560.AL/5–1849: Telegram

The Chairman of the United States Delegation (Willoughby) to the Secretary of State


120. Latest information South African import restrictions is that South Africa will not submit to contracting parties detailed information necessary for resuming consultations until latter part next week. Understand South African sterling position now become so serious South Africa sending monetary expert London this week discuss, problem and decide corrective measures. South African Government proposed send these experts Annecy but South African and UK delegations here urged London instead. UK representative South African working party (Thompson-MacAusland1) left for London today to participate.

UK asked member of Canadian delegation whether new South, African restrictions would be more acceptable if all South African hard currency earnings were pooled with say 20 million pounds proceeds sterling exports, total to be spent for essential imports. Canadian replied could not discuss figures but this was obviously step in right direction. Asked if UK and South Africa were going to decide details of new restrictions in London, UK replied negative.

In conversation with IMF representatives, we get impression they envisage somewhat indefinite continuance of consultations and doubt ability to supply much information until full details of restrictions available. In view importance of our having most complete data on balance payments, reserve positions etc. in time for relatively brief consultation envisaged by South Africa, we reemphasize suggestion in our 110, May 15 Department maintain close liaison with IMF and [Page 678]send us maximum available information. Would be extremely helpful if IMF could be persuaded take active part as observer consultations assuming their views will be close position USDel. Important also we have current information from Capetown.

Sent Department 120, repeated London 6, Capetown 4.

  1. M. L. Thompson-McCausland, Adviser, British Board of Trade. It was reported in Annecy’s airgram A-12, May 13, that “Thompson-MacCausland has participated closely in drafting South African restrictions. …” (560.AL/5–1349)