560.AL/2–2349: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions 1


1. Question has arisen recently in case of two countries (Sweden and Greece) whether we would object to disclosure to non-governmental groups or individuals of our definitive rate request lists on these countries for the tariff negotiations opening Annecy Apr 11. Dept has replied that this Govt cannot agree to distribution these requests to non-governmental groups or individuals; that, moreover, we do not see any need for this as a means of obtaining views of affected domestic interests in the countries concerned which was stated as the reason for such disclosure. Dept pointed out that this Govt obtains views US interests affected through trade agreement organization procedure of public notice and hearings, but that we refrain scrupulously from giving any indication outside Govt agencies directly concerned of possible concessions which may be either sought or offered during negotiations until agreement concluded and signed.

As corollary foregoing Dept also pointed out that this Govt earnestly hopes all delegations participating Annecy negotiations will include only official governmental representatives and no non-governmental groups or individuals; that it is essential for success of negotiations that no publicity whatever be given concessions involved in negotiations prior conclusion thereof. This practice was followed successfully in 1947 GATT negotiations at Geneva and we assume will again be adopted Annecy.

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You are requested at an appropriate opportunity to discuss this matter informally with appropriate officials in sense of foregoing, emphasizing that US Govt attaches greatest importance this matter.

2. You may also inform appropriate officials that the US representation at Third Session of Contracting Parties to GATT and Annecy Tariff Negotiations will consist of a single Delegation of about 75 persons, as follows: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Delegates, 9; Advisers, 9; 7 Tariff Negotiating Teams, 28; Administrative and Secretarial Staff, 29. Names of members of Delegation will be communicated as soon as formally approved. You should also state that we hope that other Govts will come to Annecy prepared to make their tariff offers at the opening of the Session on April 11, as provided for in GATT/CP.2/26, para IV (v), and to press forward with the negotiations so as to conclude them by early June, pursuant to the timetable being distributed by Wyndham-White.2

  1. Sent to the following Embassies and Legations: Beirut, Bogotá, Brussels, Canberra, Capetown, Ciudad Trujillo, Colombo, Copenhagen, Damascus, Habana, The Hague, Helsinki, Karachi, Lima, London, Luxembourg, Managua, Monrovia, Montevideo, Nanking, New Delhi, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Port-au-Prince, Rangoon, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Salvador, Santiago, Wellington. Sent also to the consulate at Johannesburg for Southern Rhodesia.
  2. Eric Wyndham White, Executive Secretary of the Interim Commission of the International Trade Organization, ICITO, located at Geneva, Switzerland, had undertaken to perform secretariat duties for the Annecy conference.