560.AL/1–1446: Telegram

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

u.s. urgent

405. For Hawkins and Stinebower.22 Dept will shortly transmit to US member23 of ECOSOC instructions relating to the calling by ECOSOC of the proposed world conference on trade and employment. This will require the taking of decisions as to what proposals we should make in respect of the time and place of the conference, the countries to be invited, and the international machinery for preparing for the conference. A suggested position on the whole subject is outlined below. It is requested that you examine critically the various points indicated and cable the Dept your views and comments.

The outline follows:

ECOSOC should indicate the time of the conference in general terms only (e.g. late 1946), leaving the exact time to be announced by the preparatory committee (see 3 below) after consultation with ECOSOC. Purpose of this arrangement would be to avoid need for making prediction now as to the particular date by which preparations for the conference will have been completed. Dept considers it would be a mistake to hold world conference before preliminary trade meeting could produce concrete results on which conference could take action.
The following countries or categories of countries should be invited to the conference:
Countries members of the United Nations in good standing at the time of the conference.
Neutrals other than Spain.
Ex-enemy states or liberated areas recognized by the Big Three.
Any country which ECOSOC may later designate in the light of a change in political status.
We should urge that ECOSOC approve arrangement whereby the countries attending preliminary trade meeting (i.e. the nuclear [Page 1272] group) would serve as the preparatory committee for the world conference. If necessary in order to obtain ECOSOC agreement to this procedure, US might agree to arrangement whereby Economic and Employment Commission24 would be consulted and kept informed as to steps being taken by preparatory committee. Also, there would be no objection to appointment by ECOSOC of observers (i.e. representing ECOSOC and not individual countries) to attend preliminary trade meeting. Every effort should be made to avoid situation in which ECOSOC would entrust preparatory work to group other than that suggested above. If preparations for conference on matters of substance are carried forward by distinct or even overlapping groups confusion may result and the objectives of the conference may be impeded.
With regard to agenda, it appears to us that US should not attempt to force “Proposals” as sole item and preclude suggestions by others. Satisfactory arrangement might be one whereby ECOSOC would ask all invited countries to submit suggestions for agenda to ECOSOC which would transmit them to preparatory committee (i.e. the nuclear group).
Conference should be held in territory of member of the preparatory committee, and preferably in country where seat of ECOSOC is located. Additional reasons for holding conference here are that preliminary trade meeting would be elsewhere, US could offer best physical facilities, and finally, action by Congress on results of conference might be influenced favorably.

Your views regarding the foregoing should be communicated to the Dept as soon as possible.

  1. Leroy D. Stinebower, Deputy Director of the Office of International Trade Policy, and Adviser to the United States Delegation to the First Part of the First Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations which convened at London on January 10. Regarding the organization and functioning of the United States Delegation to the London meeting of the General Assembly, see ante, pp. 57.
  2. John G. Winant, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Ambassador Winant was appointed United States Representative on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations by President Truman on January 12. The Council, along with other organs of the United Nations, was being organized by the General Assembly at this time, and its first meeting was held on January 23.
  3. The Economic and Employment Commission was one of five “nuclear” commissions established by the Economic and Social Council at its first session which extended from January 23 to February 18. For the proceedings of the first session of ECOSOC, see United Nations, Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, First Year, First Session (hereafter cited as ESC (I)).