Lot 65A987, Box 99

Minutes of a Meeting of the United States Delegation Staff,1 Geneva, Switzerland, May 28, 1947


[Here follows a discussion of other subjects.]

5. Round-up of Tariff Negotiations.

UK. Mr. Beale said that the two teams had been going through the US offers, a task which should be completed by next week.

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Canada. Mr. Fox reported that study of the Canadian offer list was almost completed, but that the Canadians would do nothing about preferences until the wool question has been resolved.

Southern Dominions. Mr. Carr merely stated that nothing at all was happening with respect to the Southern Dominions.

India. Mr. Moline2 stated that on the basis of an informal discussion with certain of the Indians he was sure that the Indian offers would be improved and that he had been further informed by these same Indians that should these offers be inadequate the US should continue to say “no”. He was informed that a strong position by the US would result in further improvement of the Indian offers. Mr. Wilcox mentioned the seriously divided Indian Delegation, the line of cleavage cutting between the Hindus and the Moslems. He asked that Mr. Moline check as far as he could to find out reasons for the Indian attack on the investment provisions.

France. Mr. Reagan3 reported that the French had been asked to reconsider their offers and that the leaders of their Delegation had returned to Paris for this purpose over the week-end. According to a report from the Embassy, the French government had worked on their list and a reply was expected today from the French team. It was Mr. Reagan’s opinion that there will probably be some broadening of the offers but that the list will still be unsatisfactory.

Benelux. Mr. Fowler4 said that a revised set of US requests would be ready by the end of the week for submission to TAC.

Norway. Mr. Burns5 reported that the Norwegians were still attacking the US offers primarily on the grounds of their balance of trade picture, and secondly on the issue of sardines. He said that they still maintained that the US offers were inadequate but that when he had called their bluff by stating that many of these offers were embarrassing to us and we would be happy to withdraw them, they had hastened to say that they would still negotiate on the basis of our original offers. He added that the negotiations were momentarily stalled.

Czechoslovakia. According to Mr. Phelps6 a battle of the statisticians has been going on with each team attempting to prove that its offers were good and those which it had received were bad. He said the greatest difficulty was in scheduling meetings due to the small size of the Czech Delegation.

Cuba. Mr. Smith7 reported that at the first working meeting with [Page 953] the Cubans held May 27 the US team had informed the Cubans how bad their offers were and they receded a bit as a consequence of this attack. As yet there is little to report.

Brazil and Chile. Mr. Clark8 felt that early next week he would be able to bring to the TAC firm recommendations on the Brazilian negotiations. He was quite optimistic about the prospects.

He further reported that Chile appears to be entirely content with the US offer list, but that we have continuously informed them that their offers were unsatisfactory. We have been informed that the Chilean Delegation has airmailed to Santiago new offers and asked for a cable reply. It is Mr. Clark’s opinion that if approval is received from Santiago, the negotiations can be wound up quickly.

China and Lebanon. Mr. Gay9 said that so far it had been impossible to pin the Chinese down to a real meeting.

Conversations have been proceeding with the Syrian-Lebanese group and they have asked for instructions which would do away with discriminatory rates on automobiles. It was Mr. Gay’s opinion that this would break the bottleneck on these negotiations.

[Here follows a discussion of other subjects.]

  1. Weekly General Staff Meetings were attended by the Chairman, and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment, by the Delegates, by the members of the Trade Agreements Committee, by the Charter Working Group, and by the chairmen of the negotiating teams. In addition the Adviser on Dependent Territories, the Adviser from Puerto Rico, the Press Officer, the Public Liaison Officer, the Executive Secretary and the Technical Secretary attended. A substantially complete record of the meetings of the General Staff Meetings is found in Lot 65A987, Box 99.
  2. Edwin G. Moline, British Commonwealth and Empire Branch, Division of Commercial Policy, Member of the U.S. Delegation Staff.
  3. Daniel J. Reagan, Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs at Paris, Member of the U.S. Delegation Staff.
  4. William A. Fowler, Division of Commercial Policy.
  5. Norman Burns, Adviser, Division of Commercial Policy.
  6. Vernon L. Phelps, Adviser, European Branch, Division of Commercial Policy.
  7. Probably H. Gerald Smith, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs.
  8. DuWayne G. Clark, Commercial Attaché at Rio de Janeiro.
  9. Merrill C. Gay, Assistant Chief, Far and Middle Eastern Branch, Division of Commercial Policy.