London Embassy Files: Lot 59F59: 1447: 320 FMC

Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs in the United Kingdom (Baldwin) to the Ambassador (Douglas)


Subject: Economic Discussions Preliminary to CFM Meetings.

The third meeting of representatives of Ambassador Jessup’s party and British officials to discuss economic matters was held today in [Page 893] the Foreign Office.1 British representatives presented a short draft of a proposed joint memorandum covering the economic talks.2 The draft memorandum indicated that the conversations, which were of a general nature, had disclosed that:

Doubt existed in some quarters as to the identity of U.S./U.K. “ultimate objectives;”
The ultimate objectives of the two countries are full convertibility of sterling and the end of discriminatory trade practices;
There is not full agreement on the steps by which, and the pace at which, those objectives could be attained;
The ability of both sides to take the internal and external steps necessary for the achievement of agreed objectives is largely determined by the readiness of each side to ease the task of the other.

The memorandum recognized that there is a real difference of emphasis on short-term objectives which will be for some time a potential source of conflict on specific issues, and concluded that constant and intensified contact will be necessary to ensure that the issues are viewed and settled with the broadest possible comprehension of mutual, long-term interests.

American representatives requested time to review the draft and submit their views.

British representatives at this meeting injected into the discussions, for the first time, the idea that the British Government might be more willing to make “concessions” to the United States viewpoint in matters of foreign economic policy if the North Atlantic Treaty organization were developed to a point where it would embrace political and economic problems in a manner which would ensure that the U.K. was not treated solely as a part of Western Europe. Sir Roger Makins expressed “his personal opinion” that the British Government would hardly be “willing to face the risks” which would be involved in such concessions under other circumstances. He referred to the desirability of finding some means whereby the U.S., the U.K. and Western Europe, and the Commonwealth, could be tied together more closely. Plowden and Hall expressed general agreement with his views which suggests that they were probably somewhat more than “personal.” Makins apparently assumed, quite properly, that the implications of his comments were fully understood by all present and did not go into details.

C[harles] F. B[aldwin]
  1. Regarding the first two meetings of the economic subcommittee, see Secto 43, April 28, and footnote 3 thereto, p. 886. A copy of the British Delegation minutes for this third meeting, held at 11:30 a.m. in Sir Roger Makins’ office, is in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 150: UK Current Problems.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.