The Department of State to the British Embassy
- The Government of the United States has given very careful consideration to the British Embassy’s memorandum of April 28, 1947 and to the attached directive which the Government of the United Kingdom proposes to send to the colonial dependencies and trust territories, outlining the procedure by which the latter are to implement Section 9 of the Anglo-American Financial Agreement.1 The Government of the United States regrets that the Government of the United Kingdom considers it necessary for the colonial dependencies and trust territories to institute quantitative import controls which, while not [Page 42] discriminatory against the United States in favor of imports from the Dominions, India and many other countries, would result in discrimination against American products with respect to similar products from the other dependencies and trust territories and from the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the Government of the United States recognizes that so long as it is necessary for the United Kingdom rigidly to control imports for balance of payments reasons it is not unreasonable to expect the colonial dependencies to spend scarce currencies with equal care.
- The Government of the United States is concerned, however, with the possible effects of the proposed import control regime on commercial relations between the United States, the United Kingdom and the colonial dependencies. The Government of the United States therefore suggests that a small number of technicians selected by each government meet together as soon as convenient to discuss the various problems which may arise in the implementation of the plan suggested, with a view to possible modifications which would be in the joint interest of the two countries. These discussions would be limited to a review of the effects of the system proposed and to an exchange of views with respect to various alternatives, and would be conducted wholly at the technical level.
- If the Government of the United Kingdom considers it essential to establish a discriminatory import control regime, the Government of the United States also hopes that in any directive issued to the colonial dependencies and in the initial colonial announcements of the new import control regime, it will be emphasized that the discrimination is a temporary measure to be continued only so long as necessary on balance-of-payment grounds.
- In addition to the consultations suggested above, the Government of the United States assumes that the Government of the United Kingdom will be prepared to consider at any time such representations as the Government of the United States may find it necessary to make regarding the application of the discriminatory import regimes.
- In the territories in which the United States is entitled to equality of treatment under mandate and trusteeship agreements at present in force, the Government of the United States assumes that there will be no discrimination against the United States in favor of any other country including the United Kingdom. Such territories include Palestine (under the Mandate Convention of December 3, 1924); and Cameroons, Togoland, and Tanganyika (under the Trusteeship Agreements approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 13, 1946). The Government of the United States also assumes that there will be no discrimination in the territories of the Congo Basin (covered by the Convention of St. Germain-en-Laye of 1919).
- In the case of the former Italian Colonies, to which the Government of the United Kingdom also proposes to extend the discriminatory import control regime (according to information received by the American Embassy at London from the Board of Trade), the Government of the United States requests that in view of the temporary and special nature of the British administration of these territories as envisaged by Article 23 of the treaty of peace with Italy, there be no discrimination against the United States in these territories.
Washington , July 24, 1947.