 5, 9 p.m. After reviewing the talks we have had with the British in London I consider that the greatest importance should be given to the initiation by the President of negotiations towards a multilateral agreement among the United and Associated Nations along the lines of section 3 of the proposed draft bill.65 I do not think renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act,66 even with powers to make greater reductions in tariffs, would in [Page 30] itself make a great enough impression in UK to counteract the views either of the reactionaries who do not like article VII or the honest doubters who wish to support it but fear that we shall not be ready to do our part in implementing article VII.67

Our position on commercial policy will also affect the British attitude not only on commercial policy but on Parliamentary action to implement the Monetary Fund plan.

I think that the prospect of success in any area of our total plan for giving effect to article VII depends on what happens in the other areas and that it is now most urgent that we should take the lead in attempting to bring a commercial policy program as quickly as possible to as advanced a stage as the Bretton Woods proposals.

For these reasons I think that first importance should be given to the inclusion of section 3. I hope that it may yet be possible to include section 2 also, but it seems to me that sooner or later it will be necessary to obtain Congressional approval for a commercial policy measure that will go far enough to make a deep and convincing impression here and get the support of the British Government.


[For text of press release, dated March 13, concerning discussions between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King of Canada on the international economic and trading policy, see Department of State Bulletin, March 14, 1945, page 434.]

  1. See footnote 59, p. 27.
  2. Approved June 12, 1934 (48 Stat. 943); as amended by the Act of June 7, 1943 (57 Stat. 125).
  3. See footnote 29, p. 12.