841.796/2–846: Telegram

The Chairman of the United States Delegation (Baker) to the Secretary of State


War 8421. For Clayton. The following two paragraphs from the annex55 of the air transport agreement were very reluctantly agreed to by US Delegation as outside limit to which it can go to meet British so called “clarification” of Paragraph VI of final act56 mentioned in British aide-mémoire of February 6:57

“Where the onward carriage of traffic by an airplane of different size from that employed on the earlier stage of the same route (hereinafter referred to as ‘change of gauge’) is justified by reason of economy of operation, such change of gauge at a point in the territory of the United Kingdom or in the territory of the United States shall not [Page 1477] be made in violation of the principles set forth in the final act and in particular shall be subject to there being an adequate volume of through traffic in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 6 of that act.

Where a change of gauge is made at a point in the territory of the United Kingdom or in the territory of the United States, the smaller airplane will operate only in connection with the larger airplane arriving at the point of change, so as to provide a connecting service, specifically scheduled as such, and will thus normally wait on the arrival of the larger airplane.”

Believe this to be a most reasonable compromise. Self is cabling the two paragraphs for annex referred to above to London, stating it is as far as US Delegation will go. Pie is making no recommendation on this point himself. He had received instructions, first, that there be an absolute prohibition of change of gauge, and, later, instructions to propose wording which made right to change gauge subject British permission as in aide-mémoire. The problems raised are difficult ones basically involving Third and Fourth Freedom traffic from the US to other than British countries, and US Delegation thinks this is a last chance attempt on part of London to break away from the over-all deal of rate control, on the one hand, and no prior control of frequencies and limited Fifth Freedom traffic on the other. We agreed some time ago, in addition to rate control, to have through traffic to and from the US the main controlling consideration in our overseas operations, as indicated in the restrictive language on Paragraph VI of the Final Act. We now, in order to close the deal, agree to spell out a further restriction on change of gauge operations, tied into Paragraph VI with an even heavier stress on the volume of traffic standard. Beyond this the delegation does not feel they can possibly go. I do not know whether Self will send our arguments, as well as our language, to London, so I have given the above information to you, should you deem it wise to talk to Halifax about it.

  1. This might more properly have been worded: “The following two paragraphs which have been added to the annex. …”
  2. For text of paragraph VI in the draft of the Final Act, see p. 1470.
  3. See paragraph 6 of the text of the British aide-mémoire of February 6 transmitted to the Delegation in Department’s telegram of February 6, 8 p.m., p. 1469.