560.AL/3–2146: Telegram

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

us urgent

3259. For Wilcox, Stinebower, and Brown from Hawkins. Peterson, Fowler and Hawkins attended a meeting held in Board of Trade today on invitation of Liesching to discuss various matters relating to Trade and Employment Conference and preliminary meeting as follows: [Page 1303]

Your procedural memorandum February 6 is considered by the British to be satisfactory. They have been advised by the Government of India that latter has not yet received it and ask that prompt steps be taken to provide the Indian Government with copies. We have sent copy of Dept’s instruction and memorandum open airmail in event Dept’s instruction to New Delhi was delayed.
They showed us the text of a tentative draft statement intended to be made in the House of Commons probably during the first week in April describing the preliminary meeting and what is expected to be accomplished by it and at the trade and employment conference and inviting interested parties including organizations such as the Federation of British Industries, National Union of Manufacturers and Trades Union Congress to make known their views re concessions to be sought and offered. This procedural step corresponds roughly to our public notice of intention to negotiate.
It should be noted that the statement is based upon the assumption that the preliminary meeting will begin in September and that our public notice and list of products will be published about the middle of May. We made a few suggestions particularly in a sentence calling for views concerning preferences now accorded to British products in Commonwealth and Empire markets having in mind possible reactions in the US and in the other countries which they indicated would be adopted.
They said that in making the above statement they must be able to state the time and place for the meeting. Having in mind the considerations set forth in our 3237, March 21 we said that we had already indicated our agreement to September as the date of the preliminary meeting and felt sure that there would be definite agreement on London as a site but that in order to make assurance doubly sure we would communicate our final position to them on these points before the statement is to be made in the House.

[Here follows discussion of other subjects.]

  • [Hawkins]
  • Gallman