Editorial Note

During the year 1950 there were two sessions of the Contracting Parties (CP’s) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): at Geneva, Switzerland, February 23–April 3, and at Torquay, England, November 2–December 16. Additionally, the “third round” of tariff negotiations under GATT was initiated at Torquay on September 28. Because of the technical complexity of the issues and the volume of documentation, the treatment here has necessarily been very selective. A principal effort of the United States at the Fourth and Fifth Sessions of the Contracting Parties was focussed on the question of the trading practices of the participating governments and the effect of such practices, in the form of import and export controls (restrictions), on the basic GATT objective of the general reduction of barriers to international trade. Three of the units of documentation that follow are concerned with these matters. A fourth unit has to do with organizational problems: specifically, the change in United States policy with respect to the proposed International Trade Organization and the relationship between that problem and the question of establishing a continuing administration for GATT. These were matters considered at either or both the Fourth and Fifth Sessions of the Contracting Parties. The last two units are concerned with aspects of the United States negotiating position with respect to the tariff discussions which opened at Torquay on September 28. Documentation on the actual tariff negotiations is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1951, volume I.