560.AL/3–446: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman)


2268. For Hawkins. 1. We have been giving careful thought to viewpoints expressed in urtels 2439, Feb. 28, and 2573, Mar. 4, re April or June meeting on Proposals as such.

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While we recognize advantages you cite of having wider agreement on principles before proceeding to definitive negotiations, general reactions from various Govts thus far lead us to belief that such agreement, which would have to be sought in absence of use of our tariff bargaining power, might be extremely difficult to get. Failure to get it might put us in worse position than before. We also feel that meeting to discuss Proposals in full detail could not well be superficial affair but would require fairly large preparations. This might slow down preparatory work for detailed negotiations in September. On balance, therefore, we are inclined to agree with Liesching that meeting to discuss Proposals as such should not be held.
Re meeting to discuss procedures only, we have consulted Canadians who thought this would be desirable. We do not feel strongly about it, however, and in view of British opposition are inclined to drop idea unless you think it should be explored further with British.
An alternative to foregoing might be to begin definitive discussions on or before August 1 instead of September 1 and to use first month or six weeks to negotiate, and get out of the way if possible, those parts of Proposals dealing with surplus commodities, cartels, employment measures and structure of the international organization, leaving until last the general provisions relating to tariffs, quotas and closely related matters and the detailed tariff negotiations. Advantages of this would be 1) discussions could begin earlier even though preparations for tariff negotiations were not completed here, 2) manpower and housing situation would be eased to extent Govts used different people for different subjects, and 3) procedurally, meeting might be easier to handle by eliminating need for simultaneous discussion of all matters including detailed tariff negotiations. At same time, discussion of nontrade-barrier provisions would not be so far removed in time from tariff negotiations as in your proposals.

Please discuss this with British if you think desirable and in any event give us your own reaction.