394.31/1–3051: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Torquay Conference ( Corse ) to the Secretary of State


383. ReDeptel 375, January 27. French delegate indicated informally 10:45 today Pleven has authorized adjustments Article XXVIII modifications which if formally confirmed they say sufficient fill gap which in team’s judgment still exists although team’s appraisal not yet taken TAC.1

Sent Department 383, repeated information Paris for Ambassador and ECA.

  1. This informal French démarche was described in some detail in the Delegation’s Weekly Report No. 15 (pt. 2), February 6 (394.31/2–651). (The French decision was made obviously before M. Pleven left Paris for Washington, that is, before the presidential representations described in Department of State telegram 398, February 20, infra.) On February 6 the new French proposals were formally submitted to the United States negotiating team in a document dated February 5 (Weekly Report No. 16 (pt. 2), February 13, 394.31/2–1351). On February 14 TAC approved the report of the (United States) French team recommending acceptance of the French Article XXVIII proposals (Weekly Report No. 17, February 20, 394.31/2–2051). The United States-French Article XXVIII negotiations were formally concluded on February 19 (Weekly Report No. 18 (pt. 2), February 27, 394.31/2–2751); and the GATT Secretariat was notified of the formal lists on February 28, the final cut-off date for such notifications.

    Certain matters in United States-French trade relations not directly a part of the Article XXVIII questions were successfully absorbed into the Article XXVIII negotiations along the way. Concise reference is made to them in the Acting Delegation Chairman’s Report to the Secretary of State:

    • “The scope of the negotiations was later expanded to include (1) the question of compensation requested by France for the withdrawal by the United States of its concessions on fur felt hats and hat bodies [to Czechoslovakia] pursuant to the escape clause action under Article XIX; and (2) on crude feathers and pate de foire [foie] gras under Article XXVIII as a result of the withdrawal of China from the General Agreement.
    • “. . . while the United States made no modifications or withdrawals in its Geneva or Annecy concessions before agreeing to the extension of the date in Article XXVIII to January 1, 1954, it did nevertheless make three upward modifications through the regular process of negotiations. Two of these, stencil silk and certain leather gloves were initially negotiated with France and account of the modifications in these items was taken in evaluating the final balance of the reciprocal concessions.” (Report to the Secretary of State, Torquay Conference, Lot 57 D 284, Box 139)