560.AL/12–2045: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Norway (Osborne)


21. After careful consideration, it is felt that it would not be practicable to extend to the Norwegian Govt an invitation to participate [Page 1270] in the preliminary meeting on trade and employment.20 This not only would add to size of group already large in view of complicated negotiations envisaged but would doubtless lead other Govts to press for invitations. Dept has already been approached informally by other Govts regarding such invitations.

Morgenstierne has taken up with Dept the desire of his Govt to be invited to preliminary meeting (reurtel 808 Dec. 28 [20]21). In explaining to him reasons for omission of Norway and why it would not be possible to increase number of countries participating, following points were made: (1) in selecting countries invited, primary emphasis was placed on assuring that group would be broadly representative as to types of trade barriers and economies and would include principal trading nations; (2) USSR included as member Big Five and as principal state-trading nation; (3) necessary to include all British Dominions because of their contractual obligations regarding tariff preferences and importance of action on imperial preferences; (4) Cuba included because of US-Cuba tariff preferences; (5) Luxembourg included as member of Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union (re item 4 urtel 808); (6) no country was selected as representative of particular geographic area (re item 1 urtel 808); (7) shipping will not be discussed at conference (re item 2 urtel 808); (8) agreement reached at preliminary meeting will be opened to scrutiny of later world-wide conference; meanwhile views of Norwegian Govt on “Proposals for the Expansion of World Trade and Employment” will be welcomed and this Govt hopes Norway will look favorably on these proposals and will support them at world trade conference (re item 3 urtel 808); (9) finally, because of magnitude of task of negotiating detailed tariff concessions, this Govt has been compelled to limit number of countries participating in initial discussions.

It is suggested that you adopt similar approach in any discussion of matter with FonOff. Exclusion of Norway from preliminary meeting does not imply any lack of desire on part of this Govt for close trade relations with Norway.

  1. For an approach made in this sense to the Department by the Norwegian Ambassador (Morgenstierne) on December 14, 1945, and to the Ambassador in Norway (Osborne) by the Norwegian Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Prebensen) at Oslo about December 20, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, pp. 1349 and 1352, respectively. Ambassador Morgenstierne had further conversations with the Department on this matter on Januarfy 5, 1946 and again on January 14.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, p. 1352. This transmitted Ambassador Osborne’s report of his conversation with M. Prebensen.