560.AL/5–1949: Telegram

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


129. Discussed South African problem Shackle yesterday. Explained was not speaking on instructions, and had incomplete information. Referred to apparent lack justification for discrimination and general impression Annecy UK attempting force South Africa into discriminatory preferential arrangements. Such course inconsistent with our mutual policy under GATTITO and liable arouse bitter resentment. Particularly inopportune when US preparing advocate publicly supersession of section 9. Stressed necessity greatest possible cooperation between two governments, and our manifest desire to strengthen economy of UK and Western Europe. Urged short-sightedness UK policy re South Africa and need for avoidance policies which would make difficult” close cooperation our governments.

Shackle denied UK exerting any pressure on South Africa except to include Western European countries with dollar countries in administration controls (this contrary to fact or at best quibbling). His thesis that in order reach truly multilateral trade necessary to strengthen Western European currencies as well as pound. Spoke of necessity for “step backwards” in order ultimately move forward. Said Cripps and UK Government no less convinced than US of desirability sterling convertibility and multilateral trade. Said would pass on my comment to London.

I feel interview which was expressed forcefully was useful. Doubt Shackle convinced UK position wrong but think he was impressed with importance we would attach to British leadership forcing South Africa to discriminate unjustifiably.

Sent Department; repeated London 7 for Bliss, Capetown 5.