Lot 65A987, Box 101

The Chairman of the United States Delegation (Clayton) to Mr. James R. C. Helmore of the United Kingdom Delegation

My Dear Mr. Helmore: In your letter of May 14,1 I find the following:

“In our view no satisfactory result will be achieved if the negotiations are conducted in the spirit of the early days of the trade-agreements [Page 946] program when all concessions had to be matched by equivalent concessions in return. Ought not rather the guiding considerations to be (1) how far can the United States go in offering effective tariff reductions and (2) how little (not how much) must be given in return?”

The suggestion of such an approach to the present negotiations is, to say the least, surprising. Quite aside from its fundamental inequity, it clearly represents a radical departure from the understandings arrived at between our two Governments during conversations extending over the past several years, and, as you will immediately recognize, implies that our negotiators should proceed in violation of the Trade Agreements Act. It is therefore unacceptable to the United States.

I should appreciate your assurance that this suggestion does not represent the considered position of your Government.

Sincerely yours,

W. L. Clayton
  1. Not found in Department files.