560.AL/1–446: Telegram

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

us urgent

251. Dept believes it would be helpful in connection with preparations for preliminary trade meeting if Hawkins would spend a day or two at each of American missions at Paris, Brussels, The Hague and Praha. Purpose of these visits, which should be made in January or early February, would be to give appropriate Embassy personnel background of proposed meeting based on his experience and detailed knowledge of “Proposals” and of Anglo-American economic and financial discussions. Additional important purposes would be for Hawkins to impress upon missions necessity of making every effort to assure that foreign governments concerned are making adequate preparations for meeting, and to this end to participate in initiating [Page 1268] informal explanatory discussions with appropriate officials of govts concerned. Dept is inclined to agree with conclusion in urtel 94, Jan. 4, that this procedure would be more effective in advancing immediate job of preparing for preliminary meeting than would general discussion of subject (together with other matters not intimately related) at wider gathering of all economic counselors on the continent, urtel 202, Jan. 8.15 Discussion at the meeting of counselors would not, however, be precluded. Unless you perceive objection, therefore, Hawkins is authorized to make these trips during the period indicated. Travel order follows. Please cable Dept approximate dates of each visit in order that it may inform missions concerned.16

In connection with these visits, Hawkins will wish to have following additional information:

All invited Govts have now accepted the invitation to attend the preliminary meeting except USSR, Czechoslovakia and Luxembourg.17
Current thinking in Dept, still subject to change, is that US may urge ECOSOC to call general world conference on trade and employment for some time late this year (the exact time to be set by the host Government), and to designate the nuclear group of countries18 to serve as a preparatory committee for this conference. Purpose of this arrangement would be to avoid confusion of having two separate international groups engaged in preparing proposals for general conference and to give impetus to proposals which would emerge from nuclear meeting. No decision on this procedure will be reached, however, without consulting you and US delegation to UNO.
Dept intends to prepare within the next week or ten days and to send to all American missions in countries accepting invitations to the preliminary meeting a detailed and comprehensive memorandum setting forth a) the objectives of the preliminary meeting, b) the preparations necessary to achieve these objectives and c) the procedures [Page 1269] which might be followed in carrying on actual negotiations at the meeting (i.e. committees to be established, etc.). This memorandum would be in form suitable for transmission to foreign governments concerned. Among other things, it would urge that each Govt participating in meeting transmit to each other participating Govt (where appropriate), as soon as possible and well in advance of the meeting, a list of the products on which it would wish to receive tariff concessions and an indication of the concessions desired. Urtel 94, Jan. 4. This procedure would not preclude, and would even appear to lead up naturally to presentation at meeting of schedules of offers by all countries.
It is hoped that by late February or early March it will be possible for Dept to transmit to all other participating Govts for their consideration a preliminary and tentative draft text of the Charter of the ITO, including provisions relating to trade barriers, cartels, commodity policy, employment and organization. To this text would be appended a draft protocol dealing with the independent entry into force of the schedules of tariff concessions and of the related provisions of the Charter (i.e. quotas, most-favored-nation treatment, national treatment for internal taxes, etc.) essential to safeguard the value of the tariff concessions.
Bilateral economic and financial discussions with French are planned for some time in February or March19 and Monnet, High Commissioner for the Modernization of Industry and Agriculture, will arrive in Washington within next few days for purpose of agreeing upon agenda. In so far as commercial policy is concerned, our objective will be to obtain general support of the “Proposals” by the French. US position on “Proposals” will not be modified during these or other bilateral discussions prior to preliminary meeting.

Dept will be glad to give special attention to answering any questions regarding proposed meeting which may occur to Hawkins in connection with proposed trips.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Mr. Hawkins went to the Continent for such discussions later in the month, and was in Paris from January 24–February 2; Brussels, February 3–5; and The Hague, February 6. He submitted to the Department a report of these talks in London despatch 28276, February 11, not printed.
  3. The acceptances were received as follows: Australia, December 21; Belgium, January 2; Brazil, January 7; Canada, December 15; China, December 31; Cuba, December 19; France, December 31; India, December 29; The Netherlands, January 3; New Zealand, December 17; and South Africa, January 2. Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia communicated acceptances on January 9 but the information had not been received in the Department at the time of the drafting of this telegram. United Kingdom acceptance of the principles of the “Proposals” had been indicated in a Joint Statement issued by the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the “Proposals” on December 6, 1945, at the same time that announcement was made of the conclusion of the Financial Agreement between the two governments.
  4. That is, the fifteen governments to whom invitations had been sent for the preliminary meeting.
  5. For documentation regarding this subject, see vol. v, pp. 399 ff.