Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Chief of the Economic Defense Staff (Moline)

Subject: Proposed Revision of Confidential Committee Print of the the So-called Battle Bill

Participants: Mr. Roy Bullock, Staff member, House Foreign Affairs Committee
Messrs. Cardozo1 and Moline, Department of State Messrs. Quint and Rodgers, ECA

The meeting with Mr. Bullock was for the purpose of giving to him a copy of a proposed revision of the so-called Battle Bill, and to explain to him the reasons for the suggested deletions and inserts. Mr. Bullock said at the conclusion of the discussion that, even though it is still not clear that the House Foreign Affairs Committee will wish to take any specific action in support of a bill of the kind contemplated, he appreciated receiving the proposed revision which he believed improved the bill in many respects.

The principal point of substance raised by Mr. Bullock was in connection with the exception clause. He said that he was certain in his own mind that the Committee and the Congress were not going to accept a clause which appeared to give the President or any other individual or body as wide discretion in the matter of granting exceptions [Page 1118] as the proposed clause appeared to do. He said there was an evident belief that some of the large countries, particularly the UK and France, could afford, with some additional belt tightening, to stop trade with the Soviet bloc. There should be no discretion given in the matter of granting exceptions if the UK, for example, should fail to comply with the intent of the bill in the matter of stopping trade in the more limited list of items which the bill, in contrast to the Kem Amendment, was seeking to embargo.

As an example of his own ideas on a narrower exception clause, he showed a draft which would permit exceptions in favor of countries having boundaries contiguous to the USSR or its satellites, or which were in such exposed position as to make compliance with the intent of the bill difficult or impossible. He said he was seeking to provide a means for exceptions in favor of Germany, Austria, Norway, etc. by his first clause, and for a country like Indonesia by his second clause.

The only other points on which he seemed to be doubtful were in regard to the suggested deletion of Section 302 directing the President to take measures to obtain action by the United Nations against the USSR, and Section 103–A, which would give the coordinator the task of determining the items of primary strategic significance which should be embargoed to effectuate the purpose of the Act.

ECA questioned Section 304 with regard to making funds available for carrying out the Act from the funds provided for the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 as amended.

  1. Michael H. Cardozo, Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic Affairs.