560.AL/6–2047: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva ( Troutman ) to the Secretary of State


545. For Clayton and Nitze from Wilcox. Just received following letter from John J. Dedman, Minister of Reconstruction, Government of Australia and now head of Australian delegation ITO Conference:

“I understand that the wool bill has now been passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States Congress and awaits consideration by the President.1

While the Australian Government has no desire to intervene in a matter which is essentially a domestic one, I feel that it is essential that the U.S. Government should be aware that if this bill becomes law, every country concerned with the future of international trade will find it necessary to review its position.

It would appear to the Australian Government that the provisions of the bill are inconsistent at least with the spirit of the mutual aid agreement between the Australian and U.S. Governments,2 the understanding upon which the current negotiations have been entered into-and possibly with the terms of the draft charter. It must therefore cause us to doubt the capacity of the U.S. Government to make effective the policy relating to international trade which its delegation has outlined at this conference.

Consequently, I feel it is important that you should be aware that if the bill does become law, I shall find it necessary to move that the present conference at Geneva be adjourned for a sufficient time to enable the United States and other governments represented here to review their policies in the light of what appear to us to be substantially changed circumstances.”3 [Wilcox.]

  1. On June 16, the House of Representatives accepted the wool bill by rejecting a motion to recommit the bill to conference 191–166, 72 not voting. The Senate on June 19, by a vote of 48–38, 9 not voting, also passed the conference committee bill.
  2. For text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 271, or 56 Stat, (pt. 2) 1608.
  3. When the message arrived, Joseph Coppock, Economic Adviser of the Office of International Trade Policy, was unable to reach Nitze, Wood, Thorp, Acheson, or Marshall, and learned that Clayton was on his way to London. Coppock then called Harold Stein, White House, and sent him a copy of the telegram. Stein called back to say that John Steelman, Assistant to the President, would bring telegram to President’s attention at appropriate time. (Telegram 2676 to London, June 21, 560.AL/6–2047)