394.31/2–2051: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Torquay Conference ( Corse )1


398. For Corse. No verbatim transcript available Truman–Pleven meeting. Fol para, however, is substance relevant portion mtg Jan. 30.2

Pres said re current Fr trade policy Fr had apparently taken our place as advocates protectionism. High tariffs had not worked for US, and he predicted they wld not work for Fr. Pleven said he accepted Pres’s criticism Fr commercial policy, but Pres stated his comments not meant as criticism. Pleven said Fr wld change policy and proceed with tariff reductions now under discussion Torquay. Explained Fr action in terms Fr Govt Agency being out of line with thinking Fr cabinet and promised this wld be promptly straightened out.3

  1. In a letter dated February 14 to the Department of State, Corse wrote: “I think it would be useful in our new negotiations with the French to have the words which the President spoke to Mr. Pleven regarding the trend of French commercial policy” (Corse to Beale, February 14, 1951, Lot 57 D 284, Box 139, ‘GATT 1950–51 Torquay Correspondence–II”). This was the Department’s response.
  2. For the record of this White House meeting, see United States Minutes of the Third Meeting between President Truman and French Prime Minister Pleven, January 30, 1951, printed in volume IV in the compilation on U.S. relations with France. The exchange between the two did not proceed uninterruptedly as indicated here; but otherwise this is an accurate report.
  3. After the informal French assurances described in Torquay telegram 383, January 30, supra, were conveyed to the United States, TAC at Torquay had authorized the U.S. team to begin the exchange of offers with the French for new concessions.