560.AL/1–1646: Telegram

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

us urgent

605. Undel 89. For Hawkins and Stinebower. 1. Dept agrees with views expressed your telegram no. 528, Jan 16 (not Undel series) regarding calling by ECOSOC of proposed world conference on trade and employment and relation to preliminary trade meeting. You are accordingly authorized to proceed along the lines indicated in that telegram and to prepare appropriate draft resolution which should, however, be cleared with Dept before formal introduction in ECOSOC.

In connection with foregoing, you will be interested in following excerpt from cable we have received from Embassy Moscow setting forth Kennan’s views regarding probable Russian reaction to proposed preliminary trade meeting:

“They [the Russians]29 will wish to be entirely clear concerning relationship of tasks of proposed preliminary meeting and of later general conference to those of Economic and Social Council of UNO. I think it likely that they would prefer in general to pursue internatl economic questions through this latter council which, particularly if Internatl Labor Organization should be admitted to membership, would appear to present a more suitable medium for promulgation of Soviet internatl economic aims, which are so often political and tactical in nature, than would a special organization for trade and employment designed to enforce general and permanent principles. Indeed I think it possible that they may try to have entire question of preliminary talks on reduction of trade barriers submitted for prior consideration by Economic and Social Council before they will take a definite position.”30

Czechoslovakia has accepted our invitation (Depcirtel of Jan 17), which means that at least 9 of 18 members of ECOSOC will be represented at preliminary trade meeting.
We have had some further thoughts regarding character of observers which ECOSOC might appoint to attend preliminary trade meeting. We had thought that if, with our influence, Norway could be appointed as ECOSOC observer this would to some extent soften [Page 1277] the effect of our having had to resist the strenuous efforts Norway has made and is continuing to make to get invited to the meeting. We feel, however, that it would be preferable if the observer or observers from ECOSOC were to be members of the secretariat rather than representatives of a particular country. If national representatives are selected (in which case we should probably press for inclusion of Norway) then it would seem desirable to have a committee of observers rather than only one. Your reactions to this general problem would be appreciated.
  1. Brackets appear in the quotation in the original.
  2. The Soviet Union never accepted the bid to a preliminary trade meeting.